Bad Habits of Beginning Guitar Players

bad habits

There are some bad habits beginning guitar players should avoid learning.  Doing so will help you out tremendously in the long run all across the board, from your speed and rhythm all the way to your picking abilities.

Bad Habits

If you’re just jumping into your self-taught lessons, whether they are online, from a book, or another type, there are several bad habits that you need to be cautious of. These tips might seem obvious but once you start playing you’ll realize how easily it could be to make these mistakes.

Practice is what makes perfect, that is why it is important to practice the correct way to play.

Poor strumming technique

When you are working on your strumming technique be sure to use your elbow instead of your hand. If you use your hand you won’t get the smooth even strokes that you get when you play with your arm. Strumming with your hand will eventually tire you out and could lead to fatigue in the smaller muscles of your wrist. If you are still struggling with your fluency a metronomemay come in handy, it will help you keep on the right pace. Next is your picking etiquette, which is pretty much the opposite from your strumming technique. When you are picking you want the movement to be done with your hand. You do this by placing your wrist either on the body of your guitar or actually on the strings when you are playing the smaller strings.

Slow finger placement

Once you feel confident in those two areas it is time to move on to your chord hand. When you are first learning chords you tend to place one finger in the correct place at a time, this method is no good when it comes to playing songs and will slow you down terribly. One way around this is to put your fingers on the note, playing the note, then lifting your fingers slightly off of the strings while maintaining the same shape. Doing this over and over again will trigger your muscle memory and you’ll have the notes down in no time.

Not expanding your catalog

My final recommendation is to learn a lot of different songs in your skill level. Having a bunch of songs to pick from will help keep learning fun.  And, after a couple months you should be able to play few at least a few of them.

If you can remember these tips and practice correctly every time you will notice yourself improving substantially at an accelerated rate.


We hope these tips are helpful and that you stick with learning! If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave us a comment!

2 thoughts on “Bad Habits of Beginning Guitar Players

  1. Great article. I would also add “getting stuck in one scale position and NOT exploring the fretboard”. I think the freedom to move around the fretboard is really important, especially for beginners.

  2. I do have these bad habits at first, but I found a tutorial over the web the help me to fix my errors and it helps a lot.

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