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5 tips for learning to play the guitar

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Learning to play the guitar isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are plenty of things that are likely to frustrate you daily. Whether it’s learning to play specific chords or playing the guitar in general, you want to make the process easier. So, you’ve got your electric guitar for beginners and while it’s not going to be simple, there are certain things you can do to make learning guitar chords less stressful.

1. Start slowly

One of the main things you should be doing is slowing things down. You’ll find a lot of the musicians you see on the big stage playing extremely fast. Let’s not even discuss those that get up there and ‘shred.’ If you find yourself getting pressured into going faster, try not to. While it may seem like everyone is playing fast, it took them years to master it. Try to incorporate learning these chords slowly. During the process, you’ll need to practice getting your chords in the right places. Before attempting to speed things up, you will want to master the basics. By the time you learn the chords, you’ll find that going faster isn’t even a problem. Once you master the chords, you’ll find your fingers and hands being exactly where they need to be to speed things up.

2. Close your eyes

One of the things you should be doing is practicing getting a feel for your playing. You’ll find a lot of new guitar players have their faces deadlocked onto their guitars. This is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between an experienced guitar player and one that is a complete novice. It is a very bad look to be staring at your guitar while playing it. By practicing with either your eyes closed or looking away from your guitar, you should be able to give yourself a better feel for playing the guitar. This can help you master things without having to rely on your eyes as a crutch.

The more experienced players only need to glance occasionally at their guitars. It is a skill that you will eventually develop. By working on it early, it’s something you can eventually master. Another good thing about doing this is that it will help you learn to use your ears to tell if you’re playing the right chords. This can make you a better stage performer.

3. Don’t focus on easy chords

While you are learning, you might be tempted to focus primarily on the easier-to-learn chords. This isn’t something you should be doing. Try to emphasize learning some of the more difficult chords. For instance, an F Major is one of the most important chords you’ll learn and it’s something you aren’t going to want to avoid learning. The fact is, you’ll need to learn it at some point. Therefore, you might as well do it sooner rather than later. The same thing holds for the B Minor. It’s a chord you’ll find in a lot of songs that you will need to grit your teeth and learn.

While these chords can certainly be frustrating to learn, you will want to do it as soon as possible. That way, it can open up more doors to the variety of songs you can play.

4. Learn bare chords

These are the chords that are at the heart and soul of both rock music and electric guitar. You will even find these chords being used frequently in acoustic sessions. Barre chords can be difficult on acoustic guitars, but they are necessary. Learning these chords on an acoustic guitar is only going to make learning how to play them on an electric guitar even easier.

Try to incorporate this type of learning into your routine. By learning the basic barre chord, you should be able to give yourself a ‘get out of jail free’ for playing something that might otherwise cause you to panic. Barre chords can make your guitar learning a much simpler process.

5. Understand the chords you’re playing

While it may sound unusual, it can be easy to find yourself changing the chord you are playing for a better effect. You’ll find that the standard tuning of a guitar can make this happen. After all, it’s not like a piano where everything will have a rigid structure and sound to it. Instead, you’ll be playing at times on an open string that can alter the chord structure. Allow yourself to experiment with different chords or even drop/raise your fingers to appreciate the different sounds you can create.

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