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Guitar Lessons Critic - Blog http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:16:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 How To Gain Maximum Guitar Speed through Practicing http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-gain-maximum-guitar-speed-through-practicing/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-gain-maximum-guitar-speed-through-practicing/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:16:32 +0000 Erica Scottland http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=489  

The guitar is the most common instrument most people play. But some players are quite disappointed how they play the instrument because they cannot play the speed that they wanted. They are limited to express themselves through music because of lack of guitar speed. Most of the people are content just playing the instrument, but for those who seriously want to improve their speed in playing are often baffled with their unfitness to perform fast enough. And if you think that you are one of them, here are some important perception to develop your skill that will help you.

 

Good and bad news about playing guitar:

People who have the desire to play the guitar has the ability to play the instrument fast well-nigh. They can easily achieve their goal of having their specific speed goals in a lot time other than average players and that is the good news.

Most of the guitarists that can’t play fast are completely in the wrong course in mastering the guitar-speed skill, which is bad news for them. There are a few reasons why guitarists bit by bit increase their speed in just a small increments.

1. In order to learn guitar fast, there are things that the player has to be trained in order to acquire speed, this includes: hand endurance at fast tempo, picking articulation, 2 hand synchronization, tension control, mental processing speed, guitar technique and much more. Every single one of this guitar speed component has its own unique style of the method in order to master it. Practicing only or any single guitar speed technique mentions above will not help you improve all the technique needed in acquiring the guitar speed.

2. This methodology moves the vast majority of your consideration on attempting to “move your hands/fingers speeder”. The most vital components of guitar velocity stay ignored and under rehearsed with this guitar drill strategy. Thus, the practice sessions frequently transform into an arrangement of anxious endeavors to achieve a current guitar speed level.

Extraordinary guitar players who can play guitar quick could effectively ace the greater part of the aforementioned components of guitar velocity whether they deliberately acknowledged it or not. You have to do likewise with a specific end goal to build your guitar rate to your greatest velocity potential.

To help you extend and enhance the accepted methodology for building guitar speed, here are a few rules to take over:

• Use a variety of practice session strategies for increasing your guitar speed. As your guitar playing expertise level develops, so will your particular guitar method challenges. Thusly, the practical strategies you use at each one phase of your guitar playing must develop also to be successful.

There is no such thing as “one” extreme guitar polish standard for expanding your guitar speed. Obviously there are methodologies to honing guitar that are much more compelling than others, however the way you compose your guitar rate, preparing schedules ought to be remarkable to your particular guitar procedure and guitar pace challenges at any given time.

• Get particular about what issues you are having with attempts to build your guitar speed.Most people say “I can’t play guitar fast” is not particular enough to say. Being not able to play guitar quick is just a side effect of a more problematic issue that normally has a few reasons.

The first step of solving it is knowing precisely what is bringing on your issue. When you know the reason that what is holding you back from practicing your skill, now you can go back to the guitar practice routine on the particular issues that needs to be succeed.

• Work on coordinating your guitar systems together to abstain from sounding like a “guitar speed robot”.Most guitarists puts a little time applying and incorporating their musical abilities and guitar methods specifically. And this is resulting in the absence of the freedom to express yourself needs were totally and completely in any musical connection.

With regards to expanding your guitar speed, most guitarists commonly concentrate on getting to be quicker to stand out strategy at once. As a recommendation: Practice sweep picking for 15 minutes, then move on for 15 minutes of the legato, the next move is 15 minutes of 2 hand tapping. To maintain and gain guitar speed.

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Acoustic Guitar Lessons for Beginners http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/acoustic-guitar-lessons-for-beginners/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/acoustic-guitar-lessons-for-beginners/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:53:13 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=483 If you have noticed, most covers and renditions of songs are done with the use of the acoustic guitar. This is because the guitar is one of the easiest instruments to play and can be used in diverse ways in different genres of music. Such is the image of this guitar that musicians use it to build their image and even the personality of their songs. If you want to learn to play guitar, starting with beginner acoustic guitar lessons is one good step for you.

