When deciding to learn any style of guitar, perhaps the most important thing to get to grips with is learning how to learn. That means applying certain strategies and methodologies when you sit down to practice. By working these basic tips into your routine, you’ll greatly accelerate your learning curve and, hopefully, not pick up bad habits along the way.
How to Learn Guitar
- Plan your practice sessions. Work out how much time you plan to put aside for practice each day and structure that time so that you devote equal periods of time to each area of your playing. That means dividing your time between, theory, chords, scales and learning new material. Put your plan down on paper and stick with it, but always leave some time at the end of your session for simply enjoying your instrument.
- Begin with a warming-up exercise such as these variations on the chromatic scale in figures one, two and three above. And always use a metronome. This is essential if you want to learn good timing and benefit from fluid, mistake-free playing. Start slowly and gradually build up speed in each exercise you undertake, as you feel more comfortable. If you’re making mistakes, slow down! Speed kills good technique when learning guitar.
- Don’t try to do too much at once. If you try to assimilate too much information, you’ll learn very little. If you do find yourself becoming frustrated, take a five-minute break and come back to it later. Don’t move on to the next level when you haven’t achieved your original goal.
- Try to visualize how what you’re practicing fits into your playing. How does each exercise benefit you? Identify weaknesses to work on and consolidate on your strengths.
- Make sure your comfortable when you sit down (or stand up) to practice. If you have a spare room, or garage, for practice, plan it so that everything you need is at hand and easy to reach. After all, it’s important you enjoy your practice sessions too.