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Music Articles



Learn Guitar Beginner Tips

By Thomas Wilhelm

Like any instrument is it hard to learn to play guitar in the beginning and many people loose patience after a short while. That's why it's important to be consistent, with a little practice everyday and learn from others At the time when I started learning guitar there were no internet, so I had to struggle looking into libraries spending my savings on expensive books, ordering all the way from U.S. to Europe, and taking expensive private lessons, so I was about to give up several times.

Nowadays with internet you can find information regarding any kind of learning much easier, and quite often guitar lessons online are quite cheap. Wow if I had that option when I was a kid...

Don't wait to long time to get along and play with others, it gives a motivational boosts, and is just as important learning as rehearsing on your own. I have known a few equilibrists that mastered all the show off techniques, sweeping, tapping, string skipping, you name it, but they were not able to play with others, they had just been sitting at their boys room at home to learn these techniques in their own little private world.

Another challenge is of course to find the right people to play with. The best benefit you'll get by playing with people at a slightly higher level than yourself. Don't waste your time with playing with people at a much lower level that will only demotivate you in the end. Since there is a huge amount of guitar players, don't hesitate to play the bass guitar or drums for a while, you will benefit from that, the bass guitar is just as challenging as the guitar. When the guitar is playing chords you need to cooperate with the drums, and hold the whole music together. You will end up being an even better musician, and even better guitar player, cause you percept the guitar differently. If you think Bass guitar may seems boring, then just try listening to Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke or Marcus Miller, so you won't find it boring anymore. Nothing is stronger than the weakest chain, neither in music. Generally a band consists not only of good performers, like musicians ad singers, but it also requires talent for song writing, composition and arranging the whole creative process together to a final song.

Regarding learning I would dare to postulate that even given person has the ability to learn playing an instrument like guitar, at least the basic part guitar chords sing along popular tunes. To reach a more advanced level, requires a little bit more tedious training, like you learn to know the instrument a little better. There are many great guitarists who do not read tones on paper, because it is not needed in popular music, unless you want to play something classical. But you need to learn a dozen types of scales in different positions, train up your hearing to find the right sequence of tones and scales to do your soloing or improvisation, based on the musical thread in the musical arrangement.

The most clever guitar players can even take up the jazz improvisation challenge that sets big demands to your hearing and recognizing of harmonies within a chord or progression. Somebody says that in Jazz all tones are like "legal", I would say that's a truth with modifications, but there's always a red thread in Free - Jazz even, where the improvisation sequence at least now and then visits the harmonies played by the other instruments.

When rehearsing timing is just as important as the harmonies, and can make the perception of 2 similar sequences of tones sound completely differently. Rehearse with a metronome, and play together with other people regularly to train timing. It's also important to vary both tones and speed, and tones strength. The optimal solo has the right dynamical combination of tones, tone sequence speed, and even small breaks in solo, where the other instruments do suitable fills in, like a short bass guitar sequence.

And important thing is to listen also music even when not rehearsing, just for relaxing or even when doing other stuff, especially in learning jazz. The music builds a pattern in your sub consciousness, so you will remember some of this when you try to improvise on your own. Learn the improvising clichés before going trying to create your own thing or style.