Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar tips

How to Get Back into Playing Guitar After You Forgot You Had One

 

Martin 000 Acoustic Guitar
Martin 000 Acoustic Guitar

Over the years I’ve noticed that a lot of guitar players start playing, then they hit points in their life where other things take over and music drops to the background, their guitar that they so passionately treasured just sits in the corner of a room to gather dust.  

I’ll side track a little. I discovered an easy way to get around this happening in the first place, it was something I arrived at due to teaching guitar to a lot of kids over the years.  I had always tried to get the parents to NOT call music practice HOMEWORK.  When people call music development ‘homework’, the kid suddenly sees music as a chore, or maybe even the ENEMY, instead of being the beautiful gift it is which they can carry through their life to express themselves.  So, the underlying thing here is about the thinking; if we can’t see the benefits and only see the work involved we lose sight of why we’re doing something in the first place. 

What I found with kids learning music was it was important to take time out from their music practice.  The ultimate goal, as I see it for a music teacher to do is to get the student to the point when they fall in love with music.  Once this happens it’s easy to teach, until then there’s often a bit of a pull in all directions.  What’s needed is to be able to get the student to be organised enough with their time, that they can comfortably do enough for their music skills to gradually increase and then become a natural part of their life.  

My understanding, which made me rethink a lot of things about playing was when one day, a kid asked me “Do I have to practice in the holidays?”.   My reply was “no, I think it’s good to take a break, this will help your return to music a little fresher, go swimming, ride your bike, fallout of a tree, eat ice cream, break a leg or something crazy, but you’re going to need to set a date to get back into some organised pattern again”.

I’m pretty sure, the reason why a lot of players leave the guitar in the corner and don’t return to it is because they don’t organise their time and don’t have the right resources and inspirational material close at hand, and then it all seems too much  

The best way to reenter music after time of is:

  • Set a return date and stick to it
  • Have plenty of resources around to inspire you
  • Clean the guitar and change the strings, even go a gauge lighter 
  • Play a few simple things to warm yourself up a but, if you try and play things that are a little complex you can end up frustrated 
  • Tell the world to go away, you’re busy because music is important to you

Tony Hogan

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Eleven Basic Tips on Playing Guitar

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.