Each year, it’s the same story: budding musicians get their first ever guitar during Christmas, only to see the original excitement fade out a few months into the New Year, replaced by frustration due to a perceived lack of progress. Guest blogger Joseph Nicolls highlights 11 bad habits beginners should quit if they wish to avoid the same fate.
Learning to play guitar won’t be a daunting task for you if you get proper teaching and know the ways of playing it right. It’s quite easy to grow some bad habits unknowingly and if you don’t deal with them at the early stage, it can damage your learning and will be difficult to break. Nevertheless, you should not be afraid of this as every bad habit can be changed and initially, you just need to identify them.
Basically, these damaging mistakes are commonly found with the beginners or self-taught players. Here, we have outlined 11 common damaging mistakes done by the guitar players and how they can avoid them.
1. Ignoring to tune your guitar before practicing
Many newbies not only don’t know how to tune a guitar properly but also don’t notice when the guitar needs tuning. And practicing on the out-of-tune guitar won’t help them to progress. If you play a well-tuned guitar, you can keep the pitch of the notes in your mind. Likewise, if you constantly practice on an out-of-tune guitar, you can’t learn to identify the precise pitches.
Solution – Prior to playing guitar, ensure it is tuned. You can utilize an online tuner and check the tuning twice so you can play it right.
2. Not having an expert guitar setup
Your guitar setup sometimes gets impacted by the weather conditions like humidity and heat. Sometimes new guitarists try to set up their guitars by own which doesn’t make their guitar any easier to play. They can even find difficulties while practicing, and therefore improvements also become slow.
Solution – You need a professional setup for your guitar which makes the guitar easier to play and also, you won’t need extra effort for getting good sounding notes as like digital piano.
3. Not replacing strings ever or often enough
Playing on old strings not just spoils your guitar playing enjoyment but also can lead to premature wear of the fretboard and frets of your guitar. [As we wrote on a previous blog, you need to know when to change your guitar strings]
Solution – You must change your own guitar strings as it’s important on a regular basis. Even if you don’t play your guitar regularly, your strings should be replaced at least once in every 6-8 months. You should wipe the strings after practicing so you can maximize their lifespan.
4. Neglecting Barre Chords
You can experience some hurdles while advancing your guitar expertise by learning barre chords. Newbies might be intimidated by these chords as they need lots of effort in their fretting hand. And these chords are really hard to play at first. But if you avoid playing them, you won’t ever learn them.
Solution – Learn barre chords to enhance your guitar playing capacity. It will make your fretting hand stronger if you play them for a few months.
Watch this quick lesson:
5. Guitar practicing without a metronome
Practicing guitar without a metronome is not a good idea as this is the most vital practice tool that’ll give you a clear concept of your advancement while practicing: it can force you to slow down while practicing, and help you to grow a natural sense of rhythm within yourself.
Solution – Start practicing your guitar with a metronome; it will keep your music sense composed.
6. Holding your guitar improperly
Some newbies struggle a lot with playing particular chords and the main issue is that they hold their instrument improperly. Playing the chords is not difficult but they make it harder by holding the guitar incorrectly.
Solution – You can read the blogs written on proper ways of holding a guitar in different standing and sitting positions. Also, you can check out different YouTube videos.
Watch this video:
7. Irregular practice
Memory plays the main role while it comes to playing music. Consistent practice makes your memory sharper so you can make the most difficult techniques, chord shapes etc. smoother and more effortless day by day. Irregular practice will not be advantageous for your learning.
Solution – It’s better to practice guitar playing daily for at least 15 minutes. This consistency should be maintained regularly.
8. Consulting lots of sources
Some newbies take a leap from watching YouTube videos to reading blogs on the web or switching to the different online courses or reading guitar magazines. This doesn’t make things easy for them; hence they get stuck on something and cannot learn the right techniques.
Solution – You must not run towards different information sources for learning the ways of playing guitar. Rather, find a teacher to get a comprehensive lesson.
9. Going too fast
This is another mistake made by beginner guitarists. If you go straight for playing a specific song “at 100%” after learning the position of right notes, it can sometimes impair your progress – you can play the right notes, sure… but are you playing them right? If you don’t practice perfectly, you won’t get to improve your technique.
Solution – Rather than playing a song at 100% of the speed, try to go first at 50%. You will get better results if you take it slowly…
10. Not cleaning the guitar appropriately
Using furniture polish or standard household cleaners can damage your guitar. These products are unsuitable for your guitar. You don’t need to clean it every day but a good cleaning once a month can keep it durable.
Solution – Use the cleaning products which are specially made for guitars.
11. Not learning music theory
Many newbies make this mistake as they avoid learning proper music theory because they are worried about learning the more technical ways. Some often find it boring and difficult when attempting to learn these concepts – but if you persevere, it can be very rewarding.
Solutions – Undoubtedly, understanding music theory can take much time but it can sometimes quicken your music learning.
So, these are a few damaging mistakes made by the newbie guitarists. The same happens with the piano artists, drummers or other artists of different instruments. If you are encountering the same issues mentioned here, try to resolve them ASAP to improvise your guitar learning – you will thank yourself later!