So – you have your first guitar and your dreams of being the next front man of Pink Floyd are almost too much to handle. But how to progress from air guitar or awkward clunky chord changes to be the guitar strumming, heart-stealing star of the show? Like anything worth doing, time and effort is involved – but there are also some basics that are often forgotten and can make the difference between the one hit wonders and the wonderwalls. Professional singer and guitarist Dan Crisp shares his top tips for guitar learning:
Set-up: First thing’s first, have your guitar checked so you’re not getting frustrated by the instrument going out of tune or the strings being too high – top culprits for quitting early on. Get off on the right foot and it will make things much easier further down the line.
String check! If the strings are dirty and hurting your fingers, the answer is simple – change them. If you start to associate playing the guitar with getting rusty fingers, you’ll be put off from picking it up. Playing the guitar should be a pleasure, not a chore.
Learn songs that you love: Like rocking out to some AC/DC or chilling with some Ed Sheeran? Find a simple chord version of your favourite song to help you learn chords and chord changes. It’s great to learn basic chord shapes by themselves, but this will also make the task a lot more fun and keep you motivated!
Scales are important: Do you know what a pentatonic scale is? Time to up your game! Knowing scales inside out is a must if you’re interested in playing solos. Learn the major scales, minor scales and pentatonic scales until you can do them in your sleep. The pentatonic scale will be your first port of call when playing blues and rock solos and can really expand your repertoire.
Patience: Like with any new skill, you’re not going to write your Magnus Opus overnight. Enjoy the small victories, like learning something new or playing a pleasant sequence of chords. When learning, every piece of progress should be celebrated. Jimi Hendrix didn’t learn overnight, and you won’t be able to either – it takes time and effort.
Most of all, remember that practice really does make perfect.
If you’re ready to dive in headfirst and put your passion for music into playing an instrument why not make it the guitar! There are professionals tutors based throughout the country, so why not start your search for guitar lessons here. If you’ve got a budding band behind you that could also do with a little tuition, why not find them bass guitar or drum lessons?
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