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Tutorial: Tips For Beginning Guitarists

By moosers on 10/31/2009 - (Anyone)
< All tips & tutorials

Introduction

This tutorial will give you some ideas about the best ways to practice playing guitar for beginners..  A big part of this is practicing the right way and getting in 'good' practice where you are actually taking steps to improve and not just playing around.  Hopefully this will help beginners learning to play guitar out a bit!

Step 1

First, let's start off by talking about some of the basic things that you can do if you are just starting out on the guitar.  The main thing to remember is that you form habits early on in your playing career, and it is important to start off on the right foot because it is a lot harder to undo bad habits after you have already gotten used to them.  This means that it is important to always be playing in a comfortable position and not to slouch while you are playing.  Some specific things that you can do include, properly placing your thumb behind the neck and keeping your back straight.  Keeping your feet on the ground is also essential because it allows you to have better control over the guitar in general.  If you can form good habits early on in terms of techniques you will be a lot better off in the long run...

Step 2

Beyond just having your body in the right positions, there are definitely proper techniques when it comes to playing chords and playing scales.  While there are a number of different ways that you can play every chord, having your fingers in the right places makes all the difference and will make it easier to play.  You should always be thinking about the what the next chord is and what fingering positions will best suit the jump.  The more fingers in common you can have between the chords, the easier it will be to jump from chord to chord.  Each player is different, so it is important to try things out and see what feels best for you, but there are definitely proven methods that need to be taken into account as well.

Step 3

Like chords, there are some good techniques that should be taken into account while playing scales.  Before you can really solo or play lead parts, it is important to play scales as much as you can, as it will not only help you to learn the neck board, but will also improve the way you slide your fingers on the guitar and you overall technique.  Some beginners think that they can just read tabs and learn solos, but if you want to be a player who plays with their ear and with feel, scales are absolutely essential.  Even after you have become acquainted with the guitar, it is always important to continue playing scales to keep your chops up, no matter how long you've been playing for.

Step 4

Once you have become more familiar with the neck through playing scales, playing your own solos and pre-written ones is definitely something that I'm sure all guitar players will want to do.  Improvisation is also something that I like to do, and any player will tell you that this is impossible without knowing your scales really well.  Learning solos will be a whole lot easier as well with scales under your belt because you will have a much better feel for where everything lays on the neck.  If you can develop your ear to be able to play solos from ear, that's great, but most people will probably have to read tabs or music, which works well as well.  One thing that I will say when it comes to learning how to play solos, always try to play them as slowly as possible at first and build up to playing them fast.  Do not try to run before you can walk...

Step 5

Lastly, I'll just say a little bit about songwriting.  If you are interested in some songwriting tips further than what I will say here, please see my other tutorial on songwriting.  I wanted to include this here because I know that the reason a lot of people play guitar is so they can get their ideas down in song.  This can be very hard at times but writing your own songs, whether they are chord or lick based I think will make you a much more well rounded player as it gives you a feel for how a song can be constructed and gives you another perspective on playing.  While not all guitar players will want to write songs, don't be afraid to try it out as you never know what might come out!

Conclusion

I hope that this tutorial will be helpful for those learning how to play the guitar.  The main thing to remember is that the more you practice using the right techniques, the better you will in the short and the long run!
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