Practice Tips

Read these 8 Practice Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Guitar tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I warm up for practice?

Start Chording

If you are a beginner, you should practice changing chords two at a time. For example, G to Em, Em to D7, and D7 to G. As soon as you master this, practice the strumming patterns. Take your time!

   
What does it take to become a good guitarist?

What Does it Take?

Introduction
You have decided you want to learn to play the guitar. It's not as simple as sitting down with the guitar one day, beginning to strum. It takes dedication and practice, along with a few other techniques you may not have considered, such as visualization

Begin Learning By Yourself
Why should you start learning by yourself? Because you can make mistakes in the privacy of your own room. Nobody else is around to see you muff that chord. You are under less pressure this way, making it simpler for you to actually push through those first difficult steps.

Access some websites that offer free guitar chord charts and practice your fingering. As you strum down, expect some of your chords to sound fuzzy, buzzy and muffled. Until you get used to where your fingers belong, and until you are able to press down on each string, this will happen. It's natural.

Once you've learned the basics, you'll be able to figure out what a guitar teacher is telling you to do. This means a little less frustration for the both of you.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Set aside a little time every day to practice. Try for a maximum of thirty minutes a day to practice. If you won't be able to practice for thirty minutes on a particular day, practice for as long as you can. If it's fifteen minutes, you managed to get something in. Learn the lingo: frets, strings, nylon versus steel strings, pics, capos.

When you practice, choose a few chords and work on these. Learn new strum patterns. Practice tuning your instrument. Whatever you work on, practice it until you are comfortable with it.

Chord Exercises
Choose some new chords and practice forming them with your hand. Study your chord charts and place your fingers, as indicated, on the correct strings. For instance, an A chord uses your forefinger, middle finger and ring finger, with all three placed on the three center strings on the first fret. Practice each chord until your fingers are comfortable with their placement on the fretboard. Pay close attention to which fret your fingers are supposed to be on, because placing them on the wrong fret affects the sound of the chord.

Practice Chord Changes
You have your fingers placed on the A chord and you want to switch to an E chord. Here, you'll need to consciously look at each chord and where your finger is on your guitar. As you change to a new chord, you'll literally pick one finger up at a time and move it. Yes, it will be a slow process at first. Keep practicing and allow your fingers to develop muscle memory for each chord. Before you know it, when you see a new chord, your fingers will automatically change to the new chord without you having to think about where each finger should go.

Learn to Tune Your Instrument
It's much easier for you to learn your new instrument when it sounds right. If you are learning on a 6-string guitar, the strings are tuned to a high E, A, D, G, B and a low E. Use a tuning fork, a portable electronic tuner, your ears, or, if your instrument is so equipped, the tuner that's built into it.

Once you get skilled enough, you'll be able to tell automatically how your guitar should sound. When you change to new strings, you'll have to tune frequently because the strings are tight, not stretched out. If the humidity changes, this also affects your instrument's sound.

Imagine Yourself Playing
Finally, visualize yourself playing simple tunes. Imagine yourself playing the new chords you're working on learning. For the chords you remember more easily, physically position your fingers in that chord. Do the same for a second chord, then begin slowly switching between these chords until it feels natural for you.

Do this visualization exercise every time you are relaxing or watching television. The next time you sit down with your guitar, you'll remember more easily where your fingers are supposed to go for a particular chord and your practice session will go more easily.

   
How do I warm up for practice?

Motivation

Examine your priorities. Do you want to have some serious fun with this? It doesn't take any particular level of talent to achieve a decent level of playing satisfaction on the guitar. In my view, if you can clap your hands in time to the beat of a song on the radio, then you have the necessary sense of rhythm. The rest is perseverance--knowing that you will succeed if you make a little progress each day, by putting in the time.

   
How to Learn Guitar.

Increase Your Musical IQ

Psychologists have shown that children can increase their IQs by teaching their younger siblings. Similarly, if you want to play better guitar, teach someone else what you know. Teaching reinforces what you already know and shows you how people learn. You can then apply these techniques to yourself.

   
What do I take for gigs?

Transposing music

To aid you in playing with different groups / singers, carry a transposition table with you to transpose music (on the page or in your head) into whatever key is comfortable for the band / singer.

To create a table, write out on a piece of paper the notes in the C Major scale from C up to B (in semitone increments) and then write each other key beneath, starting at the major and going up in semitones. This is a really easy way to transpose chords in an instant.

   
How often should I practise?

How much and how often to practice?

You should practise as often as you want to. If practising feels like a real chore, then leave it for that day.

10 minutes of inspired practice in a day is worth far more than an hour slogging away at something you don't enjoy!

Remember - playing guitar is FUN! You PLAY it - you don't WORK it!

   
How can I motivate myself to practice?

Practice

Practice is a key element to playing the guitar; you can't really practice too much. When your fingers are sore, your hands ache, and you feel really great about it, you're doing it right!

   
How do I warm up for practice?

Don't Worry

Don't get frustrated if you can't pick up each "lick" perfectly at first. This takes a lot of playing and practice. The most important thing is to get as close to the "vibe" and the over-all feeling of a particular phrase.

   
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