Learning acoustic?

I've been learning acoustic for a few weeks now and I was wondering if any of you had some useful advice. This is probably the hardest time I've had learning an instrument, woodwind instruments come pretty easily to me but this has been a sort of enigma.


Most Helpful Guy

  • I have been a musician for around 40 years and have taught several how to play a guitar. The most difficult challenge you face at the beginning is getting your left hand to cooperate.

    Here are a few things I did to overcome this.

    You know how people roll their fingers on a table or on their leg when they are nervous? The most common way is by rolling from your little finger to your thumb. Try it in the opposite direction. It is not easy! Do it slowly at first and only increase speed as you can roll in the opposite direction comfortably.

    Here is another: You are aware of how Spock spreads his fingers when he says, "Live long and prosper"... Do that with all your fingers, one at a time. Start with spreading your index finger out then back in. Then the Spock thing. Then your little finger. Then change directions. Do this on both hands, one hand at a time.

    Here is the most difficult: We almost never use the little finger on our left hand for anything. Playing a guitar requires the use of this finger. Here is how to get your little finger used to being more active: Extend all the fingers on your left hand straight out, like you are waving at someone. Using your right hand, hold all but your little finger so the other fingers will stay extended. Now curl your little finger down so only the top two knuckles move you want the bone closest to your hand not to move. Now curl your little finger up until it is straight. Repeat this. You will find your other fingers will also want to curl when doing this. Holding your other fingers with your right hand will train your little finger to move by itself. Eventually you will be able to do the curl exercise without holding your fingers with your right hand. Practice this with both hands.

    The idea with all of this is to open communication between your brain and the fingers on your left hand. Most important is the little finger.

    As a side-note I did the finger curl thing with my little toe. Eventually I was able to curl just my little toe while the others would not move. That took some practice!

    Hope this helps. :0)


Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm learning to its so hard


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What Girls & Guys Said

  • what is your specific struggle? reading the music? the finger work?

    • Mostly the finger work, a bit of messing up the strumming. I can read chords pretty well though.

    • the finger work is hard especially at first. for me i just worked on going through chord progressions. not necessarily strumming but just shaping the chords.

      the strumming is hard too. tapping a foot, bobbing your head and in general sort of creating a rhythm with your body helped me and/or of course having a metronome can help.

      but for strumming the biggest help to me was trying to really mimic the song i was playing by listening to the original artist... but it's all a learning process and you'll pick up on it very quickly i imagine

      since you've only been playing a few weeks just keep at it. i feel like there is a definite hump you get over where the chords (finger work) become much more second nature

  • It's really frustrating beginning the acoustic guitar. Your fingertips hurt like hell, and it seems almost impossible to get your fingers in the chord shapes. I'm really glad that when I was going through that phase I had a decent quality instrument to learn on. That makes a lot of difference because you'll get better feedback from its superior tone quality as you start to make progress. Once you start to get callouses on your fingertips you'll think of them as a badge of honor, and you'll be able to practice for longer periods of time. Get the best quality acoustic you can afford.


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