Every pro starts out as a beginner. And you know, no beginner makes no mistake. Learning guitar is thus definitely not an exception. Even though the mistakes are inevitable, we need to be aware of them to avoid repeating them in the future.
And just by reducing the mistakes you can improve for the better. In this piece of writing, we will go through 10 common beginner mistakes in learning guitar. Some of them you may not expect. Still, it is important to put them into serious consideration.
Underestimate the significance of tempo and timing
The very first mistake that most beginners encounter is their lack of attention to timing and tempo. And when it comes to keeping the rhythm going, learning how to count and stay on the beat is crucial.
Tempo and timing are like the alpha-omega of music. Without the skill to stay fit with the rhythm, you cannot make the music.
And if you are learning guitar in the absence of a metronome, it would be a big mistake. Make sure you have one to practice with, an online one is fine. There are now many metronome apps that you can easily put on your phone.
Remember to use the metronome in every single session of practicing. Once you use it, you will start to realize how bad you are at keeping the rhythm.
Too fast and too soon
To keep that proper speed, there is no better way than practice. Do not just aim at getting the notes and the chords right. Putting them in harmony with a correct speed will make your performance much smoother.
Many beginners expect the improvement like Slash after a month of learning. Unfortunately, learning guitar does not work that way. Because if it does, there would be nothing special about it.
So instead of aiming for trying to switch from chord to chord as fast as you can, it is better to play slowly and properly first. Fast and sloppy will never make your practice any better.
Specifically, to ready yourself for the improvements, start with learning how to control your fingers with correct movements. Play at a slow pace, and then you will see yourself being able to speed up as your fingers know where they go.
Neglect the barre chords
We all know how difficult it is just to place each finger at the right string and fret. Barring the chords then is the next level. It is, in fact, a major struggle for all beginners when learning guitars.
Barre chords are a hurdle at first, and that is the reason why most beginners avoid playing any song with these chords. But if you just keep avoiding it, you should not expect more than just the beginner level.
You had better push yourself to it. Try the barre chords a few minutes in your practice. But keep the commitment, even though you will surely not like the feeling of clumsiness when playing them.
Sooner or later, you will be familiar with them, and things will get much easier for you.
Practice makes perfect, and it is true when it comes to learning anything, especially a musical instrument. We all know this saying, but not many of us take it seriously enough.
There is no shortcut, no secret no magic to learning guitar. Just by practicing can you ever improve. This fact may not inspire you as much as some courses promising you can perform like Eric Clapton in just a month.
But if you are serious about this fact, you will truly put your time and effort into learning. Besides enough practicing, proper practicing is just as important.
In learning guitar, there are 3 most important aspects to focus on – technical aspect, knowledge, and new stuff. And you should devote your effort in learning these 3 things equally.
Not enough attention to the guitar quality
You do not need a fancy guitar that may cost you an arm and a leg. But at least make sure that the guitar you are going to buy has the decent quality for your practicing over the long run. Investment in the guitar is a great investment for improvements.
As you have a guitar that you feel comfortable to play with and respect the money you spend, you will take the learning more seriously. There are now some guitar brands with the good reputation you can consult from. Read from the buyers and it will help you make your decision easier.
Many people think a guitar for beginners should not be a worry. They may think about just going to the nearby shop, say you are a beginner, and pick the cheapest one. Do not do and think the same if you want to be a better player.
Not enough seriousness
If you do not set goals for your practice, you will be stepping on the same point. And if you do not know where you want to go, you will never get there.
It is ideal to have the to-do list for your practice to achieve the short-term goals. How long are you going to know how to play the basic chords? How can you practice them? Answer the questions that bring you to your goal, and stick to the plan.
Without a detailed plan for practice and a set time frame for the tasks, you will never know your progress. You will eventually do not even care about your progress, and quit the learning.
After each session, there will be boxes you can tick. And after a few weeks or months, with many checked boxes, you will realize the level of your achievement.
Stick to boring drills
If you know to play a chord set perfectly, do not stick with it. It is time to move on, throw yourself in practicing new chords with higher difficulty levels. Boring and repetitive chords will undetermined your motivation in learning guitar.
As you always switch to learn new chords, you will keep your passion burning. You do not start learning guitar just to play boring melodies. Thus, start to learn new songs will be very cool.
Keep fueling your interest in playing guitar by adding new things in your practice. You will soon upgrade your techniques and knowledge.
Not willing to play in front of others
You may learn guitar just to be able to hum along with your favorite melody. But you should not just play for yourself. Playing in front of others will help a lot in dealing with shyness and reinforce the confidence.
Please do not refer the phrase “playing in front of others” to a gig or a public concert. Start by having a performance in front of your friends and family. It gives you a good dose of adrenaline, making you more patient with your goal.
Once you get that confident feeling to play in front of the people you know, it will be time to try bringing your performance to less familiar friends.
It would be awesome seeing people smiling and giving you compliments. They will give you more power and energy to keep on working for the better.
Not collaborating with others
Collaborating with others may be a hard task, but it is one of the best methods to upgrade your guitar skills. Of course, you may need to reach the immediate level before actually looking for somebody to play with.
Thus, you should do this step when you are confident of playing in front of others. As you collaborate with someone, you can cross-check each other and contribute constructive feedback. Both you and your partner will then start advancing.
Easy to get distracted
There are now millions of courses and books teaching you how to play guitar. Yet you do not need all of them for your practice. Many beginners make the same mistake of not being able to stick to a few learning sources.
They usually switch from many different YouTube videos, online courses, and articles. The result is not impressive more than often.
In fact, this way will get you nowhere. The key is to stay focused and dedicated. Find yourself a teacher, or a clear training course with a specific lesson plan. Stick to the plan, and it will be much more effective.
In a nutshell
Learning a new musical instrument is never easy, but it will be very interesting as you move forward for it. Above are 10 common beginner mistakes when people start learning guitar.
I do hope that this piece of writing is useful for you when you decide to learn guitar or finding some motivations for your practice.
In short, with serious attention to learning and practicing, you will surely get better over the time. Wish you all the best.