Written by Mark Harrison, a professional guitarist from MusicalStudy.
If you’re a non-beginner guitarist, you would know that your guitar is like an extension of your body parts. This is also mostly why guitarists treat their guitars with extra tender loving care. However, beginner or not, taking good care of your guitar is important to prolong its lifespan.
There’s no formal or particular way of taking care of your guitar. However, there are lots of do’s and don’ts you must observe to prolong its life. Today, we will be guiding you through these do’s and don’ts. We included some guitar beginner tips as well as basic care and guitar maintenance for your Musical Study.
Guitar Beginner Tips
Like learning a language, learning any musical instrument requires constant practice. When I first tried learning the guitar (an acoustic guitar in particular), I found out about certain do’s and dont’s. Those do’s and dont’s made my first few chords significantly easy to learn.
Here are some tips to help you with your first few chords:
#1 Adjust your grip.
Change your grip to something you feel you’d be comfortable with in the long run. Don’t feel pressured to follow a secure hold just because somebody told you to. There’s no “official” way to grip your guitar. What you should take note of and avoid, however, is the death grip.
The death grip is holding the guitar too tightly with your thumb on top of the neck. This will not only restrict your fingers’ reach; it can only give your fingers unnecessary pressure.
#2 Learn at a reasonable pace
Set learning goals and be sure to achieve them. However, do not feel pressured if you’re having a hard time learning a particular chord. There will be chords which you will have much difficulty learning. But that’s entirely natural.
At the end of the day, learning retention is what matters the most. Learning all the chords at a fast pace then forgetting some of them the next day defeats your purpose.
#3 Use the right fingers.
Just executing a chord and making it sound as it should mustn’t be your goal. You must observe correct fingering. You might be tempted to think that this wouldn’t matter. But in the long run, you’ll realize how much easier it is to play with the correct fingering positions.
The “right” finger positions aren’t just designed to look beautiful on images. They are meant to increase your fingers’ mobility and reach all throughout playing.
#4 Keep practicing.
There are no shortcuts to learning anything. Constant practice would always be the key. Try playing your guitar sitting down or standing up. Randomly strum chords, sometimes without looking at your guitar. Don’t cower away from difficult chords.
If you feel like you would be bothering your neighbors or your parents in the next room, don’t be afraid to practice through your headphones. There are lots of guitar headphone amps out there already. They function almost as good as the full sized amp with their effects and features.
This is one, if not the most, important among all the things you must take note of when learning any instrument.
#5 Take a break.
Now you don’t want to overexert your fingers. It’s also important to take a break now and then. This will not only refresh you. This will also keep you from straining your fingers or worse, damaging any tendons or ligaments.
There are still lots of important things you need to know when first learning the guitar. However, these are just some of the basics. Don’t be afraid to ask somebody more knowledgeable. Or better, do your research. This will make your learning a lot easier.
How to Maintain Your Guitar
Just as we mentioned earlier, keeping your guitar is what will prolong its lifespan. Buying the most expensive guitar out there won’t guarantee you of its lifespan. Here are some tips on how to maintain your guitar.
#1 Clean your guitar.
It’s important to note that accumulated dust can also affect the sound quality of your guitar. This is why it’s important to clean your guitar from time to time. However, do not forget to use the proper cleaning materials and products as well.
You wouldn’t want to damage your guitar by cleaning it with something that’s not meant to. Bad cleaning products may damage the wood or the guitar strings.
#2 Avoid exposure to direct heat or high temperature.
Exposing your guitar to direct heat or high temperature can make the wood more brittle. For short, it’ll become more prone to permanent damages. Heat can also affect your guitar’s tuning. You will notice that after you expose your guitar to heat (either by the window or if you leave it in your car for long), it seems to be a little off tune.
Then you’ll have to tune it again. That is what you have to avoid.
#3 Don’t be afraid to visit the music store for its maintenance and strings.
Whether you like it or not, your strings are going to wear out. They are bound to accumulate rust. Moreover, they might end up breaking. But that’s what string replacements are for.
Your strings play a very significant role to how music will sound like out of your guitar. The strings will also affect your fingers. This is the reason why it’s crucial to get them changed when they have to be.
#4 Keep it somewhere safe.
Even though you won’t be bringing it outside your house, keep it inside a case. Buy one that has a built in foam with it. This will somehow cushion your guitar from external pressures that might damage it.
Finally, keep it somewhere in the house where people won’t bump it, or direct sunlight won’t hit it.
Musical Study Conclusion
Treat your guitar as a long term investment. Forget the mindset that you can always buy a new one. Not only will it help you save money, taking precious care of your guitar might help you develop a deeper appreciation for guitars.
Author Bio: Mark Harrison is a professional guitarist from MusicalStudy. His blog is an online resource center dedicated to providing knowledge about music and musical instruments, focuses specifically on guitars. And Mark loves to share his knowledge with everyone.