5 Essentials For Learning Guitar – Part 2 (With Bonus!)
If you missed it check out Part 1
Learning Guitar is a great way to alleviate stress, expand your creative mind and quench your thirst for rock! Here is part 2 of our suggestions of some essentials to help anybody that wants to learn guitar make some serious progress.
Listen, Listen, Listen
One of the main skills to becoming good at playing music is developing an ear for it. This is just as true for playing the guitar. There are really two areas to think about when talking about learning to listen. The first would be to listen to other people playing the guitar and preferably guitar players better than you! Go listen to all the songs by your favourite guitar players over and over again and try to dissect with your ears what they are doing. You can listen with a fine tuned ear and try to pick out things like where on the neck they are playing, how many notes are they playing, a specific lick or a chord progression to name a few. The other thing you can pay attention to is their timing; How are they strumming the guitar, how long or how short a time between each chord they play in the song. These are all things that you can be listening for to help you improve in your playing. This is kind of the ‘hidden learning’ of guitar playing but can really help take your playing to the next level once you have mastered the basics as you will have all these chord progressions and different timings in your head to help with your creativity.
The other listening we are talking about, which we have already kind of mentioned, is developing your ear to be able to figure out what is being played and how it is being played in large part just from listening. This is a great skill to have. Some people come by it more naturally then others but it is something you can become better at over time as you listen to more guitar playing with a fine tuned ear and as your playing ability improves.
Learn Music Theory
Really what you need to do to really become proficient at playing Guitar, especially if you want to make a living at it, is learn the language of music. And it most definitely is a language and like any language you need to learn to speak, read and understand it. Some of the things you should learn is how to read notes, the positions along the neck of the guitar and the names of the chords. In addition, you should learn musical timing and how to decipher what key a song is being played in. This will be extremely helpful in your playing and improvisation.
If you watch any documentaries or interviews about some of your favourite guitarists many of them will talk about how they can’t read music and so forth. That may be true but most of them still have quite an understanding of timing, positions, notes and the construction of a song or solo and such. They usually are able to, when it comes down to it, talk in very technical terms about what they are doing on the guitar. We are almost convinced it is almost like when you were in highschool you didn’t want to really admit your were smart because it wasn’t cool. Maybe it is much cooler as goes along with the rock’n’roll lifestyle to say, “I can’t read notes, or music but I just go up there and shred!” We are not buying it! Those guys have put in countless hours in learning their instrument and if you want to get good you should too!
BONUS – Buy a Guitar
Of course this sounds too obvious but there are a lot of people out there that really want to learn guitar. It’s been on their list of things to do but somehow they just haven’t got around to it. Others might be thinking, “why would I buy a guitar if I don’t know how to play yet?” They think they will learn first somehow, maybe by borrowing a guitar, before they buy one. Here is some advice…GO BUY A GUITAR!
Now you don’t have to go breaking the bank to buy your first guitar. There are lots of affordable guitars that are still very good quality out there. We would suggest one of the models from the Agile AL Guitars. These are excellent quality guitars that will not break your wallet. Get one of these and you won’t be disappointed.
Buy the guitar because then you will have it at your beckon call whenever you want to practice or just play around and you won’t have to worry about your buddy asking for his or her guitar back.