The guitar is probably the most sought after instrument, with its ability to create rock stars worthy of worship out of ordinary people, or so goes the dream. The sweet (or wild) sounds from the strings resonate with the sways and swings of all the beings listening to them. To keep it going requires smoothening of strokes. The start does determine the journey, so some common yet potentially debilitating mistakes must be avoided.

Set Your Sights Right

A blind person driving a vehicle is not a judicious idea right? The same can happen with a budding guitarist who has not set goals with respect to guitar practice and intended achievements. Just strumming all day without a clue of what is the intention behind the action or what is required to be accomplished is useless, like a dampened set of strings being expected to produce melody.

guitarist holding the guitar
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Set Your Stance to Enhance

Too lazy to get off the bed to play? Too bad, as right posture is absolutely crucial to playing right, especially during the initial times. The guitar must be positioned as shown on the thigh, with the elbow of your strumming hand along with the wrist left free while playing chords. The hand must rest below the first string while playing individual strings. The other hand’s wrist must bend as much as possible to press against the fret-board. Not setting the right posture will lead to body (and ear) pains.

Tip: Keep the Tip

This is one situation in which pin point accuracy is an absolute necessity. The strings are to be pressed with the very tips of the fingers. Using a relatively large portion of the end to press the strings will result in unwanted sounds that are not sharp or clear enough, thereby quashing the quality of the notes. Also, the fingers must be as close to the frets as possible for the notes to be crisp and clear; they shouldn’t touch the fret or go beyond it.

young man playing the guitar outdoors
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Variety is the Spice of Life

Listening to your favorite track over and over can get you bored of it. Practicing the already done aspects of guitar training repeatedly without moving to the next challenge makes one get stuck in a loop too.

New and challenging material must be incorporated to take one’s skills to the next level, or risk turning all the muscles involved into something similar to an office clerk; working with same files over and over instead of an enterprising CEO leading the march towards the profit called proficiency.

Learn Theory and be Fiery

A typical approach to learning any musical instrument is to combine musical theory with practice. Time must be dedicated to each of the two to get the best results. But there is that call for being a rock star too, which is so tempting that it can make any eager budding guitarist to go, ”Lets dump the book and get hooked straight to the playing!”.

A very unwise move that can jeopardize the journey. The guitarist’s ears too must get attuned to recognize the different notes. It’s also advantageous for the guitarist to be able to read notations for easy further learning. Tuning the guitar by ear is one of the most essential skills to have.

guitarist checking the chords he is playing
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Tools Make the Mechanic

A mechanic’s tool box is his/her life force so as to speak, hence must be the right one for the job. A guitarist is also made by his/her guitar, so the right guitar is of utmost importance. Investing a little extra to buy a quality guitar with the right sound production will go a long way in setting one up for success with it. A guitar must be of the right size for the person using it; the condition must be good and it must be well maintained. Securing and receiving professional help is advised.

A Goodbye too Soon

The guitar is painful to beginners and might turn tedious to those into it for a while. Developing the right attitude is a key to not ending up being a quitter. This way, one can improve other aspects of life as well with the development of right attitude made possible by the guitar. As the famous words go, “Played till my fingers bled…”!

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…like you can’t even play guitar.

It’s depressing. And nothing will de-motivate you more than feeling like you aren’t making progress.

Newbies love noodling on their guitar without focus for hours… until they realize they’re going nowhere. Then they tend to give up.

Good guitar players know that not all time spent playing guitar is equal.

2 hours of random noodling on Saturday is NOT the same as 20 minutes a day of focused practice. Via Jamplay



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guitar playing mistakes 3How is it possible that some guitarists continue getting better year after year while some of us stay pretty much the same for decades?

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Here are 8 common practice mistakes that I wish I had corrected years ago.

1. Not setting clear goals

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