Guitars are cool instruments. The best part about guitars is that they can be very versatile. You can play tons of different genres ranging from Jazz to Heavy Metal if you learn one of these instruments, but it goes without saying that you’ll have to put in a lot of effort to master the play style and tone of different genres.
One of the most common misconceptions most people bear is that learning guitar is more or less easy. The reality is completely its opposite.
The guitar is one of the toughest instruments to learn and play, and most aspirants drop out before crossing the basic threshold because they find it way too hard to learn.
Don’t be demoralized yet because there’s a way to set your mind straight! Only the people who jump in without thinking much give up; on the other hand, those who can come up with a viable plan are highly likely to succeed.
In this article, we’ve gathered the best blog post writers to write about the things to know before starting guitar lessons. With these things in mind, you’ll be able to come up with the perfect plan that will help you succeed as a guitarist.
Things to Know Before Starting Guitar:
Here we’ll list a few things that you better know before you start taking guitar lessons. It’s better we mention this first that you don’t need professional trainers while you’re a beginner.
Sure, having a trainer will help you understand where you’re going wrong, and it will surely help you how you can improve.
However, if you’re confident in yourself that you can learn from observing others, you can resort to the resources available on the internet, and we highly recommend following others’ playing. There are a lot of things that you can learn through observing others, and we can’t stress this enough.
1. The Guitar is Painful to Learn:
Unlike Piano, which is very relaxing to play, guitars are very painful to hold for the beginners, and for some intermediate players as well. There are a lot of things that you need to learn about holding the strings. If you don’t press them with enough pressure, the appropriate sound won’t be produced, and you’ll hear some sort of buzz.
Then again, it’s also about how long you can hold them down, the longer you hold them at a stretch, the more painful will it become for you. A major obstacle for beginners is playing bar chords, and there are even people who avoid learning this. However, it’s essential, and you better not avoid this.
Once you get the hang of holding chords and the basic stretches, you’ll need to stretch your hands further so that you can play more complex chords and lead patterns. Some of the lead techniques like legato take a lot of effort, and you’ll need years of practice to master them.
What’s important is knowing that learning these will take time and effort. If you wish to achieve them without putting in much of your time, you won’t be able to learn them at all.
2. Training can Get Very Tiresome:
Guitar practice can be very tiresome sometimes, and what’s worse is that it can get very boring. There will be times that you’ll even feel drowsy while you play the guitar, and you’ll feel that the practice isn’t getting you anywhere.
These are the times that you’ll feel like giving up on guitar. It’ll feel boring and hopeless, but these are the times when you need to hold on. If you can utilize these practices and push yourself to work harder in these instances, you’ll be able to push through the walls that you were facing.
3. You Need to Use a Metronome:
A major mistake that most beginners make is that they don’t use metronomes while learning. While this might not seem to matter much at the beginning, it will surely make a lot of difference once you ascend to a higher level of playing, and especially when you go to jam with others.
A metronome develops the sense of timing in you gradually, and this sense is definitely one of the most important aspects that you need to master while playing the guitar. If you can’t, you won’t be able to sync with your fellow bandmates, and you’ll either play faster or slower than them.
This will create a lot of complexity, and no band will include you due to this nature. In fact, you won’t be able to learn the advanced techniques without the help of a metronome, especially if you’re focusing on the faster techniques like shredding or sweep picking.
4. You Need to Learn Tuning:
Your guitar will tend to go out of tune very often, and it will sound horrible if you play it at that time. This will definitely demoralize you, and you won’t feel like playing your instrument anymore. This is why we highly recommend learning tuning from the very beginning.
Tuning might seem very challenging at the beginning. You will end up snapping a few strings, but gradually, you’ll get the hang of things.
There are tons of tuning apps out there, and we highly recommend using them. These will help you learn the exact sound that you need to tune the strings to, and within a year or two, you’ll be able to tune them by ear.
5. Don’t Focus on Playing Songs:
If you get a tutor who’ll train you to play songs, ditch him/her immediately. Learning songs is definitely a great way of learning the guitar, but this shouldn’t be the only way of learning it.
You need to learn the grammar behind the guitar, and only then will you understand it. If you don’t understand the guitar, you will never be able to create something original and beautiful.
So, we highly recommend focusing on the basics, the music theories, and learning to create to something on your own rather than learning tracks. Even if you want to learn your favourite song on guitar, try playing it by your ear. We highly discourage resorting to tutorials.
6. Take it Slow:
Guthrie Govan once said in one of his masterclasses that, “Men like to go fast no matter what they’re doing, and when it comes to guitar playing, we all become men”. This is very true, and this is very harmful.
If you keep on rushing, you won’t be able to learn anything. Even if you learn a particular technique, you won’t be able to perfect it. The only way of learning a new technique is by taking it as slow as possible. If you can do this, only then will you be able to perfect it.
As you can see, learning guitar is simpler than we think it to be. However, if someone doesn’t know these things before diving in, guitar playing will remain to be a great mystery to that person.
This is why you need to proceed with a proper plan and put in a lot of effort. Without effort, you can’t expect to become a good guitarist.