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5 Tips for Beginner Guitar Players

5 Tips for Beginner Guitar Players

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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