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5 Tips for Learning Guitar

Learning to play the guitar can be extremely fun, and it can also be extremely irritating. Just like with anything else, to get good at playing the guitar we have to practice, practice, practice. Don’t you hate it when that’s all that anyone ever says? Just practice. Keep practicing. Practice makes perfect. It’s a positive way to look at it, if you know how to practice. Some methods of learning are better than others, and different methods differ from person to person.

My number 1 tip for learning guitar is to find a method, any method. Tip number 2 is to practice that method. If things aren’t working out then find a different one, or better yet start to develop your own personalized method using a combination of others. Tip numbers 3 through 5 are geared towards helping you develop a method. Tip number 3 is choose a simple chord placement such as the E minor chord and practice only it. Place the chord with your left hand and strum twice with your right hand in a straight strum pattern which would be down, down. Then take your left fingers off the strings and wiggle them around a bit. After a few seconds place the chord again. Do this 5 to 10 times and then move onto a different chord. Do that once a day and you’ll soon be able to place the chord without looking.

As the chords get more and more complicated it will take longer and longer for you to learn each one so just be patient with yourself, and make sure to stretch out your fingers before and after each session. Tip number 4 is to take two different chord placements, and play them together. One right after the other. For instance let’s say you want to learn how to play the song, “When You Say Nothing At All” by Allison Krauss. That song uses the D, G, and A chords, so you might choose to practice the D, and A chords together. Place your D chord and strum down twice, then place your A chord and strum down twice. Continue going back and forth between these two for 5-10 times just like the other exercise. Don’t worry about the speed in which you transition from chord to chord. You will naturally begin to speed up as time goes on. And finally tip number 5 is to practice new strum patterns without holding any chords down. This is because when your still beginning the fingers on your left hand are having a hard time adapting to the stress placed onto them by the strings. There is no need to cause more pain. Wait until you have practiced a new strum pattern for five or six sessions at least before trying it with a chord placement. There you go, 5 tips for learning guitar! Now grab that guitar and practice, practice, practice!