Learning how to play the guitar can be intimidating, especially if you’re a beginner. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you learn the instrument even if you don’t have anyone to teach you personally! Try starting with one of these 10 essential guitar tips to get started on your new hobby.
1) Get your hands on a guitar
The first step to learning how to play the guitar is, of course, getting your hands on a guitar! Guitars can be purchased online or in stores; Craigslist and eBay are great places to look for used guitars at a reasonable price. Another option is local classified ads or music shops.
2) Understand how chords work
To understand how chords work, let’s use C as an example. The circle of fifths tells us that a C chord consists of 3 notes: C-E-G. Since there are 12 notes in Western music (12 Notes) and only 7 unique notes in any octave (7 Notes), that means you need 3 different versions of each note to make all 12 keys. Each note has 4 different variations we call inversions that look like A4, E4, D4, G4 etc (the letter doesn’t matter as long as it’s consistently used). For example, we can start our chord on E: E-G#-B or we can start it on A: A-C#-E.
3) Choose easy songs
There are many different approaches when it comes to learning how to play the guitar by yourself. Some people follow specific schedules with set times that they practice every day, while others choose songs that they want to learn and start playing them as soon as possible. When you first begin, it’s best to take on a few easy songs instead of jumping into something too difficult. While there are no guarantees when it comes to how quickly you’ll learn, it’s always better to aim low and finish higher than go too hard at once and get frustrated. If you want some great tips on beginning your journey of playing the guitar by yourself, here are 10 essential tricks
4) Set goals
A common mistake that beginning guitarists make is setting unrealistic goals. Learning how to play an instrument can be a long process—especially if you’re trying to learn by yourself. If you set unreasonable expectations, you’ll likely feel frustrated and lose interest in playing before you’ve had a chance to reach your potential. Even if your goal is to become good enough to play in front of other people, remember that it takes time and practice. Set smaller goals like learning one new chord each week or memorizing a few lines from one song before moving on to something else. When you hit these milestones, celebrate your progress and keep working toward your ultimate goal.
5) Memorize the chord progression of a song before playing it
Learning how to play a new song on a guitar requires memorizing several chords and their order. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to learn by yourself. The process of memorizing guitar chords can be simplified by focusing on one chord at a time, which allows you to take note of any finger placement errors in real-time as you switch from chord to chord. By breaking down each progression into individual chords and learning them separately, it makes mastering new songs much easier.
6) Use your ears, not tabs!
Record yourself. Listen to your mistakes and then record yourself again. You will make fewer of them every time you listen back to how you played it wrong before. The biggest benefit of recording yourself is that you can hear what mistakes you make and avoid them in future practice sessions. Sometimes, however, you need someone else to tell you what you are doing wrong so record your playbacks at least once more so that someone else can give their feedback on where they think there are problems in your playing.
7) Practice consistently to achieve amazing results
Try to practice for about 20 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week. The most important thing is that you are practising every single day! Consistency is one of the most crucial elements in learning guitar and it’s vital that you not skip any practice sessions if you want to see results. Set specific goals: Choose specific goals and make sure they are realistic. Instead of saying I want to learn all of my favourite band’s songs by ear, try breaking that goal down into smaller chunks such as learning to play just one guitar riff, practising with a metronome, or mastering an arpeggio.
8) Record yourself to understand what you are doing wrong
Most people when they learn to play the guitar begins with a basic understanding of music theory, such as what a key signature is or how to identify different chord types. Knowing these things will help your learning process greatly but if you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have them down yet! That is ok! The important thing is that you understand what mistakes you are making and actively attempt to correct them. Learning how to play the guitar doesn’t require you to know every theory in detail before picking up an instrument; it just requires that you understand what mistakes you are making. A quick way of doing so is by recording yourself playing and listening back critically: Do I sound good? Do I make any mistakes? What can I do about it?
9) Practicing with a band is better than alone (for intermediate level players and above)
One of the best ways to improve your guitar playing is to play with other people. Playing in a band forces you to make quick decisions and think on your feet. It also allows you to analyze what you’re doing wrong and provides valuable input from other musicians. On top of that, practicing in a band will teach you how to cooperate with others, which is an essential life skill that can lead to success professionally as well as personally. Remember, there are no bad bands; just bands made up of bad members . If someone isn’t contributing or holding everyone back from getting better, then it’s time for them to go find another band!
10) Play every day even if it’s just for 15 minutes
Regular practice is essential to learn how to play the guitar. But you don’t have to spend hours a day practicing. Just 15 minutes every day can go a long way toward getting you where you want to be in your guitar playing journey. It’s also important not just what but how you practice. For example, don’t try to learn 10 new chords before your next practice session – that’s too much information and it might discourage you from practicing at all! Instead, break it down into smaller pieces and work on one thing until you get it right before moving on to something else entirely different. This keeps learning fun and fresh so that by the time practice rolls around again tomorrow, it’ll be something totally new!
Learning to play the guitar by yourself can be a challenging task. With many different websites out there offering free and paid guitar lessons, it’s no wonder that newbies become easily overwhelmed with all of their options. To make things easier, we’ve put together 10 tips that every beginner should keep in mind as they learn how to play an instrument. These tips will help you choose an appropriate teacher, stick with it long enough to start making progress, and ultimately reach your goal of learning to play the guitar by yourself.
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