The first thing you have to know before starting acoustic guitar lessons for beginners is to find out your comfort in holding an acoustic guitar, this would depend a lot on the factor if you are right handed or left handed. Most right handed guitarists strum and pluck with the right hand and tap the frets on the fretboard with the left hand. The strings gradually decrease in size – the thickest string is on top and the thinnest on the bottom. With this set-up of the acoustic guitar, you would know if the guitarist is right-handed or left-handed.

Strumming and plucking are the two most commonly used techniques to play the acoustic guitar. Strumming is the flexing of fingers or the use of a pick on the strings of the guitar in an upward and downward patterned motion. Plucking on the other hand is the abrupt pulling and releasing of a string on your finger. A pick can also be used for plucking. Each note that is played depends on tapping notes on your fret board. Use only your fingertips when tapping notes on your fret board. Too much can mute or muffle the sound that comes out when you strum your guitar. Beginners, do not worry too much about the calluses that you might get on your fingertips.

The next thing that you have to learn is the proper tapping of tabs. Guitar tabs are available in books, music magazines and on online acoustic guitar lessons. Tabs are greatly suggested for beginners, tabs are easier to read because they already appear as a diagram to where your fingers should be located on the fret board. You can actually take free or paid tutorials and acoustic guitar lessons online to further practice your skills on your acoustic guitar.

These are just the basic steps to follow if you want to learn how to play the acoustic guitar.  Do not limit yourself on what you see in the books or on online tutorials, you must explore on your own. Practice, and enjoy what you are doing. Remember that learning to play the acoustic guitar takes time, practice and patience.

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Get Guitar Lessons For Beginners http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/get-guitar-lessons-for-beginners/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/get-guitar-lessons-for-beginners/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:40:56 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=480 Deciding to play the guitar isn’t as easy as deciding on what to eat for breakfast. At this point, you probably have the highest enthusiasm anyone could ever have since you are a beginner. Beginner guitar lessons can be a lot of fun and excitement as you slowly learn the tricks. One thing you must consider while deciding taking guitar lessons beginners is the budget. There are numerous types of beginner guitar lessons available, while some you can get free and others can drill a hole in your pocket. Read on to know more:

Options For Guitar Lessons For Beginners

Option # 1: Online Guitar Lessons For Beginners

You can learn just about anything from the internet nowadays. The same is true with guitar lessons online for beginners. You can opt for this free medium of learning. At least, you won’t need to pay for any initial fees. This way, you can have a first glimpse at what guitar lessons for beginners are like without needing to pay. There are many interactive videos that are available on the world wide web. All you need to do is to patiently learn it step by step and you can also take the assessments as well. The only drawback here is you will need to have your own guitar the first day of your lessons for obvious reasons, but since guitar playing is very popular, there is always someone in your family or neighborhood who has a guitar and you could probably borrow it for a few days. Some companies, like JamPlay, offer you a variety of music forums and lessons via video for a low monthly rate.

Option # 2: Music School

Enrolling yourself in a music school will expose you to limitless learning when it comes to learning the guitar and other musical instruments. You will have your own guitar teacher and you will be scheduled for sessions that last for 45 minutes. You can choose your schedule and how often you want to have lessons in a week. Of course, it is better to have someone teach you so you can ask questions and get answers real time. You do not need your own guitar, because music schools provide materials for learning. You can try different types of guitars such as electric, acoustic, etc.  You can also pick a specialty as per your liking. Customarily, music schools hold recitals where you can rock your talent!

Option # 3: DVD’s and Books

This option is the cheapest that you can have. If you have seen other people play and have an idea of how fast or how slow you should strum or pluck the strings, then you can opt for this. Chords are illustrated so that you can understand them easier. Buy books as well with songs that you know, this will help you to relate better. Click here to view the Learn and Master Guitar DVD and book option we have here for you

Choosing the right guitar lesson for beginners is very important, for if you end up starting on the wrong foot, you might lose interest and quit. So research properly and find the best lessons which you are comfortable to learn, it will all be worth it. Good luck on your way to a more musical lifestyle!

