7 Tips Every Beginner Guitarist Must Know!
08 Feb 2017
Learning a new instrument is an exciting journey but so many new guitarists find themselves frustrated at their progress. Every learner, no matter what instrument, experiences slow progress at first. It can be a grind. It takes time for your brain to adapt and learn to control your limbs to allow you to produce great music. We work with hundreds of beginner students every year. When they go through this initial dip, the advice from every tutor is always the same :
Hang in there; it takes time but it will come.
To help you get past this first hurdle, our guitar tutors have assembled 7 tips that the most successful new students all do when learning to play the guitar:
Listen to music
To unlock your potential guitar-greatness you need to listen to other guitarists. Every guitar player has their own unique style and every one of them can make a guitar sound different; even if they played the same piece of music. Listening to guitar music gives you an understanding of the astounding range of sounds you and your instrument can make.
Don’t just limit yourself to your favourite musicians or one style of music. Make sure you listen to everything you can get your hands on and let it broaden your musical horizons.
Learn your chords and scales
Chords and scales might not be the most entertaining part of learning to play the guitar, especially when compared to learning your all-time favourite riffs and solos, but they are the foundation of every iconic guitar-tune you’ve ever heard. Learning your scales and chords gives you the ability to be able to play any piece of music without limiting you to just a handful of songs.
Our students all learn their chords and scales but we keep the “boring bit” interesting by highlighting how they are used in songs. Once you’ve nailed the basics you can use your new knowledge, piecing together scales and chords to compose your own material or find new ways to play the classics.
Mix with like-minded musicians
Surrounding yourself with like-minded musicians that share your passion and are on thesame journey as you means you can feed off their experiences. You’ll be able to ask questions, find out how they practice and discover new, interesting things to learn. Music is a social community and musicians like you love to talk to other musicians about music! By meeting other guitarists you’ll find opportunities to play together, learning your new hobby in a new way.
At Jamm Studios, groups of musicians with similar interests are formed into band in our Jamm Factory sessions. The Jamm Factory showcases provide a platform for these groups to flaunt their collective musical ability in front of the Jamm Studios family and friends.
Get the right advice about equipment before you buy
When you’re starting out, there is a big wide world of guitars and equipment to browse through on eBay, online stores and music shops. The difficult is knowing which is right for you as a beginner but will also be future-proofed as your skills develop. Often clever marketing and store assistants can be guilty of persuading you to buy equipment that may not be quite right for your needs. Communities of musicians like ours have a wealth of knowledge and experience. You can ask questions, listen to opinions and benefit from first-hand insights before spending your money.
Our members have the additional benefit that some of the largest manufacturers such as Ibanez Guitar, Laney Amps and D’addario offer exclusive discounts to Jamm Studios members.
Set your practice routine by planning head
Consistent practice and the right advice are vital for your progress. Life does have a habit of getting in the way sometimes. Family, work and other commitments can often mean that all-important practice time slips away. Having a plan is essential. Plan your week ahead of schedule and try to build-in dedicated practice time either at home or at the studio to ensure you’ve always got time.
A trick our tutors use with their new students is to assess their ability over the first month, noticing the areas which should take practice priority. They will then build a practice plan that is reviewed as you progress to make sure you learn everything the guitar has to offer.
Be clear on your goals
What was it that first made you want to learn to play the guitar? What did you want it to be like when you could play? Everyone has their own reasons and to continue enjoying playing, it’s important that your lessons and practice plan are tailored to achieving those goals. Do you want to play lead guitar on stage with a band or are you a songwriting, folk singing soloist? Whatever your ambitions are, make sure you speak to your tutor about what you want from YOUR lessons.
Our tutors tailor a bespoke course to the individual so your lessons are always specific to you. Remember that it’s normal for your goals to change as you discover new genres and styles. Your lessons can always be adapted and your tutors are there to help you turn your guitar-playing ambitions into a reality
So many music students feel pressured into grades and music exams. It can feel too much like school and put a lot of pressure on new musicians. The pressure of exams can spoil the artistic, creative nature of learning an instrument, particularly if you’re more concerned with having fun and achieving, than a piece of paper that demonstrates how good you are. Your journey is your journey and our tutors deliver all the knowledge you would ever need to play at the highest level without the need to take grades (unless you want to!).
Learning to play the guitar is fun but it can be frustrating. As musicians we are excited that you’ve taken the first steps to learning to play the guitar and we can’t wait for you to discover the p
assion that we’ve found in music. The road to guitar greatness can be hard but please don’t panic; it’s normal! Building a support network of fellow guitarists, guitar tutors and other musicians around you is an easy way to maintain your momentum.
If you’re currently learning to play on your own, via YouTube or at another school and fancy trying something different, you can have a free 121 guitar lesson at Jamm Studios on us.