Nine Common Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

Learning to play the guitar can be fun and exciting, however, there are a few common mistakes that many make when learning how to play. Avoiding these mistakes can make or break how well you play this amazing instrument.

Proper Holding of Your Guitar

Holding the guitar is challenging, especially for beginners. Learn how to use the curves of the guitar to hug your body. If seated, you can use the curve on your knee and your rib cage. If you're standing, you can use the curves to hug your rib cage. By holding the guitar properly, you free your arms up to use the frets and use proper strumming techniques when you're playing.

Failing to Tune Each Time You Play

Every time you set your guitar down, it can alter the tuning. Each time you pick it up to give it a strum, do some minor tuning adjustments. If you have an electric tuner, all the better.

Learning Proper Picking and Strumming Techniques, and Use a Teacher

Many learn on their own using videos and/or friends. However, it can be challenging to learn proper picking and strumming techniques without a professional teacher and guitar lessons. Take a few lessons from a professional teacher and learn proper strumming and picking techniques as well as chord changes. Even just a few lessons will make you feel much more confident in your playing.

Holding Chords Properly

Be sure that you're using the proper fingering techniques to play the chords. When you use the proper techniques, chords will be much easier to play and you'll feel more comfortable playing.

Avoiding the Barre Chords

Barre chords are used by holding one finger across the frets and placing the other fingers in proper position. They can be a bit awkward, but once you get the hang of them, you'll find that your playing will improve exponentially.

Learning from Too Many People

Once you've learned the basics, you'll be tempted to dive into lessons from all sorts of other players, but be careful with who you're choosing to learn from. What works well for one person may not work well for another. Practice what you learn and become comfortable with each concept before you move on to another.

Not Playing in Front Of Others

Beginners are always nervous to play in front of others. However, performing builds confidence. If you make a mistake, don't dwell on it, and just try to enjoy showing off all of your hard work!

Not Learning Theory

If you're having difficulties advancing in your guitar playing, it's quite possible that it's because you're not learning theory. Once you learn theory, you'll gain a greater understanding of chord progressions, and how they work.

Understanding the concepts of music theory can make it much easier for you to understand new chords and progressions in all music, not just guitar.

Not Stretching What You Already Know

Once you've mastered a concept, a song or chord progression, it's easy to get caught up in only practicing only what you have just learned. You need to remember to stretch yourself and move forward by learning new and innovative techniques and methods to keep advancing in your playing.

Now that you know how to avoid these common rookie mistakes, you can move your skills forward and improve them. Remember, the more you practice, the better you'll become

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