THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT GUITAR
1 - Start playing early in life -- it's therapeutic.
2 - Get as good a guitar you can afford. You will quit if you get frustrated so why chance it?
3 - Get a teacher. Scrape the money up. Do whatever it takes. You will learn twice as fast and likely play better.
4 - Play with friends as soon as you have 3 chords down. Playing with others motivates you more than practicing alone in your bedroom.
5 - Get a metronome and USE it. They should be a required purchase with your first guitar.
6 - Don't think all tabs/songs off the Internet are right. Use them as a reference. To find better stuff get actual authentic guitar tab books of your favorite bands. The authors are pros and get paid to write that stuff. Think NoteBoat at GN.
7 - Try to digest a little theory every day even if it is only 5 minutes at a time. It will take some time but you'll learn faster than otherwise.
8 - Literally write down on paper a rough idea of your practice schedule. How can you get somewhere without a plan or roadmap?
9 - Practice using very slow motions with anything new. If you rush it you'll mess up and learn to play messed up.
10 - Speed comes with time so practice slowly with the metronome and proceed in small increments. It works.
11 - Playing guitar is not a race. Don't be the guy who learns 30 songs in 3 months only to forget them a day later. Guitar is a life-long deal -- take it easy.
12 - If something hurts, take a break (especially if you are new to guitar). I took breaks about every 5 to 10 minutes when I first started.
14 - Since you'll have them a long time, get a good equipment (guitar stand, cables, amps, whatever). They are investments in your hobby. I've killed 4 cheap cords before I wised up. Don't be cheap, sacrifice something else.
15 - Tune your guitar every time you practice/play and that doubles when playing with others. Why sound bad playing the right thing the right way when it's just your guitar being out-of-tune?
16 - Change your strings! A pack costs maybe $3-4 if you buy them in 3-packs. Can you afford a dollar a week? Why go six months and have funk hanging on your strings killing your sound?
17 - If a string breaks, change them all. If you don't change your strings at least once a month change them all when one breaks.
18 - Get organized. Don't have billions of papers you printed off the Internet all over your coffee table, desk, computer, or floor. Buy a 3-hole punch, punch all the sheets, and put them in binders (you'll thank me later).
19 - Have everything you may need when you need it. Get your graphite pencil, string winder, string cutter, peg puller, cotton cloth, extra picks, extra (full) packs of strings, a toothbrush, toothpicks and other accessories in a small plastic container. Bring it whenever you go jam with others so you can fix things when something goes wrong.
20 - As a noob, when experienced players told me things, often I blew them off thinking I was smart enough. I got it. I know what I'm doing. They're nuts...or old...or too advanced to help...or (fill in the blank here). Yet the truth is, now after having played over a decade, it's easy to see I was dumb and they were right. Go back and read this list again.
Did you notice there's no number 13? Reality is if you follow all of these these you're too regimented. I don't because I picked up some bad habits along the way. If I only my future self could have handed me this list when I first started playing. Eh, wishful thinking. Yet I think I know what should be done to be a better player and get more out of it all. Ultimately you're gonna do whatever you want. Guitar is a hobby. Always ask veteran players what THEY do so you can bypass the common pitfalls.
I hope everyone drops by here to add some of their wisdom, teachings, discoveries, or tips. Everyone needs help!
- Guitarnoise Denizen
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Moondawgs on Reverbnation
- paul donnelly
- Guitarnoise Addict
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* Change your strings! If you are young and poor this does not apply. A pack of strings costs $3-4 a pack if you buy them in 3-packs. Can you afford a dollar a week to have a better sound? Why go six months and have funk hanging on your strings killing your sound?
Wipe them off each time you put down the guitar. You could keep a cloth for this, or just use your shirt like I do. It will keep them shiny and bright (in sound) longer.
If this was already on the list, I missed it. Sorry if I'm repeating it.
Buy a music stand too. And when you buy a capo, buy a decent one. And buy a chromatic electronic tuner.
