A new guitarist should think about both a commitment to a long learning process, but also to repeating a number of daily tips and tricks that can help them to become a better player at a faster speed. The main focus of a player should be on refining the basics, from getting used to rhythm to tuning and scales, while also working on more elaborate tricks and songs that can gradually be incorporated into a personal repertoire and tried out for live audiences. Some of the best tricks and tips though are ones that rely on simple persistence:
1 - Rhythm, Timing and Metronomes
It may not seem like the most exciting trick, but getting the foundations right through basic practice is crucial to your playing. Use a metronome to set up a beat, and spend at least 20 minutes a day working on playing along through simple chord progressions and scales. Metronomes make it easier to build up a familiarity with timing, and provide a good way to maintain a consistent schedule.
2 - Be Careful with your Practicing
One of the worst things you can do as an early guitarist is to throw yourself into practicing too much. You might learn a lot, but you also run the risk of becoming burnt out from your playing, and more likely to drop the instrument altogether. Intensive practices every day are better than hours and hours of work. Focus on what works best for you, and build up around certain areas.
3 - Use Music Theory to Understand How the Guitar Works
Music theory is daunting for the new player, especially if they haven’t had any formal musical training in the past. However, by appreciating notes, scales, and how different effects are achieved, and by being able to read music, it will be easier to start to layer certain tricks on top of normal playing.
4 - Simple Tricks
When you get a bit bored with rehearsing chords and scales, think about developing a few flashier tricks. Easier tricks to learn include hammer ons and pull offs, which involves hammering a fret hand finger onto the fingerboard and pulling off to create two notes from one action. Hammers ons and pull offs can be combined to create a flowing piece of music.
5 - Adjusting Tones and Pedals
You can also experiment with the tone of the guitar by practicing with a few pedals and effects switches, and the settings on an amplifier. While the noise created might not be exactly pleasing the first time you try, fiddling with bass, treble and equalisation means that you create substantial differences in the tone of your playing. Investing in a distortion or drive pedal will also create heavier sounds, as well as pushing reverb to create the effect of playing within a specific space.
The most important thing to remember is not to rely too much on effects pedals to disguise a lack of technique, but to see if there are any particular effects that you like and what to incorporate into your general playing. It is also necessary to think about how expensive the pedals will be, and whether you can borrow one before investing in your own.
With over 20 years experience Christina Appleworth would consider herself an expert guitarist playing a range of genres from classical to classic rock! Check out the range of advanced guitar lessons available from LickLibrary.com
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