Realistically, to start improving on guitar, you’re going to need to set aside a bit of time to practice. Developing a daily routine is a good idea… planning to spend at least 15 minutes daily practicing all you’ve learned will really help. At first, your fingers will be sore, but by playing daily, they’ll toughen up, and in a short amount of time, they’ll stop hurting.
The following list should give you an idea of how to spend your practice time:
Get your guitar in tune. Make sure you’re sitting, holding the guitar, and using your pick properly. You’ll have to correct your natural bad habits at first, until it becomes second nature. Play the chromatic scale several times. Try playing it backwards. Play each of the three chords you’ve learned. Check to be sure each note is ringing. If not, find out why, and correct the problem. Try moving from one chord to another. Before switching chords, mentally picture exactly where each finger is going to move in order to play the next chord. Only then should you switch chords.
This is the key to switching chords quickly. If you’re having trouble getting your chords to ring clearly, read this feature on getting your chords to ring clearly. Try playing some, or all of the songs listed above. At first, try only to think of the songs as a way in which to practice playing chords. Don’t get discouraged. This is hard stuff at first, and you’ll probably feel like you can’t do it. You certainly can. Everyone struggles, so just put in your 15 minutes, and then don’t worry about it until the next time you play. This is supposed to be fun! That’s it for now!
Learn how to play the song “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen with this free guitar lesson. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, this song peaked the charts at number two in the UK and number one in the USA. It is from the album “The Game” released in 1980. Read more about this song over at Wikipedia.
This song is relatively easy to play. You will need to know the following chords: D Major, Dsus4, G Major, C Major, B Flat Major (The Lesson Below uses a BFlat Major Power Chord. Marty demonstrates how to play this chord below.), A Major, E Major, F Major
A big thanks to Marty Schwartz for sharing this video lesson. Marty is an amazing guitar player and one of the best guitar instructors online. You should definitely check out his website here for more awesome lessons and resources. I can’t recommend Marty’s Website enough!
Hopefully, you’ve found, bought or borrowed a guitar pick. If not, you’ll need to buy yourself some. Don’t be stingy, go and pick up at least 10 of them – guitar picks are easy to lose (they often don’t cost more than 30 or 40 cents each). You can experiment with different shapes and brands, but I highly recommend medium gauge picks to start; ones that aren’t too flimsy, or too hard.
The following documentation explains how to hold, and use a pick. When reading, keep in mind that your “picking hand” is the hand which is nearest to the bridge of the guitar, when sitting in the correct position. Open your picking hand, and turn the palm to face you.Close your hand to make a very loose fist. Your thumb should remain beside your index finger.
Rotate your hand until you are looking at it’s profile, with your thumb’s knuckle facing you.With your other hand, slide your guitar pick between your thumb and index finger. The pick should be approximately located behind the knuckle of the thumb. Be sure the pointed end of the pick is pointing directly away from your fist, and is protruding by about a half an inch. Hold the pick firmly. Position your picking hand over the soundhole of your acoustic guitar, or over the body of your electric guitar. Your picking hand, with thumb knuckle still facing you, should hover over the strings. Do not rest your picking hand on the strings or body of the guitar.
Using your wrist for motion (rather than your entire arm), strike the sixth (lowest) string of your guitar in a downward motion. If the string rattles excessively, try striking the string a bit softer, or with less of the pick surface. Now, pick the sixth string in an upwards motion. Repeat the process several times. Try and minimize motion in your picking hand: one short picking stroke downwards, then one short picking stroke upwards. This process is referred to as “alternate picking”. Try the same exercise on the fifth, fourth, third, second, and first strings.
Tips: Holding the pick in this manner will invariably feel awkward at first. You will initially have to pay special attention to your picking hand whenever you play guitar. Try and create fluidity in your alternate picking. Your downstrokes should sound virtually identical to your upstrokes.
At the point in which the headstock meets the neck of the guitar, you’ll find the “nut”. A nut is simply a small piece of material (plastic, bone, etc.), in which small grooves are carved out to guide the strings up to the tuners.