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How To Write A Love Song On Guitar http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-write-a-love-song-on-guitar/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-write-a-love-song-on-guitar/#comments Tue, 08 May 2012 14:19:53 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=475 Everyone gets into a frenzy at some point in time about being in love, or maybe they simply enjoy the idea of feeling that they are. But regardless of the feeling, it always feels good to write a song on guitar. I’ll let you on to some tips on how to write a love song.

Whether you just want to woo someone, or the thought of winning a Grammy tickles your fancy, it’s all about the rhythm and the flow. But all of these are vague descriptions on how to write a song on guitar. To be blunt and simple, it’s all about this little secret: it’s all about thought organization. That’s the simple part. But some take the effort in developing their sensibility in song writing. It may take years to develop one. You might want to start as early as now.

Writing is a skill, not a talent in my opinion. It is the ability to put into words what you have in your head and make it sound right. Speaking of sound, since you are including the element of melody and rhythms to it, you have to make it sound right, especially in love songs.

In my experience, I prefer to have some sort of rhythm to start with before I come up with lyrics. Pick a key and start with it. By doing so, you can clearly define how the song will turn out. Regarding the rhythm, try to use basic chord progressions that you will find on the internet. Many have found success by using common chord progression. Common chord progressions are C, Am, F, G, C or others. Again, the chords are just half of the battle. Lyrics will land the winning blow.

Let’s talk about writing lyrics.

If you are writing a love song, make it personal. Maybe something that has already happened to you that really struck you as a person. Something unforgettable, or in this case someone. Organize your thoughts into making the words come out. Most love songs find success because people can relate to it. Bank on the universal experiences of many people. Again, a song may be written for you: i.e. experiences. However, I would like to suggest a few things at this point:

1.    Write something in first person. Nothing beats letting the world know how you feel. Try to express how you’ve seen the world as a person in love, or have lost love, or have been looking for it.

2.    Create lyrics about someone. Emotions are really strong if you are the one feeling it. Look for adjectives or nouns to make the composition livelier.

3.    Don’t lay it too thick on the letting it be known to the world. With descriptive words, and figures of speech, make your song subtle. It’s like a movie where a boy is too shy to tell the girl his feelings and comes up with crazy ways to show it.

4.    Talk about love. Talk about how love changed you. How love made you weaker, stronger, dumber, smarter or hopeful.

Lastly, follow the basic formula of a song. That is the verse, the Refrain, Chorus and Bridge. These parts are very important. Never do away with them. Many Grammy winners use this formula. The Verse pretty much explains the story of a song, the refrain being the shorter transitional version of the chorus, and the chorus being the one that will stick to the minds of your listeners.

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What Is The Best Guitar Lesson Site? http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/what-is-the-best-guitar-lesson-site/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/what-is-the-best-guitar-lesson-site/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:10:05 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=470 Are you serious about learning guitar? If the answer is yes then you should keep a few things in mind before choosing a guitar lesson, because a wrong start can make you quit learning guitar midway. If you start in the right manner guitar lessons can be fun! Read on to know more about how to choose the best guitar lessons for you.

First you should decide which type of guitar you want to learn, will it be acoustic or electronic guitar. This greatly depends on the type of music you like and want to learn. Do not buy anything which is the most expensive or the cheapest; you might end up regretting afterwards. Be smart and choose something that will help you to improve your skills.

Next, you should decide the source of your guitar lessons like Online lessons, DVD, Classes, etc. You can get best guitar lesson site with the help of a quick search online. Before you finalize any website, ensure that the website has flexible and personalized lessons. They should offer lessons to match your skill level like beginners, intermediate, etc.

