Learning a new instrument can sometimes feel like a daunting task. But there are also many options out there for people who want to start learning that it sometimes gets confusing and puts us off it. With six strings, guitars can be confusing to play at first, but there are ways of looking at it from a different point of view to help you take that first step toward learning how to play the guitar and ease your learning journey and lead to swifter progress.
Watch Other People Play
Youtube’s slow-motion feature is great. It will distort the sound, but it will allow you to see how a guitar player’s fingers move. Different people hold their guitars in different ways, so you’ll be able to experiment with what you see to find a way that feels ergonomic and comfortable for you. Not only that, but there are also plenty of tutorials that will take you through your favorite songs and break them down in bits which you can learn individually on your own time. You’ll see that the most important thing if you want to know how to play the guitar properly, is to be able to strum chords correctly and rhythmically. Any mistakes you make will be heard, and you don’t want that. Learn how to strum correctly and how to keep your tempo.
Get the Right Guitar for You
Left or right-handed? That matters, if you’re not as tall as the average Joe, then you will probably need a smaller guitar, too. Many artists have gotten away with playing the guitar that wasn’t perfectly suited for them, and not have it hamper their motivation. If anything, it rendered their style unique. In the end, it’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with what you have between your hands. As seen by the music aficionados at MerelyMusic.com, folks can get together to share their reviews on their favorite instruments and give each other tips on playing and choosing the right instrument for preferences and budget without losing quality. A community of learners is a good place to look for continued motivation and witness how others have progressed and see what they have to share.
Learn Some Basic Music Theory
Learning music theory may sound scary, but it really isn’t. Because, unlike maths, where the numbers are mute when you play or listen to music, your ears literally work with your brain as a highly evolved computer that compiles and translates numbers (tone, volume, pitch, tempo, etc) into what we recognize as sound or music. Ever heard of major and minor chords and wonder why they have those names? It’s because minor chords sound melancholic, or sad and are often used to convey these emotions. Major chords, on the other hand, sound joyful and triumphant, and are, thus, used to foster these very emotions in listeners. Music is essentially mind control on the down-low. After all, matter and energy are all made of vibrations and frequencies, so it is only normal that toying around with them will have such strong effects on us.
And Some Chords, Too
Chords and their progressions sound different depending on the mathematical relationships between the frequency of each note, also known as pitch. Understanding these relationships will help you understand why some chords sound pleasing and others don’t, why some are found throughout music around the world, and what unifying factors allow us all to appreciate the beauty in music. There are really only two types of guitar chords; barre and open. Barre chords require you to press on the fret wires — the horizontal lines on the guitar neck. That’s more difficult for beginners, so avoid them until your fingers are confident enough with the easier open chords. We suggest learning these easy, common chords first: A minor, C major, D major, E minor, and G major.
In Italian, there is a saying: piano piano, si arriva lontano (no, not the instrument). This roughly translates to ‘take it slow, take it slow, and you’ll get far.’ Piano means slow – and that’s where the instrument gets its name from. But this is about guitars! The maxim holds true for anything in life, and even more so with musical instruments.
Don’t expect to be a virtuoso just because you have a good ear and can play things from memory. Practicing a little on a daily basis will get you much farther than spaced out intense sessions. If you can work toward a combination of both, that is ideal. Our brains are wired to learn and replicate patterns and habits. The more we do something, the stronger the neurological pathways we build become. Practice won’t make you perfect immediately, but you’ll edge closer to perfection every day, and that’s the motivation you can count on.