How to Get into the Guitar and Actually Stick to it

practice
Image courtesy of Luis Llerena @ StockSnap.io

Written by Colleen from Coustii.com

Are you having trouble pulling your guitar out for another practice because you just can’t get in the mood? You might be feeling like it’s too hard and that what you’ve done so far isn’t good enough. Well, you might be caught in a slump, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t kick yourself out of it.

Here are some very simple strategies to jumpstart your guitar practices and get yourself some guitar motivation.

1. Believe in your abilities. Realize that when you’re practicing the guitar by yourself, you don’t have to prove anything to anybody. You can accomplish whatever you want in any amount of time. Just force yourself to pick up that guitar at least once per day.

2. Fit a guitar practice into your schedule. You might know that you have a lot on your plate during the day, but you can probably afford fifteen minutes for your guitar. Set aside a small portion of time each day with the motivation that every tiny bit helps.

3. Practice where you want. If you don’t like to practice in front of other people because it makes you nervous, then don’t do it! Pick the most personal place where you can truly let loose and don’t let anything hold you back on that guitar.

4. Practice what you want. Maybe you didn’t want to play again because the thought of another scale or practice riff just sounded terrible to you. Then don’t play them! If you sit down to your next guitar practice knowing that you can play whatever you want, you’re almost guaranteed to get your motivation back.

5. Reward yourself when it’s over. Another thing that guitarists miss out on is a little reward to themselves for completing their agenda. It can be small like buying an ice cream cone or going to the movies, but the purpose is to let yourself know that you did a good job.

Your guitar motivation might have been waning last time because you didn’t get to practice what you wanted, and that can stink. Plan on doing things your way the next time so that playing the guitar is a fun experience again.

A good guitar practice routine

Are you just starting out with the guitar? Is there a song you want to play or maybe one that you’ve written? Perhaps you started, gave up, but now you are ready to really learn again. No matter where you are at, now is the time to pick up your guitar and have a practicing routine. Below are some good practice routines you should follow:

1: Get to know the basic “open” chords

Start out with the simple E, A, D, C, and G chords. These are the types that only require two or three fingers. Not only are they easy to learn, but they are also the foundation for thousands of popular songs.

The trick is to practice holding a chord and playing it until you get a clear sound. Then practice releasing your hand and try to reposition your fingers again as quickly as possible. Once you’ve mastered a few chords in this way, practice switching back and forth between chords as quickly as possible. Strum the guitar each time for feedback.

2: Learn to play a real song

This is a really important tip. It is important to learn real songs from the very beginning. Avoid getting lost in drills or renditions of “Three Blind Mice”. The point of learning to play the guitar to actually play the guitar. There are many hundreds of popular and/or classic songs that only require two or three of the basic chords. Learning a few classic songs early on will not only teach you a lot, but boost your confidence and keep you motivated..

3: Yes, you have to practice scales

Unfortunately, scales really are required. In fact, they are vital to your to learning how to play. Practicing scales is equivalent to weight lifting and drilling in sports. Athletes spend more time practicing and conditioning their bodies than they do playing the game. The same is true for the guitar. Musical scales form the foundation of nearly all music. Practicing scales trains your fingers to across the strings, back and forth along the guitar. Mastering scales makes it easy and effortless to play the right notes. You’ll barely even have to think about it after awhile.

4: Practice blindfolded

This is one technique that really helps to learn how to play the guitar. You can practice chords this way. Practice picking notes and composing whole songs with this method. When you practice this way blindfolded, you quickly train hands and fingers to go where they are supposed to go on the guitar. You will develop a “feel” for the guitar this way. If you are ever playing for an audience, you won’t have time to stop and look for the right finger position. The key is to train your fingers to automatically go where they need to go.

5: Use an expert

Finally, the main recommendation for learning how to play the guitar, is to get guidance from an an experienced teacher. You might choose a private tutor or an online guitar training program. Either way, you need a well designed program or teacher to lead you step-by-step through the learning process. A qualified teacher or well produced program will know what challenges and pitfalls you will encounter and will know how to guide you past them.

Further Reading

Easy to Learn Campfire Songs
How to Pick Your First Axe
How to Set Up the Ideal Band Rehearsal Space

About the Author

Colleen has a passion for guitars and ukuleles. She enjoys jamming, teaching, and getting others involved in music. Her website, Coustii, focuses specifically on guitars and ukes. Colleen loves to travel and uses her ukulele as a conversation starter on the road.

 

One Response to How to Get into the Guitar and Actually Stick to it

  1. Kevinpaul says:

    You need to be one with that instrument. I played Stratocasters for the most part. I fix Strats, played them and listened to them. Yep plain. They paint them with car paint from NJ and no fancy wood or hardware. I started to play Les Paul’s with that great history and beautiful wood. The pickups have a range like nothing I ever heard. Great with a big price tag. The life because more about the guitar. The music and the player was dealt out. I worried about the three of them getting stolen smacked or a simple knock over. Great guitars really I love all three and play them at home. I was looking for the best work guitar, I had changed my Strats so much that I couldn’t even call them a Strat now. I always said a white Strat with a maple fret board was the most perfect guitar made, just pure. I went to a shop that just started selling Fenders a few months before, I bought a couple guitars from them and knew them. A standard is the only real Strat. After looking at every thing I saw, I walked to the used guitars. It was screaming for me. A perfect guitar, white, maple and new? How did it get in the wrong spot. It was a 5 year old case queen. I bought it and the music came back, I ring it long maple neck and it scream bloody murder. I hold it just right and love spills out all over hitting everyone in the ears. I found my way home and do what I do best, lay in down with an old Strat and an over driven amp.

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