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Tips for beginning guitarists (and other musicians)

Wesley Short

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Many of us have dreams of making it big in music. We look at people on stage and think, “I want to be like that guy”, or “I want to be a singer like her!” Many of us back out of the thought of performing eventually. However, some still cling on to the passion of playing and making music, whether it be a big band instrument, percussion, guitar, bass, singing, or any other instrument one could think of. So, to help any aspiring musicians (specifically guitarists), here are some tips from what I’ve learned after a near nine months of playing guitar, drums, and a bit of bass.

1.) Choose the right instrument for you

                If you’re not sure if you’re dedicated to playing an instrument, don’t worry about getting a high-end one. You don’t want to break the bank on something you aren’t entirely sure about pursuing. Whether you purchase a cheaper instrument or a high-end instrument, know how to take care of it. Ask some others who play the same instrument about how to properly care for your instrument, and if possible, let them do it themselves and show you. It may take a few tries to learn to tune or replace parts on an instrument properly. For instance, the first time I ever strung my guitar myself, I didn’t loop the string around the tuner enough. The second time I did it, I looped it too many times. Finally, I got it right.

2.) The beginning can be tough

As with starting any new activity, the beginning and learning the essentials can be straining, and anything BUT fun. However, don’t sweat it too much. It isn’t because you’re just bad at it. You have to just get used to it and let yourself grow like with anything else. Think of it as getting a new phone. That can take getting used to, but after a bit of experience, you get better and better at using it. For guitarists, learn some basic chords (E major, E minor, A, A minor, C, D, G, F). After that, learn how to tell individual notes along the guitar. Practice them vigorously, and make sure you can easily place your fingers correctly on the guitar for every chord.

3.) Get inspired

                Listen to some music that involves the instrument you are learning. If you are a guitarist, check out some famous guitarists in their best performances. Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen, and many others are usually a great source to get you pumped to learn. Listen to artists of the genre you’d like to play. For instance, if you want to play some classic rock n’ roll, watch some live performances of bands like the Who, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and others. Inspiration helps boost your will to learn the instrument, and gets you pumped to do your best.

Ultimately, just know that if you have trouble learning an instrument, just know that there are hundreds of thousands of others who have gone through the same thing. After much practice and time, you’ll notice your progress. No matter what, stay dedicated and keep playing what you love.

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Tips for beginning guitarists (and other musicians)