Online guitar lessons offer many learning tools which can make your learning experience interesting and fun. There are some awesome forums which can also aid in your guitar. Some of the most happening forums are JamPlay and Guitar Tricks. There is also web based programs, like Jamarama, which offer step by step guitar learning lessons, tutorials, jam tracks, learn to play famous songs/tunes, etc.

You also have the option of DVD lessons; it offers lessons to master guitar. First you need to define why you need the lessons- is it just for some beginner’s training or you want some advance guitar lessons to polish your skills further. Determine the style of guitar playing you intent to learn. After you have decided these search for suitable lessons created by experienced and qualified instructors. Before going ahead and investing in a DVD guitar lesson check for the quality of the DVD. There have been instances where guitar lessons bearing famous instructors are poor in quality.

In my opinion online lessons are better as the DVDs do not offer tools like recording and playback, etc. These tools can be quite handy when it comes to learning guitar. As you can record what you are playing you can later listen to it and identify your weak points. This can help you learn better.

Do not invest on any lessons right away. First do a thorough research on it. Do some online research to find out the reviews and testimonials of actual people who have taken these lessons. Always choose the lessons which are highly rated.

Don’t rush and follow these tips to get the best guitar lessons. Make the best choice and you are sure to enjoy every moment of your guitar lessons!

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How To Tune A Guitar http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-tune-a-guitar/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/how-to-tune-a-guitar/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 07:37:27 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=467 You were about to hit that last chord, and you noticed that something didn’t sound right. Again, you’re guitar is out of tune.  Before you rush to that self-consumed, keeps-everything -to-himself dude you met at your local jamming session (yet again) and ask him to tune it for you, consider learning to do it on your own. It’s easy and you won’t have to drag your Fender Stratocaster with you out of the house. In the next few minutes, you will be able to successfully tune a guitar.

There are a couple of things that you need to remember to get a guitar tuned. First, always start off with “E”  which is known as the thickest of all strings. It will make the guitar tuning a lot easier. It’s also called “6.”

Next is the “E” pitch- for some this is a standard pitch. However, not all of the guitarists religiously rely on it. It will still depend on your taste as a budding musician. Some guitarists prefer the “E” string to be a pitch higher than usual.  Remember to adjust the guitars tuning keys carefully and gradually. This is to avoid any accidents caused by the strings snapping due to unnecessary tension.

So let’s begin.

There are varying ways on how to tune a guitar. One of the methods is by using a pitch pipe, or the more expensive electronic tuners. Pitch pipes generally sell for around $5 to $10 (depending on the make and brand) and electronic tuners for about $99 to $120.

Using a Pitch Pipe, you begin by blowing on the one marked with an “E,” and then adjust the “E” string or “6” to match the pitch. Once you’ve  successfully matched the pitch, proceed with the succeeding strings A-D-G-B-e or 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 respectively.

To check if you’ve tuned the guitar properly, hit the strings E and e, or 6 and 1. If the sound of the “e” string is harmonious with the “E” string, then it’s tuned.

You may also tune your guitar by using piano keys.  You’ll find the E key by counting five keys from the left. This is your reference tone. You’ll notice that it has the pitch similar as the E on a pitch pipe and a Piano’s. Again, match the E string. The corresponding keys are as follows: the 10th key for the A-string, 15th key for the D-string, 20th key for the G-string, the 24th key for the B-string and the 29th key for the e. Almost a surefire system since pianos stays on tune even when not used for a long time.

JamPlay, besides offering guitar lessons, also gives you tips on how to tune a guitar.

Another method is through our dear friend the internet. There are websites that sport virtual pitch generators that will help you get a guitar tuned. Follow the same drill by matching the pitch with the corresponding strings. Try hitting a chord. Do you like how it sounds now? You’re all set then.

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The Importance of Guitar Scales http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/the-importance-of-guitar-scales/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/the-importance-of-guitar-scales/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 17:00:25 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=457

Several explanations for the importance of guitar scales exist on the Web yet the one that makes the most sense to GLC is to compare guitar scales to the weight of your guitar expertise. You can play the guitar without much knowledge in regards to guitar scales, but at some point you’ll really want to learn them unless you want to be a lightweight. Guitar scales teach beginners how to solo and improvise and your understanding of not only the guitar, but music, will improve when you pick them up.