The neck of the guitar is the area of the instrument you’ll concentrate a great deal on: you’ll put your fingers on various places on the neck, in order to create different notes.
The neck of the guitar adjoins the “body” of the instrument. The body of the guitar will vary greatly from guitar to guitar. Most acoustic and classical guitars have a hollowed out body, and a “sound hole”, designed to project the sound of the guitar. Most electric guitars have a solid body, and thus will not have a sound hole. Electric guitars will instead have “pick-ups” where the soundhole is located. These “pick-ups” are essentially small microphones, which allow the capture the sound of the ringing strings, allowing them to be amplified.
The strings of the guitar run from the tuning pegs, over the nut, down the neck, over the body, over the sound hole (or pick-ups), and are anchored at a piece of hardware attached to the body of the guitar, called a “bridge”.
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Here’s where we take the next big step in our progress as a guitarist… learning about a shape of chord referred to as a “barre chord”. The technique of playing barre chords is one which we have utilized when playing the F major chord – using one finger to hold down more than one note.
The B minor shape We’re going to put your first finger to work on this chord. Your first finger has the job of covering the second fret, from the fifth to first strings (we don’t play the sixth string). Next, put your third finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string. Then, add your fourth pinky finger to the fourth fret of the third string. Lastly, place your second finger on the third fret of the second string. Got it? Now, strum the chord, and try not to get upset when most of the notes don’t ring clearly.
This is a tough chord at first, no doubt about it! You’re going to have to have patience, it WILL sound good soon, but it’s going to take some work. Here are some tips that will help you: Very slightly bend your first finger. A straight and rigid finger is not what we’re looking for. Roll the finger back slightly, so that more of the side of the index finger closest to the thumb is in contact with the strings. Try slightly pulling the body of the guitar towards your body, using the arm of your picking hand. Also gently pull the neck towards you with your fretting hand. This makes fretting barre chords somewhat easier.
One of the greatest things about the B minor chord shape is that it is a “movable chord”. This means that, unlike the chords we’ve learned so far, we can slide the same shape around to different frets to create different minor chords. The note we’re interested in is the note on the fifth string. Whatever note your finger is playing on the fifth string is the type of minor chord it is. If you were to slide the chord up the neck, so that your first finger was at the fifth fret, you’d be playing a D minor chord, since the note on the fifth fret of the fifth string is D. THIS is why learning the note names on the sixth and fifth strings are so important. We’ll be getting into different movable chords in the next lesson.
Hold the shape of the B minor chord, and play strings one at a time. Correct any notes that aren’t ringing clearly. Try moving from other chords to a B minor chord, then back to other chords. This will be a slow and difficult process at first. Keep trying! Try playing different minor chords by moving the B minor shape around to different frets (eg. try playing C# minor, F minor, G minor, Bb minor, etc.) Do NOT play the sixth string when playing a B minor chord. Pay careful attention to this.
One of the most popular video games of recent years, without a doubt, would have to be the Guitar Hero series. Considering the huge crossover potential between rock music and video games it is only a surprise that it has taken this long – with games in the series now devoted to bands such as Metallica, Van Halen and Aerosmith, and a very real likelihood that others will be immortalised in the same way very soon. However, it is important to remember that there were guitar heroes long before these bands, and this game, etched themselves on to our consciousness.
It is often said that the first real guitar hero was the troubled bluesman Robert Johnson. Legend has it that he sold his soul to the devil in order to be an accomplished guitarist. Although he played along with the story, it is believed that this was purely a joke on his part – in actual fact, he was a prodigiously gifted guitarist with a fine teacher. His influence is still felt today as it has been throughout the decades since his premature death in 1938. There are echoes of his playing in more recent guitar heroes such as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and a great many others.
One of the most seismic changes in the history of popular music was the move from acoustic to electric guitars. Perhaps most famously encapsulated by Bob Dylan’s decision to “go electric”, this has radically changed the kind of sounds you can get from a guitar. There are many folk musicians who, to this day, feel that Dylan crossed an unacceptable line that day.
