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RacheRach

Common Mistakes

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Going too fast.  You’re not going to run 10 miles until you can walk it with little discomfort.  And it takes awhile to build up to it.

But you can, it’s all muscle memory.  And if you can tap your toes and fingers to the beat, you can train your arm to do the same.

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Yep. Crawl, walk run, the sequence is fixed. Only the distance and baggage changes.

Generalizing aside, what are you wanting to do with the guitar? Do you know yet? It might seem like another dumb question to match your own, but it's important. One can get really wordy here citing every conceivable stumble and trap we all negotiated going in, and still experience, but there's no sense going there just yet until we get to know what you want from playing a guitar.

Edited by Idunno

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There's a lot of lesson on the net for free, but I think taking lessons from a local pro really helps out.

 

 

 

 

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 learn to read music ,,wish I'd done that early on,it makes you realize just how versatile the guitar is,it makes you aware of arrangement and the main components of a tune. also what I like about it is if I do my own version of a song and write it down,I won't ever forget that particular version. All the best

 

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Don't squeeze hard with your fretting hand. A light touch just behind the fret is where the speed, control, and best tone comes from. 

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Common mistake, in fact very common mistake is not learning barre chords. I would recommend that as soon as you begin to feel comfortable with some of the first position chords you should start learning barre chords. 

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Even if you don't want to learn how to read music, I recommend you don't overlook learning scales (and their relationship to chords) and basic musical theory concurrently with learning how to play chords.

While learning three basic first position chords and basic strumming will allow you to play songs, there's a lot more to playing guitar than just strumming chords.

 

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I think one mistake for a beginner to avoid is playing for too long. Most beginners haven't developed the strength in the fingers required to play for long periods of time. If they push themselves to go longer than they should then injury can occur. Make sure to pace yourself when you practice, know what you're capable of and allow yourself enough time to rest.

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Choosing the wrong or inappropriate practice schedule.

For years I would promise I'd practice after dinner [and a long day] only to be too tired to either do it or do it well. Then I decided to switch it up - now I get up early, spend an hour or so waking up and an hour practicing for before hitting the shower and starting my day.

While this does require getting up early, the benefits are that I'm wide awake and fresh when I practice so I get far more out of my time. At the end of my day I'm able to unwind without the stress of not practicing because I'm too tired.

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Don't "skip ahead"!!!

Only ever play at a tempo where you can totally nail the part and speed up as you improve. It'll feel strange and boring for a while, but gets better quickly. 

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Great suggestions here. I used to sit in high school class and practice sending message from brain to specific fingers to build those neural pathways. Desk was my guitar neck.

Maybe already do this, but when listening try to isolate in your brain what one (or more) of instruments is adding to the mix. Sort of deconstruct the tune... I remember first doing that and thinking "huh, that tremolo guitar only played 4 chords 4 times in whole song. How about that?" I guess you'd call that "critical listening"

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4 hours ago, davie said:

I think one mistake for a beginner to avoid is playing for too long. Most beginners haven't developed the strength in the fingers required to play for long periods of time. If they push themselves to go longer than they should then injury can occur. Make sure to pace yourself when you practice, know what you're capable of and allow yourself enough time to rest.

Good advice. It is going to be a bit uncomfortable at first (especially until your fingertips start to build up some callouses) but if hurts too much, or your hands really start cramping up, stop. Give it a rest for a while. You can always come back to it in a while after your hands stop hurting. Better to put in two 15 or 30 minute sessions that don't hurt than try to do a half an hour or an hour straight and cause yourself too much pain or maybe even an injury. 

30 minutes of practice a day, or maybe an hour, should be all you need to show some significant improvement over a fairly short period of time if you are consistent with it. :) 

 

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3 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

Don't "skip ahead"!!!

Only ever play at a tempo where you can totally nail the part and speed up as you improve. It'll feel strange and boring for a while, but gets better quickly. 

 

Absolutely! Play as slowly as you need to in order to play in-time and consistently. ONLY speed up the tempo when you can consistently nail what you're trying to play at the slower tempo. 

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common mistake ,don`t ask a guitar forum "What common beginner mistakes should I avoid? Or TRY to avoid?" or you`ll probs get a reply of every common mistake  going . so whch keyboard are you thinking of getting .

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above all else...do not get frustrated with slow progress and dexterity issues. Training your muscles to form chords, and change them, takes time. There is no short cut. This was the biggest complaint I got from students. As others mentioned here, you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run...but before you can crawl...you need to train those muscles. Don't even think about playing a song. Learn to form and change chords. Start with the basic 'cowboy chords'. Learn A, D, E and G. Learn to change from one to the other without thinking about it. Then learn C, B...and finally learn the F barre...the most painful of all...

Next, the minor chords...:wave:

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get hold of some begginer books  like "play in a day " by bert weedon  which has some very simple songs in anyone can learn,  the magic of learning the guitar is actualy  playing songs straight off the bat, it inspires to move on,

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If I was to start today knowing what I know now, it would be to find the easiest playing guitar I could find. I might not be able to play but I do know that I can learn a few chord shapes and compare how hard they are to place/hold on various different guitar shapes and sizes. Solely engaging the head to sort things out, without involving the hands, is to say that the physiology of playing isn't considered at the outset. Forget about tone. A noob has to earn that part of the reward of learning to play so it can come later. A fine sounding guitar that I can't play isn't motivating. It's the veritable carrot dangling just beyond the horse's mouth and frustrating at best. If I can't play it, it isn't going to sound good. I'd get something that I can quickly adapt to that doesn't require psyching myself up to play (like a Yamaha FG230 12-string to learn Classical Gas on - ask me how I know).

Once the guitar is sorted out the songs, like cats mentions above, should come next. They should be simple, basic melodies that get the hands fluid with chord changes. Three to four chord songs with a slower meter will feed the muse and stoke the self-motivation to try more difficult things. The less work on the fretting hand means the player can focus on the picking hand in real time.

I've read >>>>> forum stories from players who use a plectrum exclusively and regret not having started out finger picking. Using an easy to play guitar and keeping to basic major/minor chord shapes in basic songs is the perfect scenario for learning to finger pick from the outset.

My idea of an easy fretting guitar is a nylon string cross-over that has steel string dimensions. They're not the cheapest guitars on the wall but they will pay off faster than any steel string counterpart in terms of progress made. I bought one for my son to learn on. I won't say that it alone is the lynch pin for learning but there are certainly harder playing guitars out there and all of them have steel strings on them.

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On 3/5/2020 at 7:13 AM, RacheRach said:

All such great advice!! Thank you :) I can't wait to try some of these tips. 

There is no try, only do.  (Yoda vocals)

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