Do you want to be a light or heavy-weight?

Guitar scales are important because they essentially introduce you to the fretboard. These days you can skip learning the scales by reading the tablature of your favorite tunes, however when it’s time to understand how to create and form your own leads, solos, licks, etc you will be gravely behind.

What is a scale?

A scale is a group of notes arranged in ascending and descending order designed to express the types of notes used in a song or designate the key of the song. In other words, songs are composed based on a particular scale. Once you know that scale you subsequently know what notes you can play in the solo and what notes are off limits. Thus, the scale basically tells you what sounds good and what sounds bad based on the given scale.

…Now you should be able to understand why learning guitar scales from the beginning is important. It’s what separates the trained guitarist from the novice.

Understanding Guitar Scales

Guitar scales are composed of whole and half steps. The half step is when you move from one fret to the next on any given string (i.e. 1st to 2nd fret). The whole step is when you skip one fret to the next note (i.e. 1st fret to 3rd fret). Essentially, half steps mean you only slide one fret down while whole steps require you to jump, or skip a fret.

Whole steps and half steps are important in regards to guitar scales because each scale has a particular pattern. Thus, if you know where the half and whole steps are on the scale you will quickly be able to reach the notes designed for a solo. At first, learning guitar scales is confusing and challenging largely because you’re still learning the scales and unaware of the correct steps. Consequently, you need to practice popular guitar scales daily until they’re memorized.

Popular Guitar Scales

The first two guitar scales (and most popular) you need to learn are the Major and Pentatonic Scale.

Music theory teaches us that there are seven major notes — A,B,C,D,E,F,G. When someone says let’s play “C Major” they are referring to the Major Scale with the note C as its root. The root note is the first note in the scale and gets everything started. Now that you understand the correct steps in the Major Scale you can play the other notes that compose the “C Major Scale” – C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C (one octave lower).

Did you know — The majority of popular music is based on the major scale? Once you learn the key, find the root on the fretboard and know the pattern of the Major Scale you will have the notes that blend well for a solo or lick.

The Pentatonic Guitar Scale features both a major and minor version. Instead of being a heptatonic scale (seven note like the Major Guitar Scale, above), the Pentatonic scale is composed of only five notes per octave. The composition of the Pentatonic scale makes it very popular in music used around the world because any pitches of this scale may be played in any order or combination without clashing sonically.

The Pentatonic scale removes the 4th and 7th scale degrees of the Major Scale, which means that in comparison to the example (above) the C Major Pentatonic Scale would read: C,D,E,G,A,C (one octave lower). Note that the second C does not count in either scale (it’s just one octave lower) thus warranting the seven and five note scales.

The Importance of Guitar Scales

The Major Scale is very common in popular music and the Pentatonic Scale is an outstanding scale for solos because when you use it over any chord progression it’s difficult to make it sound “bad”. Thus, if you need a good starting point for scales master the Major and Pentatonic Scale.

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Guitar Maintenance Essentials http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/guitar-maintenance-essentials/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/guitar-maintenance-essentials/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:00:53 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=451

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make after purchasing their first guitar is thinking that is the last time they’ll have to worry about the actual instrument and with all the emphasis placed on actually learning the guitar we wanted to set aside today to talk guitar maintenance essentials.

Your guitar should be treated like a vehicle. If may operate but if you forget to change the oil and air up the tires eventually the automobile is going to break down. The same is true of a guitar. If you reserve a few minutes every month for guitar maintenance your instrument will stay in phenomenal shape and last for years. What do you need to do?

