Just starting out playing the guitar or wanting to look into it more? Voyager has you covered! In this article, we explore all the basic tips a guitar player needs to know in order to start or improve their playing!
Posted By the Voyager Team on: Oct 17, 2020
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments played in the world and the most recognized instrument in songs. We’ve all seen the greats play, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, and B.B. King so it’s no wonder you want to start following in their footsteps! Here at Voyager, we have come up with some of the most useful tips if you’re new to playing guitar and want some advice. I think #4 will SHOCK you!
Not only is it unhealthy for your guitar to sit in it's case and collect dust, it also means you're more likely to ignore it! If you have it out on display, chances are you’re more likely to reach for it and play! Invest in a guitar stand or a wall hook and put it somewhere you always hang out so it encourages you to grab it and play!
Playing the guitar is pretty rough on your fingers. You get sore calluses and sometimes your fingers ache when you stretch them. Whilst the temporary pain means you’re working hard, it also means you should start strengthening your fingers! Practicing will help the discomfort down the road as your fingers get used to the different positions but there are things you can do in the meantime. Search up ‘Finger Stretcher’ and several cool tools will come up to help that in the interim! Do the exercises when you're watching TV!
As for anything, consistency is key! Doesn’t matter what instrument you are learning, you need to start playing for at least 5 minutes a day to help improve your theory, playing, and confidence. I know some of us to lead very busy lives but it isn’t hard to find at least a few minutes out of your day to sit down and practice. It can also help destress you as music is a very calming hobby to have.
This one is a weird one and quite frankly, I haven't tried it myself but many talented guitarists recommend playing in the dark! It is shown to help improve muscle memory as you don’t have to rely on looking down at your fingers to play the chords. It also helps train your ear to know if you’re playing the incorrect chord or not, or if something sounds out of tune. Try it and let me know how it goes 😋
Going in to buy your first guitar is such a privilege but it also can feel very daunting! There are so many models, brands, and colors to choose from that it sometimes can feel like you’re never going to find the right guitar for you. Going into music stores with staff who play the instrument your buying, is the safest way to purchase the guitar that is the perfect fit for your level of playing and size. Make sure to research the place you buy from before you go in, as you can feel better knowing the place knows what they are talking about and are going to put in the energy to find your perfect g-tar!
This is an obvious one, but when you first start playing, make sure to pay attention to the correct finger placement. You don’t want to pick up bad habits straight away as to build your skills on the guitar, you want to make sure you have a strong foundation. Also don’t neglect your pinky, when you start to advance, if you’re used to playing with that little guy, it’ll be super helpful!
The pressure you use on the fretboard helps the tone of your guitar. Remember not to press down too hard as it will hurt your fingers, hurt the guitar, and create a forced sound. Loosen up your shoulders before playing, stretch your fingers, and play comfortably.
This is helpful for those who play with other people and need to develop their timing skills. It is also great for those who are learning scales, as it helps keeps you on the beat and on time! There are many free apps and YouTube videos readily available with metronome sounds so utilize them when you can! You can of course buy one from your local music store if that’s more your thing!
Here are some great youtube channels where they do free online guitar tutorials where they teach hundreds of your favorite songs! Check them out!
We hope you take something from these 8 tips. Which one surprised you most? Which one are you already implementing? We can't wait to see you and your guitar on Voyager Competitions soon!
~Bella, The Voyager Team
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