Guitar Beginners are excited about learning the guitar but often get nervous about making wrong first-steps in the beginning. Here are answers to some questions that are asked repeatedly in my beginner guitar lessons. I hope this helps some of you out.
1) Should I buy an acoustic or an electric guitar?
Buy whichever guitar ... View Lesson
When I started playing guitar and first learned barre chords, I thought using a capo was "cheating". "Shouldn't everyone learn how to play an F chord or C# minor?", I thought. While this is surely true, I now realize that the sound you get by using open strings is such a beautiful tone that understanding and ... View Lesson
In teaching guitar I come across students with various reasons as to why they will have trouble learning to play. Maybe they are taking up the guitar later in life, they might have small hands or other physical challenges, a lifestyle with time limitations, whatever.
If large hands made a great guitarist then basketballer Shaquille O'Neal would probably be the greatest guitar player around! I can ... View Lesson
The focus of your guitar practicing should be on things that are new to you. In other words, devote the majority of your guitar practice to what you can't do, not what you already do well. Some guitarists have played for years but play the same few riffs the entire time! The new stuff can be frustrating but it creates progress.
Familiar material will be maintained ... View Lesson
Each time you play a guitar part, right or wrong, your body is learning it. How you practice is very important because of this. If you are practicing a song and consistently making a mistake on the same lick or chord change, don't start from the beginning. You are teaching yourself to make a mistake!
Isolate problem areas and practice them separately. Take your time, playing ... View Lesson
This list of advice for playing music in a group I picked up from one of my instructors while attending Musicians Institute
. The advice is from jazz keyboardist Chick Corea. Chick says as a preface "these bits of advice are policies and guidelines that formed through the years. I've found them to be comfortable, useful attitudes and rules. Use them if they work for ... View Lesson
The songs you can play are referred to as your "repertoire"; songs that you know beginning to end and can perform without looking at the sheet music or tablature. Ideally, a couple of these songs should be 'solo' pieces: an instrumental or an accompaniment you sing to. It is good to know a couple of easy songs that you can quickly show other musicians. These ... View Lesson
The drummer sets the tempo and time for the band so, of course, you should listen to and lock in with your drummer.
As a rule, guitar players cue in to the top end of the drum kit: the snare drum, hi-hat and ride cymbals. Lock in with the rhythms and accents your drummer is playing ... View Lesson
Dividing your practice session into short time frames - two to five minutes - is beneficial on many levels. It helps clarify what you are hoping to accomplish. It focuses you on the task at hand. And it breaks up your large musical journey into small steps. Focusing on short-term successes can ward off the ... View Lesson
Jazz guitar legend and teacher, Howard Roberts, gave one of my all-time favorite quotes when it comes to guitar technique:
"Speed is a by-product of Accuracy".
If one rushes to play a lick, melody or song before learning how it physically should feel when played well, the parts will never sound fast or ... View Lesson