First let’s start with ways you should never treat your instrument. If you neglect the guitar it will result in costly repairs…

  • Never subject you guitar to extreme environmental conditions: heat, cold, very moist or dry air
  • Avoid leaving it in typical places where extreme conditions can occur (a car trunk, an attic, etc)
  • Avoid leaving the guitar in direct sunlight, especially for extended periods of time
  • Never use home cleaning products on your guitar, they can damage it!

Now that you understand what you need to avoid, be sure to follow these guitar maintenance tips…

Keep It Clean

Visit your local music store and invest in guitar polish, fretboard oil and other products designed to keep your instrument clean. Whenever you play natural oils transfer from your body to the guitar. It may be subtle yet over time the instrument becomes dirty. You need to polish the wood and clean the metal, plastic, etc parts from time to time. Depending on how much you play, do this 1-3x a month.

Another simple yet neglected practice is to ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly each time before you play. Avoid eating greasy foods (like pizza) prior and definitely while you practice. After you finish playing wipe the strings down with a soft cloth. It will not only keep the instrument clean, but also increase the length of the strings.

Protect Guitar w/ Soft or Hard Case

If you do not own a soft or hard guitar case be sure to get one! The best guitar maintenance procedure is preventative and storing your instrument in a gig bag will always protect your instrument from the elements. When you start playing shows it’s especially important to have a traveling case.

Changing Guitar Strings

A lot of people ask, “How often should I change my strings?” The answer depends on how much you play as well as personal preference. Guitar strings do wear out and you’ll begin to recognize strings that need replaced with experience. If the tone is no longer as strong (sounds dull) it’s a good indication you need to change guitar strings. If the strings have actual dirt spots you should use that as another warning. If in doubt, try to change you strings at least every 6 months.

Periodic Check-Up

Whenever you change strings is a great time to clean the fretboard with an oil (sold at music stores), wipe the actual frets, dust off the knobs and other plastic parts as well as polish the body of the guitar like previously mentioned. During this time you can scan your instrument for any concerns. Do this periodically and your guitar will last longer and stay in better shape!

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Struggling with Guitar Chords? http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/struggling-with-guitar-chords/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/struggling-with-guitar-chords/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2011 18:54:06 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=443

Guitar chords look and sound simple especially when you watch a veteran play them, but they do take a little time to learn for beginners. The biggest problem with guitar chords is you generally need three fingers, all in positions using muscles that you traditionally do not use. Oh, and did we mention you need to fret each string clearly without getting in the way of the string above or below?

Learning guitar chords is all about muscle memory. When you practice playing chords, and do it the right way, you progressively get better. When you first start playing guitar chords, they probably will not sound all that great. With practice, those chords will ring nice and clearly in no time.

Struggling with guitar chords? Check out common beginner mistakes below…

Click here to view the embedded video.

Start with Easy Chords

There are hundreds of guitar chords. However, you will find after a few months of quality practice that a lot of songs utilize the same basic chords, which makes your practice easier because A) often these are easy chords to learn and B) once you memorize these chords you will learn new songs much quicker. Start with basic, easy-to-learn chords like G, A, E, D.

Warm-Up Your Fingers

Do you remember when you were in gym class and the instructor always made you run a couple of laps before playing dodgeball? It seemed pointless, right? Warming up you fingers might sound ridiculous (‘They’ll just warm-up when I practice’), but you will be surprised how much more you will get out of practice if your fingers are ready to go. The biggest frustration with learning guitar is that you are using muscles in your fingers that you rarely would use otherwise. Your left index finger may be able to fret any string, but what about the ring or pinky finger? What about when you need to strum a chord incorporating all three fingers?

The good news is that finger strength improves A) simply by practicing, B) with daily warm-up exercises and C) even through outside means like finger weights. Okay, maybe you’re not into the whole finger weight thing, but you would be surprised how wide scale exercises (they stretch as well as warm-up fingers) will improve finger strength as well as get you ready to play chords.

Keep Your Eyes (and fingers) In The Right Places

Quick exercise. Try playing a chord. Now freeze! Where are your eyes when you play the chord?