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Guitar Heroes From The Pre-Digital Age
The big question for many amateur guitarists is a tricky one to answer. What is the best way of learning to play the guitar to an acceptable standard? It depends, of course, on the guitarist. Some people learn well from books, and figure out the rest of the way themselves. Others go to a guitar teacher who will show them the correct techniques and help them to start making music the way they’ve always wanted. And then there are the guitarists who are entirely self-taught, who have picked up the guitar, played around with it and, over time, have become competent and more.
No single way of learning will make you a “better” guitarist. In fact, many of the best guitarists around have mixed and matched their methods of learning so they can get the exact sound they want. This way of doing things makes a lot of sense, of course, but then you will find some other guitarists who find it more comfortable to stick with the one method. When it really comes down to it, the most important thing about learning the guitar is that you do feel comfortable.
Some people feel that the self-taught guitarist will make the most impressive music, because they have learned from within. Others will say that the one who has learned from a teacher will have taken in more influences, while still others will claim that the one who has learned by the book is more likely to be note-perfect. However, there are many people who have no idea how their favorite guitarist learnt because it simply doesn’t matter – personal style and emotion tends to win out anyway.
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Learn Guitar the Way That Makes You Comfortable
By: Elizabeth Davis
New to guitar? This article will help you to develop better guitar playing skills.
Obtain a Good Teacher! There is no replacement for a skilled guitar teacher. You can purchase all the books and videos you want, but to really be a skilled guitarist, it is crucial to study from a professional. A qualified guitar teacher has the experience and wisdom needed to teach you how to master the guitar. Books, videos, and the Internet, lack information and advice. A good teacher will correct your mistakes if you are doing something not right to free you from bad habits or techniques, and will furthermore encourage you when you are doing a fine job.
Do not be discouraged! The initial time playing any instrument can be overwhelming, and you could tell yourself that this is merely too hard to continue. We all have to study from step one, and everybody has been in the same boat! Everything takes practice, and it is a requirement to be uncomplaining with yourself. Give yourself a pep talk everyday, saying these words aloud “I can do this, and it will be simple for me.” The motivation, and words of encouragement to yourself will hurry up the process to make things alot easier for everything in life that you wish for, or try to accomplish.
Practice everyday! You will become more familiar with your instrument after you take the time to practice everyday. This will get so simple for you over time with your devotion to learn. Try to free up at least 20 minutes of time each day to practice your guitar. Find a time and place where you will not be interrupted. Disruption can prevent your concentration and snap a good rhythm. Warm hands, and stretch fingers before playing. Ask your teacher for the best practice exercises that are correct for your style of play. Create a calendar of helpful practice sessions.
The duration of your practice is not necessarily the most crucial. The quality of the practice is what really counts and matters the most! Make sure your teacher is giving a well rounded method, since this helps to obtain the most out of your practice sessions.
Slow Down! Many brand new guitarists rush through a song in the beginning, trying to play exactly like the radio.
Before touching anything accurately, you should learn to take things gradually, and be able to play well at a much slower rate. You can at that time increase the tempo as you progress.
Watch your posture! Playing the guitar must not be very agonizing and uncomfortable. If you notice yourself with various aches and pains in the shoulders, neck, back, etc, you probably are not in a helpful position to play. Ask your teacher to show the best ways, and next do your best to stick to it. Ask your teacher to correct you after the correct posture fails.
Get a metronome! A very valuable part of playing the guitar, is the skill to keep good timing. A tool that will help you to be better with this is called a metronome. You can buy this at any guitar shop. When working with a metronome, it is best to start at a slow tempo in the very beginning when you are initially learning how to play.
Change the strings! The type of guitar strings that you apply determines the sound quality that your guitar produces. How often do you replace the strings really depends on how often you play. Professional guitarists can change their strings previous to every gig. Others who do not play so often, can replace the strings every 2 months or so. Once again, it really depends on how often you play, and how well you care for your guitar. Do not wait until your strings break before you change them, and you must replace all channels all together.
