These So many guitar players want to improve their guitar playing but ignore some fundamental things. Here are some tips that are easily missed by inexperienced players.
- Learn the notes on the fretboard
- Learn the sound / texture of chord types
- Learn how to hum and play simple melodies
- Learn something new every day
- Listen to all styles for inspiration
- Play music not theory, it might be clever but if it sounds terrible, why bother?
- Learn to play slowly and in time
- Learn each song in a couple of keys if possible
- Learn to memorise songs
- Don’t compare yourself to others or criticise
These things may seem simple but they are things that are highly worth considering
Most electric guitarists that have grown up playing rock guitar want the volume control to go up to eleven, not ten.
So in keeping with that philosophy I thought I’d write eleven useful tips to help beginners that are learning guitar.
1. Always make sure your guitar is in tune. An in tune instrument will help you develop a good ear. Being in tune is easy these days because guitar tunes are cheap and they take the pain out of tuning.
2. Always relax when you play. Relax your hands but sit in a position with your spine reasonably straight.
3. Practice somewhere where your mistakes and repetition will not annoy others.
4. Don’t take criticism to heart. When you are starting out, people can be a little careless with their comments.
5. Practice something new each day, whether it be a new chord, a new melody.
6. When you start practicing, start slowly and begin with the easiest things first.
7. If you start to get frustrated. Take a bit of time out and maybe practice something else.
8. Gradually train your ear to recognise different chord types. Start with the basic Majors, Minors and Sevenths.
9. Playing in time is better than playing fast. Eventually you will be able to play very fast.
10. Learn to play different styles. There’s joy to be found in all music genres and you’ll end up a far better musician/guitarist.
11. Always finish your practice by playing something that you know reasonably well. It’s important to close your music session and walk away from it in a good state of mind. If you finish on a half played piece, you may feel a bit uninspired.
How to be a good guitarist?
A HELPFUL TIP
There are a lot of pieces to that puzzle. This is a major one. What I’ve noticed over the years is that the players that have played with a lot of other players eventually develop a good sense of time. Some players that only ever play solo can often end up a bit wobbly with their time. So the bottom line is DEVELOP a GOOD SENSE OF TIME, it doesn’t need to RIGID, but it does need to be solid but with a little flexibility. A lot of players speed up, try to avoid this. Practice with a drum machine or rhythm track, the more musical the drum machine is, the better. Or use some sort of drum loop. Start working at a very slow tempo and gradually over a period of times learn to play faster.
If you really want to hear some great guitar accompaniment, listen to what Tony Rice did on Hot Dawg with David Grisman. In fact one of the all time great acoustic solos is on a song called 16/16.
If you can keep good time, musicians will want to play with you, if you’re real clever, very flash and showy but can’t keep time, other musicians won’t bother working with you, there are a lot of good guitar players out there. Timing is everything.