So you are a beginner guitarist, we all have to start somewhere. The different between you and the next person is that you are actually doing research on how to be a better beginner.
How do I know this? Well, because you reading this. Learning to play the guitar is a very daunting task and it feels like there is a huge mountain in front of us to get over.
Imagine learning to play the guitar was a lot easier than what everyone said it would be. Imagine you could learn off other people experience as a beginner guitarist.
I am going to show you 9 hacks that worked for me as a beginner guitarist.
1. PURCHASE A CHEAP GUITAR – BEGINNER GUITARIST
I know you saying that this is stupid, why would you want a cheap guitar. If you are an absolute newbie at learning guitar you might find it is not for you. Maybe you will change your mind about playing guitar a few weeks down the line. I know a lot of guitarist that started and gave up.
If you think that is not the case with you then purchase a more expensive guitar but if you not sure I would suggest a cheaper one. My first guitar was a very cheap Sanchez guitar, I am talking $50 cheap as I was not sure if it was something I would stick to.
2. DOWNLOADS GUITAR TUNA ANDROID AND IOS APP – BEGINNER GUITARIST
The Guitar Tuna APP is one of the best guitar APP’s available. My favourite feature is that it can help you tune in your guitar. The guitar tuner will let you go through each string and will show you when the string is out of tune. The APP comes with a metronome which helps you with speed and confidence by playing the metronomes guide.
Another great feature that I use whenever I get stuck is the chord library. This chord library lists almost all the chords you will need to learn. This feature on this APP is really useful when you need to learn all your new chords or if you playing from a song sheet and not too sure of a chord.
3. LEARN SMALLER AMOUNT OF CHORDS AT A TIME – BEGINNER GUITARIST
This is straight forward, you cannot learn all the chords in one go, unless you are a very intelligent individual.
What I did was learn the major chords first for the first week. And then go through all the minor chords for the next week.
You could also learn all the chords playable in chord C or chord D until you know them off by heart and then more on to another chord. I actually wrote down all the major chords and went through them and then did a test.
I would then go through them again until I knew all the chords.
4. JUMP IN THE DEEP END – BEGINNER GUITARIST
This sounds crazy?
Yes it does. But it worked for me.
I started playing on Sunday and signed up for my church band that Thursday. That Thursday I went for my first church band practice. But the whole week leading up to Thursday I practiced each day for about one hour. The pressure of knowing I had to know how to play pushed me forward. I got the list of songs on the Monday that would be played that Sunday and practiced them. The first week felt like it would take me forever and I my fingers felt stiff and unresponsive.
By the time Thursday evening came I was about 60% ready and I did not play that great. That Sunday I did not play as I felt I was not ready. The next week came around again and I did the same thing again. The second Sunday after starting I played in church.
The feeling of knowing that I was learning to play guitar for a reason made me more determined to learn.
5. PLAY WITH YOUTUBE VIDEOS – BEGINNER GUITARIST
This helped me the most so far out of all my hacks. Open up Youtube and type in songs with guitar chords and then play along with the song.
You will not sound perfect in the beginning but if you play and practice you will sound good very soon.
You brain will get used to playing the different chords and you will learn all the strumming and timings. There are loads of songs you can play and this is also fun.
6. PRACTICE – BEGINNER GUITARIST
I know this is obvious, you will need to practice.
What I actually mean is that you will need to practice a lot to play well.
There is not a single human being that was born a guitarist. Even the greatest guitarist had to practice, the more interested and driven you are to play guitar the easier you will learn.
No human being is born with talent, the talent is what a person wants. It is pushing through even when everything is screaming “give up”. So the amount of time you practice will show you how much you want to know how to play guitar.
7. PLAY ON THE TIP OF YOUR FINGERS – BEGINNER GUITARIST
When placing your fingers on the chords use your very top of the finger.
Dont use the side, only the top. In the beginning make a little pen mark on the top of your finger. If you see the pen mark while playing then you are playing wrong.
Make sure the finger is using the tippy top only. This will help the chord to be play better as puts more pressure on it.
8. PLAY THROUGH THE FINGER PAIN – BEGINNER GUITARIST
As a guitarist you will need to have a calluses on the top of each finger that fingers the chords. My fingers were painful for the first three weeks of constant practice. The pain eases off the more you play as you will start to get a calluses on each finger.
These hard finger tops actually protects the top of your finger. If you stop playing for a week or so these will disappear and you will need to start the whole process again.
As a beginner guitarist you will need to play until these calluses appear on your fingers.
9. RECORD YOURSELF PLAYING – BEGINNER GUITARIST
Get your cellphone out and record yourself playing a song. I know you wife might think you going crazy but this will help you know how you are playing. Go to Google search and type in a song that you like and add guitar chords. Look for a song that has got simple guitar chords that you can play.
Now play and record, after recording listen to yourself and see how you sound. Doing this trick will show you how you have improved and you can do it over and over.
2 COOL SONGS TO LEARN ON GUITAR – BEGINNER GUITARIST
SAM SMITH – STAY WITH ME
THE CRANBERRIES – ZOMBIE
The songs above are cool songs and are pretty easy to play, perfect for beginners.
GUITAR TABS FOR BEGINNERS – BEGINNER GUITARIST
The main chords you will need to learn will be the below chords, go through them a practice them and memorise them.
These chords above are you main beginner chords. Especially if you have just begun learning.
You need to learn these off by heart as you will play them most out of any chords.
IN CONCLUSION – BEGINNER GUITARIST
Learning the guitar is a journey, a fun filled musical journey. You need to keep your goal in mind and break up what you need to learn into different weeks.
Don’t cram too much into your first week, for example: learn all the major chords for week 1. Week 2, all your minor chords and so forth. Keep going until you know most of the chords and then practice and play along with Youtube videos.
Please comment below and let me know if these hacks worked for you. Good luck and don’t ever give up.