About 40% of people worldwide know how to play the guitar to some degree. If you want to join these people in having amazing jamming sessions, it’s going to take a lot of work. You’re not going to become the next Jimi Hendrix or Van Halen overnight.
The guitar is an instrument that’s physically difficult to play. It takes some practice to get your fingers and hands on board with the movements.
Once you get your fingers comfortable with the guitar, you have the challenging task of learning your chords and scales. That’s why we’re here to give you a nice little push in the right musical direction. Check out this guide to learn how to take your guitar playing to the next level.
Set Aside Some Practice Time
The age-old saying of practice makes perfect holds up with everything. That includes polishing your guitar skills.
You need to set aside some time to work on your technique. We don’t mean watching a TV show while aimlessly plucking your guitar strings. We mean actually dedicating time to learning your instrument.
You don’t have to use up an entire afternoon practicing. An hour or two is all you need.
Use Your Imagination
When you’re at work mindlessly going through the motions required of you for your job, let your brain wander off to better places. We’re talking about learning how to make guitar playing smoother.
You don’t need to have your instrument in your hand to work on your technique. You can use your imagination instead.
Visualize yourself nailing that chord you’ve been struggling with. Picture your fingers moving across the strings as if you were being puppeteered by a guitar wizard.
You’ll find that your instrument is easier to play the next time you pick it up to have a jam session.
Buy the Right Guitar
It’s not easy to play an instrument that isn’t meant for you. If you pick up an electric guitar only because you think it will make you look cooler, you may find that it’s not right for you. You’ve got to like how the instrument sounds.
You should always hold a guitar in your hands before you buy it. It needs to feel right against your body. If you get one that’s too big for you, it will be harder for you to use it.
Buying the right tools to help you develop your guitar technique doesn’t stop at getting your instrument. You need to buy quality accessories in general. This article explains everything you’ll need.
Learn Something New Every Time You Practice
While it’s important to practice your chords and scales every day, that can get a bit dull. Mix things up by taking some time to learn something new every time you pick up your instrument.
Try out a new song or play something from a different genre than you’re used to. It will keep you on your toes and help you improve your muscle memory.
Have an Accompaniment
We understand that not everyone has the benefit of being in a band. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have an accompaniment, though. There are programs out there that you can buy.
You can also pull up YouTube videos on your phone and play along with them. Having the accompaniment will make it easier for you to get into the groove of playing. You’ll find that you’re hitting the notes more consistently, and it’s fun piecing an entire song together.
Know Your Chords
You don’t have to know every chord there is to know. In fact, most songs only require you to master a handful of them.
Still, having a bunch of chords under your belt will make your guitar training go smoother. The more chords you know, the more songs you’ll be able to tackle.
The best way to master a chord is to decide on one to learn and incorporate it into all your practice sessions. Play songs involving it until you have it down to a science before you move on to another one.
Record Your Practice Sessions
It’s not easy to look at your practice sessions critically. Once you get into a groove, you may fail to notice inconsistencies and mistakes unless they’re big ones.
That’s why you should record yourself. Playing it back can show you your problem points and let you know what you need to work on.
It can also provide you with a little self-confidence. There’s nothing more motivating than having physical evidence of how far you’ve come along.
Learn Your Scales
The last tip we have for you that will help you play the guitar better is to practice your scales. For one, they’re an important part of music theory.
While music theory isn’t the most interesting thing to study at times, broadening your understanding of it will make you a better guitarist.
For two, practicing scales will help your fingers become more dexterous and make it much simpler to master chords.
Play the Guitar Like a Pro
As you can see, learning to play the guitar is a lot of work. It’s not something that you can master in a day.
If you want to secure your spot in a band or even impress your friends, you need to schedule regular practice sessions. You’ll also have to learn your chords, work on your scales, and buy the right instrument. From there, it’s all a matter of finding good accompaniments and always being open to trying a new trick or two.
For more tips that will help you polish your guitar skills, visit the Hobbies section of our blog.