Trying new things! If you are feeling uninspired in the way you are performing, why not try something recent and uncommon? If you have learned a specific song on the electric guitar, why not try the same song on an acoustic guitar? If you only play your guitar with a pick, exercise your fingers this next time. Maybe you solely enjoy playing blues guitar, so why not try a little jazz or classical?
I hope these guitar tips were helpful! Most importantly, never give up, and be proud of the accomplishments that you have acquired! Persistence is the key with and in everything! If you really maintain a sincere desire to learn and to keep on with your practices, you will be amazed at all the beautiful music that you have learned!
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Author Elizabeth Davis
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Bet you didn’t know that Eric Clapton plays the solo on the Beatles song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. I think it’s one of the most memorable solos in rock.
There’s really no way around it; if you want to learn guitar solos you have to practice your scales. While learning chords will enable you to begin playing songs at once, you have to master scales if you really want to play solo like your guitar heroes. One of the most important scales you have to master is the Blues Scale.
The Blues Scale is actually the minor Pentatonic Scale, but with an extra note added called the ‘blues note’. Once you have mastered this scale, not only will you be able to play virtually any song in almost any genre, you will also be able to improvise your own guitar solos.
To play a basic Blues Scale that will enable you to easily learn guitar solos, do these steps:
TRY THIS BLUES SCALE SOLO EXERCISE 1. place your fingers in this position: your first finger presses down on all six strings, your second finger on the fifth string, your third finger on the third, fourth and fifth strings and your fourth finger on the first, second, third and sixth string. 2. Play the scale forwards and backwards by alternate picking: first pick downwards and then upwards. 3. Be sure that you are playing each note clearly. Fool around a bit to challenge yourself.
Once you’ve mastered the Blues Scale, you can start to learn guitar solos by using the different notes you’ve learned from the scale (notes strung together in a pleasing way are called licks).
SOME COOL IDEAS FOR LEARNING SOLOS 1. You might want to learn different positions of the various scales so you can have more options in creating solos. 2. You can also begin experimenting with various techniques to make your licks sound better, including slides, vibratos and half-step bends. 3. Another idea is to look up licks online and try playing with those. 4. Personally, this is my favorite. And it’s the thing I did over and over and over again. Just start attempting to play solo with an accompaniment; you can readily download 12-bar blues audio files that you can play along with.
When improvising licks, you should avoid the common pitfall of playing too many notes. Keep in mind that the best guitarists do not want to impress their audience with their virtuosity, but seek to communicate feeling using their playing.
What kind of electric guitar lessons do you feel you could derive the most benefit from? The fact is learning to play electric guitar will flow much more smoothly if you feel comfortable and receptive. So give some consideration to what works best for you.
Let’s look at the simplest solution – buy a guitar lesson book. Too simple? It might be all you need. Some people can’t do without the input of a face to face teacher or the experience of seeing their guitar lessons on video, but there are many people who do quite well with printed instructions and music.
If you need a more intense experience, but don’t want to afford a live guitar teacher then give online electric guitar lessons a shot. With online lessons, you just sit in your room and absorb the teacher’s instructions, and then do your practice. No time wasted traveling to your teacher, and no putting up with a teacher you do not like. The online guitar lessons that I found most useful are from JamPlay.com.
Some people do better without a teacher standing over them, encouraging them to play it until they get it right. Online electric guitar lessons are more student-friendly in this respect. You can approach any obstacles in your own individual way, in your own sweet time.
One of the most outstanding advantages of online electric guitar lessons compared to tuition with a live teacher is the expense. You can get even the very best lessons on the internet for a fraction of what you would pay your local guitar teacher!
You can also buy your electric guitar lessons in video format. Video lessons are available for students of all genres of guitar music whether they be beginners or advanced students. With videos you can review your lessons as many times as you want, and even if you lose your enthusiasm for learning the guitar, your video lessons will be waiting for you when your muse returns. If you opt for video electric guitar lessons, check out my personal favorite, the Learn And Master Guitar course on DVD.