Beginner Tips

Published on 13 November 2019

We heard a pretty alarming statistic this week, and we can't stop thinking about it. According to Fender, 90% of beginner guitar players give up within a year. Wow. How sad is that? If you’re a player reading this, well good on you! You’ve beaten the stats. 

If you’re in the beginnings of your guitar journey and you are struggling and ready to throw in the towel… STOP. Don’t give up! We’ve put together some top tips for maintaining your guitar journey and hopefully help you to beat that horrendous statistic! If you’ve had any of the thoughts we mentioned on our ‘Thoughts Every Beginner Guitar Player Has’ then this is for you. 

Warm up those fingers

Let’s get loose! Probably the most vital thing you can do during a practice session is to warm up and get the blood and circulation flowing to your fingers. 

You wanna get some four-finger exercises on the go, which is great for warming up, stretching out and strengthening your fret-playing hand. Below is a great wee warm-up exercise for beginners that you’ll be able to adapt as you progress in your playing. We recommend to start off at a slow tempo (use a metronome if you wish) and work your way up when you feel comfortable to do so! 

E|--------------------------------------------------------------5--6--7--8--
B|--------------------------------------------------5--6--7--8--------------
G|--------------------------------------5--6--7--8--------------------------
D|--------------------------5--6--7--8--------------------------------------
A|--------------5--6--7--8--------------------------------------------------
E|--5--6--7--8--------------------------------------------------------------

Practice often 

If you want to progress as a player, you need to put the time in. Set aside time during your week to sit down and practice. With regular practice, you’ll find that you build up strength in your hands and fingers, moving from chord to chord becomes easier, and you’ll know your way about the fretboard with ease. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Right? Also, with regular practice, your fingers will get used to the strings, meaning they’ll hurt less the more you play. Win! 

Don’t skip on the theory! 

We get it, learning music theory can be scary. If you’ve never picked up an instrument before, learning theory can be a really confusing time. You don’t need to know the crazy stuff, just the fundamentals. Learning theory will help you progress as a player, and will allow you to understand chord structures, rhythm, tonality, and will hopefully give you a deeper appreciation for music too. Learning theory doesn’t have to be boring, there are lots of great resources out there to help you tackle this beast - YouTube will be your best friend for this! 

Learn from your mistakes

Be honest with yourself, if there’s something that you know you aren’t doing right or not quite nailing, don’t shy away from it. Sort it out. Spend some time working on the things that you know you aren’t great at. Own your mistakes, don’t let them own you! 

Don’t have unachievable goals 

Real talk here. If you’re trying to bust out a Hendrix solo on your first day of playing guitar… well, we can tell you that’s not gonna go very well. Everyone learns at different paces and in different ways. If your pal has been playing for a month and can bust out some serious shredding, but you can only play some chords, that’s fine. Stop comparing yourself to others, because that’s not helpful in any way.  Believe us, you’re doing great. If you’re thinking “why can’t I play this?”, well what you’ve chosen to play might be too difficult. Go back a few steps, revisit or practice some techniques you're maybe not so confident with. 

Be patient 

You’re gonna get frustrated, there’s no doubt about that. Be patient with yourself. John Mayer didn’t become a virtuoso overnight. 

Enjoy it!

We’re gonna end on a cheesy note here, but it’s super important to enjoy yourself because what’s the point if you’re not. Anyway, have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rock out your frustrations. Smile!  

Here are some similar articles you might like