Most beginner guitarists would probably say their eyes are focused on the neck of the guitar, or more precisely the fingers fretting the chord. It might seem like a logical practice yet the reality is you can focus too much on the fingers playing the chord. Remember when you first picked up the guitar? You were probably so sloppy with strumming/picking that your eyes were only watching the pick as you played. Now, you’ve been playing for a couple of weeks and only starring at the bridge seems ludicrous, right? The same is true with the neck. As a result, some instructors have the beginner wear a blindfold when they play each chord. Now you are no longer looking, but feeling the chord.

Keep an Eye on the Pinky

We already discussed how frustrating the pinky can be since it’s rarely the primary finger for doing ordinary tasks like cupping a ball, pointing, etc. Consequently, when beginners pick up the guitar they have a tendency to hide the pinky. Who needs it anyhow!?

Unfortunately, that’s a terrible habit especially when learning chords. A wise guitarist understands that your fingers (yes, even the pinky) always hover over the strings of the guitar even if they are not fretting at that precise moment. Why? You will be able to shift between chords much faster.

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5 Steps To Learning Your First Song http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/5-steps-to-learning-your-first-song/ http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/5-steps-to-learning-your-first-song/#comments Sun, 18 Sep 2011 14:00:36 +0000 bbcmain http://www.guitarlessonscritic.com/blog/?p=433 Finder Flames Guitar Image

So you want to learn to play your first song on guitar?

Playing popular songs on guitar is an incredible step in progression because other than creating your own music, learning to play popular songs is the primary reason people learn the guitar. While guitar tabs have made it much easier to learn how to play songs it’s important to not get too far ahead. Any expert will tell you that the only way you can master guitar is by A) learning the fundamentals B) mastering the fundamentals and then C) upgrading to more challenging tasks such as learning to play your favorite song.

While you can learn guitar riffs and chords to popular songs on day one the best advice is to learn the basics and fundamentals before messing around too much with guitar tabs. Got the basics down? Let’s learn how to play your first song.

Grade the Difficulty of the Song

Most people who play the guitar love songs that profile the…you guessed it…guitar. Consequently, you may be a huge Van Halen fan, but do you honestly expect to master “Fire in the Hole” after only two months of quality guitar practice? Hence, your favorite song may be a little difficult to learn immediately on guitar. If this is the case, try to learn a song that is not too challenging with a beginner to moderate difficulty. Thankfully, most top guitar tab sites grade the difficulty of each song.

Break the Song into Segments

If this is your favorite song chances are you have heard it. A lot. Thus, learning to play the song should not be too difficult because your ear already is accustomed to the track. Still, it’s a great idea to break the song into its different segments including the verse, bridge, chorus, solo(s), etc. The verse will likely be easier to learn than the solo yet probably not as simple as the chorus. Break the song into segments and start by learning the easiest parts of your favorite song.

Understand The Guitar Tab (and pick a reliable one!)

Several guitar tabs exist for a single tune. Unfortunately, that does not mean they’re all equal. It will take a little time to find an accurate guitar tab that actually teaches you how to play the song. Fortunately, most guitar tab sites allow users to rate the tab seeding out the incorrect entries. Guitar tablature is a simplified version that is easier to comprehend when compared to sheet music. Guitar tabs simply tell you what string(s) to play and where to fret.

Master the Tempo

Guitar tabs are not great at breaking down the rhythm and tempo of the song. Sheet music is much more reliable. Again, your ear is probably accustomed to the song so developing the rhythm will not be extremely hard, but it will take a little practice. The best advice is to listen to the master recording a few times, paying special attention to each segment. Once your ear is trained it’s time to transfer it to your actual guitar playing.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you have a reliable tab, break the song into segments and develop an ear for the rhythm it’s time to learn the song. Start with the first segment of the song and progress from there. Learning the guitar is all about muscle memory and thus the coordination of your hands will improve as you practice, practice, practice. Once you learn the song perform it in front of a few people to show off your progress and move on to a new song!

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