The guitar is one of the most popular instruments to pick up for new musicians. And there’s no wonder when you consider all the benefits of learning to play, such as:
- The guitar can play a wide range of genres
- It’s possible to accompany yourself as a vocalist
- It’s an excellent way to express yourself
- The guitar is easy to learn compared to other stringed instruments
Whatever your reason for wanting to learn, these beginner tips for learning to play the guitar will help you go from novice to rock star before you know it.
Adjust Your Mindset
One of the biggest things that keep people from progressing past the beginner stage is their mindset. Even though the guitar is on the easier side of the instrument difficulty scale, it still takes effort to take on any instrument. If you go in expecting to be good at it right away, you’ll become frustrated and give up.
Instead, go into it with a growth mindset. Instead of focusing on how bad things sound, keep in mind the ways you can improve. And make sure you are open to critique, especially from artists you trust. And don’t compare yourself to other guitarists.
Don’t Skip the Basics
When you listen to recordings of Van Halen, it’s easy to want to skip from strumming to shredding. But mind-melting masterpieces like “Eruption” are built on the foundation of good form. So one of the most important tips for learning to play the guitar is to start there.
Here are a few essentials you’ll want to master first:
- Holding the guitar and guitar pick properly
- Correct fingering
- Basic numbering systems
Also, it pays to pick up a little music theory while you’re at it. Music theory will make learning new music easier and give you a good foundation if you want to write your own songs.
Rehearse Standing Up
We humans are not as good at multitasking as we think we are. We have trouble holding a conversation and working or texting and driving. Likewise, playing guitar and standing or even walking is a lot harder than the professionals make it look when they’re on stage.
If you want to perform standing on stage one day, start by practicing the guitar on your feet. It will be harder, but it helps promote good posture and helps you break the habit of staring at your fingers while you’re playing.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying. If you want to become proficient in something, you have to do it regularly. This is more than going to a lesson once a week. Even if you can’t fit hour-long practice sessions into your schedule, you should at least try to tinker with your guitar for a few minutes daily.
We all have our own reasons for wanting to learn the guitar. With hard work and commitment to the craft, you’ll one day take your place among great guitarists.