-- John Lennon
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* Wear earplugs, even if its not too loud, invest in a good pair
* Lessons are more important than gear
* Dont be afraid to get out there and get your hands dirty (not in a literal sense, if they do get literally dirty wash them, its bad for your strings), never be afraid to play guitar. So they may think you didnt do so hot, thats motivation for you to think 'I'll show them who sucks'. Youll get better for sure this way.
* Dont be afraid to fail, its like the one before this one. If youre afraid of failing then youre afraid of trying and not trying never got anyone anywhere.
* Get in or start a band
* Dont take months when writing an article for GuitarNoise.com (this one applys to me, know why you havent seen any articles from me yet? This is why)
* Make practice plans. Nearly every teacher (except some of them artsy fartsy ones) makes lessons plans for the week. You're teaching your self right now, arent you (even if you have a teacher you are)? Why should you act any different from a professional teacher? (I really need to do this one)
* Dont laugh at someone whos bad, encourage them to get better.
* Teach someone something on the guitar whenever you can, it really helps you understand it.
* Have fun
- Guitarnoise Addict
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You should be having fun and making music without any frustration. get excited because learning play guitar, it should not be frustrating! I'll say it right up front it is going to take some hard work and hard practice? But make it Fun, because thats what it's all about.
A Positive Mental Attitude = A Open Positive Mind.
For the guitar is the most unpredictable and least reliable musical instrument in existence...and also the sweetest, the warmest, the most delicate, whose melancholic voice awakes in our soul exquisite reveries.
* Listen to ALL types of music. And listen often, really listen.
* Try a song from each genre, even if you don't like that particular music.
* This should be on the top of any list: Play with others. You will learn mucho!
* Hum while you strum. It'll make singing and playing easier eventually.
* Don't be afraid to make mistakes, learn from them. And have a good sense of humor. Like what's been said, guitar playing is a life long obsession for many of us, just go with it and enjoy. You will get better.
My Strat is Mexican.
I'm somewhere in the Middle Kingdom.
Tom, sorry about that misinformation. From all your theory posts and otherwise, you are the dude who can shed light on stuff like tab, pieces, and whatnot. Nevertheless, we move forward on this post. I'm proud everyone is adding wonderful stuff! That's why I started this. Put my thoughts out and get some of the big cats out.
- Musically Insane
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*Learn the right technique from the start. You can do it 'your own way' later on if you like, but make sure it's a choice, not a cheat.
*Learn to read standard notation, even if it's just in open position - it will open up whole new worlds for you. Then spend 5 minutes a day sight reading... do guitar music, violin, clarinet, everything. Eventually you'll be able to see a piece of music and know what it sounds like. Sight reading will get your fingers to do what your head wants them to faster than any other method I've found.
- Ignar Hillström
- Musically Insane
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-Enjoy your practice. If you don't like running up and down the same old scale, find an excersise that is more fun but teaches the same stuff.
-Learn songs. Don't just learn one riff, learn the whole song. Nothing sucks more then realising you can play 100000 riffs and licks but not a single song.
-Use songs to practice. If you need to learn a certain technique, find a song that heavily relies on it. It's more fun, and you'll expend your song repetoire.
-If you often find your muscles hurt, find out why that is. Bad technique can be really bad for your health.
-Learn from others. Don't just look at your own guitar heroes, also learn from people who play music you don't really dig.
thanks a lot for yor post. This is really good stuff. I'm only into my second month playing and it's great to get these tips now. I find myself following some of these already, but I can certainly do more.
A few special things to note in my case:
corbind wrote:* Start playing early in lifeâ€”it's therapeutic.
So I'm almost 47. Can't do much about this one. However, one can be young at heart. I think that playing helps make you so!
corbind wrote:* Get as good a guitar you can afford. You will quit if you get frustrated so why chance it?
Great, now I don't feel so bad about having gone out and spent about $100 more that I originally had in mind for my first electric.
"Growing Older But Not UP!"