Learning to play guitar is no easy task. Every new guitar player will come into the craft with their own strengths and weaknesses, and it's up to them to push through the difficulty that comes with learning a new school. Despite the variations that occur in the guitar-learning curve, there are a few common mistakes that almost all new players make. Getting ahead of them immediately can help make the learning process smoother, and keep the process from overwhelming you. Read on to learn about the most common mistakes guitar beginners make, and to start out your guitar journey on the right foot.
1. Holding the Guitar Incorrectly
It can be challenging as a newbie to hold the guitar. At first, it's hard to know which is the correct holding position because it might feel awkward or foreign to you. It might be hard to know whether your grip is too tight or too loose because you are trying to focus on a million things at once. Both of these mistakes are completely understandable, and fixable! Use the curves of the guitar to hug your body. If seated, you can use the curve on your knee and your rib cage. When standing, you can use the curves to hug your rib cage. When you do this, you'll free your arms up to use the frets and proper strumming techniques when you're playing.
2. Holding Chords Improperly
Keep a close eye on how your holding the chords on your guitar, if you let them slip out of place, it might make it harder to play. Luckily, finding the angle and position to hold your guitar should help relax your playing position, making it easier to keep your chord grip from straying out of place.
3. Picking and Strumming Incorrectly
In case you haven't noticed the theme so far, ensuring that your guitar foundations are in check is key to making the learning process less of a headache. Picking and strumming are two foundational skills which can make everything else a lot more difficult if performed incorrectly. Because not everyone has access to a professional teacher, we suggest watching YouTube videos for tutorials. Even just a few lessons on the basics will give you the background you need to really hone your newfound craft.
4. Feeling Nervous About Playing in Front of People
An audience is stressful, that's true for public speaking, playing sports, and playing guitar. It's important to remember that a lot of people feel nerves when they play guitar for a crowd, or even for a small group of friends, but you have to start somewhere! Confidence is critical for learning a new skill like guitar, so take baby steps. If you're too nervous to practice in front of people, record one of your sessions, and consider posting it. Even if you're just practicing, you can ask followers for input and advice! No one expects you to be an expert right off the bat, and they might be flattered if you want their advice.
5. Not Learning Theory
Most guitar beginners skip this very important step, and we get it, music theory can be tedious, frustrating and time consuming to learn. However, recognizing chord progressions and notes because of your background in music theory can make learning new songs much easier down the road. With a better understanding of the concepts, you'll better understand how to achieve certain sounds and techniques, and it will continue to be a huge help to your guitar playing throughout your career.
6. Not Tuning Your Guitar Before Playing
A tuned guitar will not necessarily remain tuned while not in use. That's why it's important to test it everytime you are about to play. Some minor tuning can go a long way in ensuring you don't have to tinker too much while you practice.
7. Being Impatient
Most of us feel impatient when we want to play all our favorite songs right away. But rushing things won't really help improve your progress, and trying to learn a complicated song as soon as you start learning guitar will likely prove more stressful than anything else.
Despite its challenges, learning the guitar can be incredibly fulfilling. Once you master the basics, and see yourself progress faster and faster, you'll be glad you took it slow and perfected your technique at the start.