Learning guitar is a great way to alleviate stress, expand your creative mind and quench your thirst for rock! Here are some essentials for learning guitar to help anybody that wants to learn guitar make some serious progress.
I learned to play guitar when I was 12. I took lessons for a year and then stopped. After that I was largely self-taught and didn’t often practice my guitar as much as I should have. As a result my progress suffered and my guitar playing abilities kind of stalled out. There is a difference between just playing the guitar and actually practicing. Practicing requires learning new things and mastering them. You can play the same old licks over and over again and as a result never really progress in your playing abilities. You should try to push yourself to incorporate learning something new into your practice/playing sessions to further progress as a guitar player. Depending on what type of person you are it may be helpful to have a guitar teacher or maybe subscribe to some kind of online guitar lessons to give you a roadmap of where to go and what to learn next in your guitar skills. There is no way to replace hard work and chances are that you aren’t the Allen Iverson of guitar.
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It is easy to give up when something gets hard. There may be a particular lick or progression you are trying to learn that just seems to darn hard for you to actually master. I am of the mindset that, though you should not shy away from trying to master these things, sometimes it is okay to take a break. A good way to keep yourself motivated is to break up your practicing into segments. It probably is not a great idea to spend all your practice time on something that is really frustrated you to the point of making you want to give up. Playing guitar is supposed to be enjoyable. Yes it takes hard work to get good at playing the guitar but it should be fun. Break up your practice time to devote part of the time to a skill you find really hard, part of the time to something you find not as hard and a portion of the time to playing stuff that you are good at and find really fun. Sometimes giving the mind a rest from something you find particularly difficult will actually allow you to become better at it while your mind processes how to do the task subconscienciously but you still gotta practice!
Learn The Basics
Lot’s of guys want to learn that solo they heard their favourite guitarist play right away and skip the basics. Bad idea! Your guitar playing is like a house. A beautiful house built on a crappy foundation will start to crumble despite it’s good looks. You need to build a solid foundation of your guitar playing in order for you to progress in the right way and become an accomplished guitarist. Unfortunately, like with anything in life you really can’t cut corners when it comes to learning the basics. Learn notes and chords, rhythm and lead in order to become a well rounded guitar player. Don’t be just a one trick pony. I am not saying you need to be a master at all of them but you should be comfortable in each genre of guitar.
Come back next week for Part 2 of Essentials to Learning Guitar…
Here is a great site for learning guitar – Guitar-Chord.org – Learn guitar chords and chord progressions.