Posts Tagged 'learn to play guitar'

First Rule of Guitar: Never Give Up

Guest post by Michael Andros

I picked up the guitar at 14, played in a band for 14 years, then quit.

Years later I picked it up again and have been going strong ever since. But the road to guitar greatness is littered with those who gave up.

Hopefully, my experience helps you avoid becoming a casualty on the guitar “battlefield.”

Let’s look at a four-pronged strategy to defeat the biggest causes of quitting — pain, boredom, and discouragement. We will exploit “beginner’s blush,” focus on the mission, explode plateaus, and “learn how to learn.”

How to Exploit “Beginner’s Blush”

The idea here is to harness the almost irrational, dopamine-induced optimism to push through the painful process of earning your “guitar fingers.” 

Commit to a few minutes of daily practice.  It doesn’t matter what you do. Play scales, practice chord changes. Anything. As long as you keep fingers-a-flyin’ on the fretboard you’re building beneficial callouses and hand strength. 

After the “beginner’s blush,” though, you might feel your enthusiasm start to circle the drain. Jolt yourself back to life by…

…Focusing on Your Mission

Post your goals up where you practice.  If becoming the next Gary Clark Jr. or earning a spot at Berklee School of Music twirls your bowtie, write it down and pin it up. 

Inspire yourself by listening to your favorite music. Or better yet, discover new music that feeds your curiosity and awakens your wonder.

There are ebbs and flows when learning something new. One very helpful skill is how to…

…Explode through Plateaus 

Every so often, it feels like you’re just treading water. You might even feel like you’re going backward. 

That’s actually a good thing. 

You see, your brain has two modes — the ‘focused’ mode where you ‘chunk’ new information into working memory, and the ‘diffuse’ mode, where you consolidate new information into long-term memory. It’s a necessary part of mastery. But your brain can’t be in both modes at the same time. 

So trust your subconscious. It’s working quietly in the background. Stick to your routine and you’ll eventually break out and find you’ve jumped to a whole new level of understanding. 

You’ll likely get a mini “beginner’s blush” out of it also.

5 Tips on “How to Learn”

Recent neurological research can help us here. These tips are based on the latest neurological findings on the art and science of learning, applied to music.

Tip #1: Learn a few chords and chord progressions.

People have built whole careers on just a handful of chords. It opens up thousands of song possibilities.

Tip #2: Train your ear.

Recognizing intervals is a great skill for composing and improvising. It’s also handy for understanding how songs are structured.

Tip #3: Change up where you practice.

Changing practice locations speeds long-term memory formation. Jimi Hendrix used to bring his guitar everywhere — even to the bathroom. This boosted his ability to recall ideas in a flash.

Tip #4: Vary your practice.

Instead of devoting whole sessions to one skill, deliberately practice several skills briefly. Play scales, then songs, then practice chords and progressions. Experiment with sounds. Train your ear. This kind of study is called “interleaving,” and it speeds learning. Also, favor short, frequent practice over infrequent marathon sessions.

Tip #5: Learn fast by playing slow(ly).

Accuracy matters. If you make mistakes, slow down. This quickly trains your muscle memory. It’s more costly to unlearn a bad habit than to pick up a good one.

With accuracy, speed will come.

Besides playing righteous Alex Lifeson solos, and searching for Tosin Abasi’s planet of origin, Michael Andros makes the complex clear as a direct-response copywriter for the audio/music and tech industries. Visit his site at www.MichaelAndros.com.

How to Play the Electric Guitar: Songs, Techniques, Effects, and other Beginner Fundamentals

Guest post by JBostian

Music making is more accessible than it has ever been. In fact, there has been a significant rise in searches for music creation software and instrument sales in the last couple of months.

Anyone from beginners to virtuosos can now make a record of their own from the comfort of their homes. Now, what if you don’t know how to play an instrument? As we’ve already tackled in our article on learning how to play guitar, you can learn how to play all on your own through diligent practice.

If you’ve already read that article and are looking to add a little more oomph to your guitar playing, then you may want to consider the electric guitar. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to play this instrument. Read on if you want to learn more about the basics, effects pedals, and easy songs you can start playing!

Continue reading ‘How to Play the Electric Guitar: Songs, Techniques, Effects, and other Beginner Fundamentals’

Top 10 Facts About the Guitar

By Austin Hennen Vigil

The guitar is the world’s second most popular musical instrument, after the piano, and has evolved tremendously over centuries.
The word “guitar” was adopted into English from the Spanish word “guitarra” in the 1600s. Guitars are used in many different genres of music such as: rock, metal, punk, pop, folk, country, traditional, regional, and the blues. Here are some facts about the guitar that you may not know:
Continue reading ‘Top 10 Facts About the Guitar’

Learning to Play Guitar

By Ryan Jobes

Learning to play guitar can be quite the undertaking, but luckily here at Sheet Music Plus we have some books that can get you pointed in the right direction. Though many guitar players start by attempting self-taught method, beginners can get much faster and quality results by relying on the experience of others. Whether you want to play, rock, classical, or jazz there are a few essential things your going to need to get started.

First of all you are going to need a guitar:

366px-GuitareClassique5

Make sure that you choose a guitar that is appropriate for the style of music that you want to learn to play. Hendrix is not going to have the same punch on a nylon string classical guitar, as it will on an electric. Spend some time doing some research before making a purchase.

Make sure that Continue reading ‘Learning to Play Guitar’


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