You are eager to begin playing acoustic guitar. While your initial progress can seem slow, you should understand that all guitarists go through this initial learning curve. Everyone who pushes forward will eventually learn how to play the guitar. The main thing to remember is working towards having quality practice sessions. This is how you massively improve your chops while becoming an excellent player. The following are ten steps you can take that will help you quickly advance your playing.
Step 1: Write It Down
The work you do off your best acoustic guitar is as important as the work you do when playing your guitar. When you learn anything new, you must write it down. The collection of new tips, ideas and techniques will become the substance of future practice sessions. This is vitally important when you get stuck not knowing what you should practice each day. The more ideas you write down, which you will later use as study material, the more skills you will master. Simply work these items into your daily practice sessions.
Step 2: Research Is Critical
Aspiring guitar players advance quickly by setting aside time for doing research. You should learn all you can about various topics. Here are a few important issues you can study online.
- Diatonic theory
- Economy of motion when playing
- Picking techniques
- Finger picking techniques
- Using legato, Staccato, string bends and sliding techniques when playing
- Palm muting
- Reducing string noise when playing
You will find videos, articles and tutorials online covering all these subjects.
Step 3: Dedicate 15-Minutes a Day
Everyone needs quality practice time. You must set aside 15-minutes a day as your guitar practice minimum. Dedication is the key behind advancing your skills. The more time you put into playing, the more you will achieve.
Step 4: Patiently Listen
When you practice you must patiently listen. This is how you will notice areas where your playing could use significant work. This is something beginners must do a lot. Fixing mistakes earlier than later will make you a better player.
Step 5: Learn Your Guitar Neck
You must spend time memorizing the notes on each string. Learn these notes forwards and backwards. This chromatic exercise will help your mind picture the guitar neck more completely. Students who skip this critical exercise end up struggling more than they should when initially approaching the acoustic guitar. Students who practice this exercise regularly will not get lost when moving around the neck. They will develop an amazing sense of which notes they are playing.
Step 6: Slow Down and Do It Right
It is best to slow down when you play. This gives your brain and the muscles of your hands time to properly coordinate together. As your execution becomes more flawless, then start approaching a normal speed. Your accuracy will majorly increase by practicing this way.
Step 7: Use a Metronome
Even professionals use a metronome. The clicks in perfect uniform time help you develop precision timing. When your timing is excellent, this prevents sloppy playing. It also makes your playing sound as if you have been playing longer than you have.
Step 8: Apply the Right Pressure
It takes a certain amount of pressure to hold a string down properly. It takes a certain amount of pressure to hold your pick properly too. Be aware of how much pressure you are applying, and adjust how much strength you use until you achieve the right outcome when playing.
Step 9: Learn Phrasing
Playing melodic music is like having a conversation. Think of songs you learn broken into bite-sized chunks. Each chunk should seem like a phrase. The more you develop your sense of phrasing on acoustic guitar, the faster you will adapt to lead playing.
Step 10: Experimentation Leads to Innovation
Real learning comes when you start experimenting. Guitar players who look for new approaches when playing the guitar will find them. Sometimes a new approach will actually improve the way you execute older techniques. In fact, some of the best advancements in acoustic playing came from beginners who tried something new. You might pioneer a new discovery that will excite other acoustic guitar players. They might even follow your lead.