So, you’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar. That’s great! Aside from feeling cooler by being able to wow your friends and family with your new skills, there are many other benefits of playing the guitar, and some important tips to keep in mind when starting out.
Why learning to play the guitar is good for your mind, body and soul
1. It’s good for the brain
Studies have shown that learning how to play a musical instrument goes a long way in boosting your brain power. You won’t instantly become the smartest person in class, but playing an instrument will help to stimulate your brain. You’ll pay closer attention to detail and think faster.
2. Good for mental health
Are you stressed or troubled? You can strum the pain or stress away by picking on your guitar. Listening to music is a great way to relax and reduce pain (both physical and emotional). Time spent on your guitar can help in healing your mind and body.
3. Builds resilience and dedication.
Do you have a passion for music and specifically guitars? Then learning to play can help you perfect your skills and practice your passion. Perfecting something gives you a sense of what it takes to do so, and you will take that to other areas of your life.
Many people set out to learn how to play the guitar but don’t realize their dream of becoming proficient guitarists. Some get frustrated along the way. Others find it difficult to progress and give up. Learning to play the guitar takes time and a lot of practice. It is important to make sure that you’re on the right path to ensure that your time and practice bear fruits.
The following tips will help you avoid developing bad habits and make better progress in learning to play the guitar:
1. Invest in the Right Guitar for You
There are so many gadgets and options in the market today that it can be overwhelming for a beginner searching for the right guitar. Learning with the wrong guitar will make things difficult for you right from the start. A good place to begin is by determining which type of guitar you want to learn to play: an acoustic or an electric guitar?
The type of guitar you choose will depend on your musical preferences. If you prefer hard rock, you’ll probably be more interested in learning how to play the electric guitar.
Many people however, begin with the acoustic guitar. This is because many of the skills learned in playing acoustic guitars are transferrable to electric guitars. Acoustic guitars are also much cheaper and easily portable as they don’t need to be hooked up to an amplifier.
Don’t go for an expensive professional guitar or the cheapest guitar when starting out. Try out several guitars in the store and read reviews on brands. Sales assistants can also help you in making your choice.
2. Get a Tuner
It’s important to ensure that your guitar is properly tuned every time you play it. This ensures that you can play songs in tune and correctly learn what different chords sound like. However, you may not know how to tune your guitar as a beginner. It is therefore advisable to invest in a guitar tuner. This will help you properly tune your guitar. When your ear has been trained over time, you can begin to tune your guitar without the tuner.
3. Keep it Simple
You can’t expect to play like Jimi Hendrix on day one or even within the first months of learning to play the guitar. You’ll have trouble attempting to play a complex song when starting out. In fact, you’ll make a lot more progress if you keep it simple in the beginning and learn the basics.
Learn about the guitar, its parts, care and maintenance. Learn how to properly hold the guitar when playing standing or seated. Learn about guitar chords, scales and harmonics. Learn how to read music.
All these things may seem boring in the beginning, but they will be invaluable as you progress.
4. Consistent Practice is Key
You’ve probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to perfect a skill. The point is consistent and frequent practice is vital to improving your skills in guitar playing. Practice the skills you learn in lessons consistently.
Be careful however, to avoid burnout. Schedule an hour three or four times a week in addition to your lessons to practice. This will help you avoid overtraining and provide you with adequate time to practice.
5. Enjoy the Journey
The most important thing is to enjoy the journey. Enjoy playing the guitar no matter how bad you sound at the beginning. Don’t be stressed by the information and advice others give you. Play what you enjoy and try out new techniques and ideas. Have fun with it.