I know a few songs by heart. Really short and simple though. "Smoke on water" is one of them. Anyway, I just want to have a way to distract myself and learning a new skill seems like the way to do it. Any advice?
Most Helpful Girl
What type are you aiming for, exactly: acoustic guitar, classical guitar, or other? Any instrument is hard to play and the guitar is no exception. Whatever it may be, these tips will surely help.
1. Study music theory. If you know your theory, you'll be familiar with chord progressions and arpeggios as well as the relative minors for every major chord. If you're aiming to compose a song, this is VERY (as in) important. It will also speed up your overall competence as a musician.
2. Read music. I recommend not to rely on playing by ear frequently when playing a certain song. Interpret music by reading "guitar tabs" or by the classic musical notation (the stereotypical notes, clefs, and accidentals). You choose.
3. Get your fingers used in pressing strings ASAP. Work your fingering techniques with the first five major chords in the Circle of Fifths: C, G, D, A, and E. They're bearable for a beginner like you. You will get calluses, I am sure of that but that's the only way for your brain to develop "muscle memory".
4. Learn how to use a guitar pick/guitar capo. They're great help for guitar players. A capo is placed on a specific fret (mostly in acoustic guitars) when a song requires it so.
5. Optional, but if you're aiming for top-notch musicianship, use a metronome whenever you're working out on songs with time signatures. You wouldn't want your music to be off-beat! I'm a pianist so the metronome is basically my life when it comes to a steady rhythm. Also, I read music by musical notation so I am familiar with beats and their duration. I'm telling you, the metronome is a TREMENDOUS help.1
Most Helpful Guy
My general tips (from a person who taught himself guitar)...
0.5) Before you even get started, you need to know technique. This means things like holding your palm close to your guitar neck when you play, how to hold your pick, etc. IT'S CRUCIAL that you learn this stuff, otherwise your progress will be severely stunted and may even stop, plus you could injure yourself physically.
How to: Youtube videos. They have so many excellent starter videos on everything you possibly need to know. Watch em.
1.) Start with learning basic chords. Start with the C, D, E, F, G, A, B major and minor chords. Being able to play these chords will give you more song playing, song writing, and essential building blocks.
How to: Find a song that is simple chords the entire time and play that until you can easily play it without having to check your finger positions each time. Then find a song with different chords and play that. One of my first songs was "How He Loves" by David Crowder. I found tabs off of ultimate guitar and did that tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/.../how_he_loves_crd.htm
2.) Once you got those chords down, start trying single note stuff and learning power chords. Power chords make up most rock songs and they are easy to play. I'd say most rock songs tend to have power chords underneath a single-string melody on top.
How to: I found the easiest way was to learn songs. Really easy stuff at first, and then working my way up to harder stuff. Use songsterr. com. Basically hang out in the "beginner section" on the front page and play everything you can. This will help you be able to read tab too which is SUPER helpful. Along the way, you'll probably find new skills and techniques you can learn (via youtube videos) such as hammer ons/pull offs/trills/slides/pickslides/tapping/etc.
2.5) Have a goal song! It's important to make short term goals along the way to help show how much you've been improving. It's a confidence boost when you suddenly are able to play song you weren't able to play the month before. My first goal song was "Drive" by Incubus. Too hard for a complete beginner, but still pretty easy song after you've played a bit.
3.) Alternate picking and arpeggios is the next step. You've probably already gone into arpeggios, but if you are at the spot I'd expect you'd be at by this point, you can't play stuff like "Snow" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I'm talking about using alternate picking with arpeggios.2
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