Setting Yourself Up for Success as a Guitarist
It may have taken years of listening to your favorite music, or it may have been just a flash of inspiration, but you have decided to try your hand at playing guitar. Congratulations! This may very well change your life.
You have your best chance at success as a musician when you start with good thoughts and habits. We are going to go over some of the best things you can do for yourself when starting out on guitar.
Starting any new endeavor takes a lot of time, concentration, and hard work. This is particularly true when it comes to learning a new instrument. You will make mistakes and hit stumbling blocks along the path. You will have distractions coming at you from directions you didn’t even know about.
Through it all, you have to stay persistent, patient, resilient, and teachable. Keep your mind open to new ideas, and stay dedicated to yourself and your music. Plan out a practice schedule, and stick to it.
Although there are many methods of learning guitar, the most effective method for most people is live, one-on-one training with a professional guitarist. Be sure to choose one that teaches in your preferred genres of music. Choose one that will individualize your training to your speed, tastes, and temperament.
One more important thing: it is best to find a teacher who will act as a true coach and bring out the best in you. Don’t settle on the first instructor you find. Take some time to interview them and see if they will be a good match.
Although this topic can be subjective, it doesn’t take much to get started with the right guitar. When budgeting, make sure that you factor in all the necessary accessories like picks, a case, a tuner, and an extra set of strings. (Trust me on that last one.) If you are going electric, of course, you will also need a small amp.
Stick to well-known, respected brands, and get the best-made equipment you can with the money you have budgeted. Buying used equipment is fine, but test items thoroughly before buying. Another great option is a starter kit which typically has everything you need in one handy and economical package.
Many guitar students give up early on because they are made to play music they don’t enjoy just to learn a concept. While at the very beginning, you are going to learn very rudimentary songs designed to teach you notes, chords, and other important concepts, in time you will be able to insist on playing songs you actually want to play. This ties in with finding the right teacher. A good instructor will have the right stuff ready for you at the right time.
As said before, live, one-on-one training is the best way to go. A teacher will show you the right way to hold your guitar, whether while standing or sitting. He or she will show you the proper placement of your finger on the frets and picking and strumming methods. You will be corrected when necessary, as often as necessary. This will save you the hassle of having to “un-learn” bad playing habits.
By following this advice, you can start off your guitar-playing life with maximum effectiveness and satisfaction. Enjoy the ride!