Here are some tips to help you on your way.
You’re concentrating hard on getting it right so you’re likely to tense up. Before you pick the guitar up shake your hands and forearms so that it almost feels like you have no bones in them!
This will help your picking hand be much more mobile and help achieve a flow to your rhythm as you are learning to strum.
2.Too much pressure.
Playing chords can be hard to begin with, so everyone without fail tends to get into the habit of gripping the neck for dear life. Don’t, its not a strength contest.
Try fretting a single note first and then slowly apply pressure so that it rings clearly. Now try it with a chord, I guarantee that you need less pressure than you think.
Lastly try moving from one chord to another using the same process. This will seem slow to begin with but you will find that by learning to grip with just the right amount of strength your hand will not tire so much and your chord changes will be more fluid.
Unlike chords shapes on a keyboard the use of open strings can throw up a lot of different shapes on the fretboard for what is essentialy the same type of chord.
But the good news is that the guitar does have patterns it’s just not that obvious to begin with. When you play an E Major chord in the open position and then drop that shape down onto the next set of string you’ve got an A Minor right?
When you learn to barre chords you will see that that one shape will give you a Major chord or a Minor chord on any fret of the neck when barred from the 6th string or 5th string respectively.
Scales should be visualised as well. If you know a basic Minor Pentatonic shape then when you learn any minor type scale whether it’s a Natural minor ,Harmonic minor or whatever it’s important to see you are not learning a new shape you are just adding notes to a framework you already know.
4.Break the mould!
And not your strings! Beginners break a lot of strings and mostly it’s all down to one thing, incorrect tuning,
Tune your guitar every time you play it so that you get used to the correct sound of accurately tuned strings.
Electric tuners are cheap and accurate nowadays so there is no excuse and remember that if your string keeps going up in pitch as you are tuning it but doesn’t seem to be getting to the right note just slacken the string off and start again as you might need to go the other way.
5.I’ve got rhythm.
Well I’ve got a Metronome anyway which has to be the best thing to use to learn to keep time correctly.
And yes I know that they are annoying but you don’t have to use them all the time, just get into the habit of regularly checking yourself and if that’s too much then play along to a backing track that you like.
6.I can’t do it!
Rubbish! Of course you can.
Everyone and I mean everyone including your heroes was at the stage where their playing sounded terrible and they thought of giving up.
You guessed it! They kept going.
7.Man or Woman with the Plan.
This is the big secret!
Whether you get a teacher or not learning to use your time productively will be the key to your success.
So if you’ve only got 30 minutes a day use it wisely. Don’t just repeat what you know. Learn new chords for 10 minutes then practice scales with a metronome for another 10 minutes and lastly work on your strumming or fingerpicking to finish off.
8.The possibilities are endless.
Don’t think “oh no, all the things I need to learn! ”
Do think “Great, all the wonderful things I’m going to learn! You are on the start of a journey that’s going to be challenging but also fun, rewarding and exciting.
9.Open your Mind
You might think “I’m going to be a Rock Guitarist” .But no you’re not.
You are in fact going to get interested in styles and genres you never considered before. Steve Vai spent hours studying Jazz Guitarist Ted Greene’s Books as well as music from all around the world.
A true musician learns from everything.
10.You are your greatest strength.
Well not really. What I mean is that everyone uses the same notes and chords but they all sound different when played by different players.
Learn from everyone but don’t try to copy them.
Find your unique voice and stick with it. It’s what will make you stick out and not afraid to experiment.