How to Become a Great Guitar Player
Electric guitar is not only one of the most popular instruments to learn, it can also be one of the most fun. It is a versatile and relatively easy-to-play instrument. Moving beyond merely playing a guitar and truly mastering it takes time and dedication. This article reviews many of the important things to consider as you begin your electric guitar lessons.
Where and How to Start
Although we won’t go into detail over choosing the right guitar and amp for your needs – there are other articles that cover those topics on this site – it is wise to choose a more basic-featured axe that feels good in your hands and is somewhat easy to play. Likewise, choose an amp that has basic features to begin with and is the right size for your needs. As your prowess on guitar increases, you will then have a better grasp on what your needs are and can upgrade to suit your needs and style.
Although you can learn quite a lot through book or video training, and can become a competent guitarist that way, it is far better to have live, personal training with a teacher who can personalize the lessons and practice sessions to your style and needs. A living, breathing instructor can give you instant feedback that can help you catch minor errors that may have otherwise become bad habits. Together, you can create a successful team. When it comes to choosing an instructor, do your research. Ask around, and don’t just settle on the first one. Make sure his or her teaching style is a good match for your needs.
Getting the Most from your Lessons
It is important to develop good learning and practice habits from the get-go. Arrive at your lessons on time, with your guitar tuned and ready to go. Ask questions, no matter how basic they might seem. Your teacher has probably been asked before, and will have a ready answer. This is your time, and no question is dumb if you learn from it. Listen fully to constructive feedback and consider everything carefully. Commit to working hard and following through.
When it comes to your practice area, keep it centered on music. Put music-themed decorations on the walls for inspiration of you’d like, but keep the general area clutter-free. Shut your phone off during practice, and use your computer only if you need to for training purposes during that period of time. Facebook can wait.
What to Expect on the Journey
Just like in school, you learn in steps. After you get the physical aspects down (proper sitting or standing, proper handling of the guitar, finger placement, etc.), you will begin to learn the building blocks of notes and chords, aspects of rhythm, and other musical theory. Learning these basics takes time. It is more fruitful in the long run if you spend most of your time in the beginning concentrating on these building blocks, for everything that follows rests on them.
You will make mistakes, and you will hit some challenges to your playing ability from time to time. This is normal. Stay patient with yourself, and keep trying. You will be rewarded with a valuable new skill and some intense self-discovery.