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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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