Playing the guitar well takes skill and practice. But what if you are practising playing the guitar the wrong way? It is necessary that you recognise any bad habits you are developing in your guitar playing routine quickly so that you can break them early. Given below are seven mistakes beginners make while learning how to play the guitar.
PUTTING IN TOO MUCH EFFORT PHYSICALLY TO PLAY
It is common not just for guitar players but most musicians to put too much effort physically when playing an instrument during their beginner days. And due to the wrong belief that guitar playing should be physically strenuous many beginners pressure down on the guitar strings. However, in reality, guitar playing as in the act of putting your fingers on the guitar strings and strumming should feel physically easy. The key problem lies in finger placing. All you need to remember is that when playing any note, make sure to place your fingers close to the fretwire towards the guitar’s body. Pressing down slightly behind the fretwire means you are pressing down on a point that needs the least amount of pressure to produce clean and nice notes.
NOT HAVING A PROFESSIONAL GUITAR SETUP
Getting a professional guitar setup often leads to having an instrument that is easier to play and requires much less effort to get notes to sound good. The difference that getting your guitar set up by a professional can make is like day and night as it achieves lower string action. The guitar becomes so easy to play that you can practice for a longer period of time without hurting your fingers. The distance between strings and the fretboard is called string action. This affects how much pressure you need to place on the strings and every fraction of a millimetre counts and can be felt by your hands. Usually, brand new guitars, especially the lower-end models, have high string action. While you can set up your guitar yourself, it's highly recommended to get a professional to set it up for the first time.
GOING AT JET SPEED
It is essential to know that what you are practising is absolutely correct because practice makes things permanent, including wrong techniques and mistakes. Which is why it is necessary that you do not play a song at 100 percent of its speed initially. Instead, try going at 50 per cent so that at a slower speed you are able to focus better and ensure that your technique is on point. Practising with an alert mindset will get you better results.
NOT USING A METRONOME TO PRACTICE
Having a metronome as a practice tool is absolutely essential, say experts. The reasons being that it forces you to slow down during practice, helps you understand your progress while practising and builds a natural rhythm sense inside you. Without a metronome, it is difficult to practice at a slower rate. You can, of course, increase the speed of a metronome but then you will also be able to check the neatness of your playing action.
USING TOO MANY EFFECTS WHEN PRACTICING
While it sounds great to play with your delay pedals and reverbs turned on to maximum, yet these often cover up your mistakes and clumsy techniques. This is also true regarding heavy distortion. Experts advise that you divide your practice sessions into two halves. One with effects turned on and the other with effects turned off. Also, it is helpful to sometimes turn up the tone knob of your guitar as well as the treble note on your amp.
NOT HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF MUSIC THEORY
It has been seen that a majority of people avoid learning music theory because they find some concepts boring and difficult. And while it can be time-consuming, music theory does speed up your understanding of music. Without it, as a beginner, you would only be memorising scale shapes and chord progressions.
PRACTICE GUITAR INCONSISTENTLY
Music playing ultimately comes down to muscle memory and to play music effortlessly it is necessary to practice it regularly. However, practising for many hours one day a week would be inconsistent practice. Instead, practice for 15 minutes every day, suggest experts.
Most students struggle with understanding what to practice and when. Music Pandit instructors understand that and thats why they have created Practice Routines or Practice Videos that you can use to practice your guitar skills. Practice videos are designed to help you improve your skills by doing a small portion of a song or an exercise from a slow to a fast tempo so that your fingers and muscle get accustomed to the technique gradually. These practice routines are especially helpful because students know exactly what they have to practice and there's no guesswork. For more about our guitar lessons, please see here.