How To Practice The Guitar Properly

Published: 13th August 2009
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According to the old adage, "practice makes perfect". When we begin to learn a new skill, the fact that we should practice should come as common sense. When it comes to learning to play the guitar, which is not easy, this is never truer.

By doing things incorrectly at the beginning, you will continue to do so. If you are getting it wrong at the beginning, then the more you practice, the more you practice the wrong way of doing things. If you are not practicing correctly, however, you can hinder your progression more than you can help it.

The poor hand position is a good example to use, because when it comes to playing the guitar, it is a very common problem. Look at the way that you hold your hands - if your hands are in a poor or incorrect position to begin with, then the more you continue in that vein then the more reinforced and powerful that position becomes. After a while, you will find it very difficult to change. In some cases it can even lead to injury.

It doesn't really matter whether you read music or not, but the ability to count the beats within any given piece of music is integral to your learning to play properly. As you can imagine, the overall importance of rhythm in music is never to be underestimated, and if you get it wrong from the beginning, it can affect all other aspects of your progression. The way that you practice rhythm is also important, and is another common problem amongst students.

I am constantly amazed at how many people when they learn to play the guitar do not learn this, and it really comes to the fore when they play alongside others or in a jam session. Keeping time with the music gives you the ability to play with other musicians.

Take a look at your practice schedule now, and the way that you practice. You really need to examine the way that you practice before the 'bad habits' become so ingrained that they are almost impossible to change. Ask yourself whether your hands are in the right position, and if you are able to count the beats within the music.

For the slower-paced musician, make sure that you are not sacrificing rhythm for the ability to play at that speed - this is another common problem. Also worth considering is the speed at which you play.

A good tip which many people find incredibly helpful is to use a simple device to help you keep the tempo, such as a drum machine or a metronome. Remember the things we spoke about earlier - don't sacrifice your good hand position in order to make the time! If you find that you are playing too slowly, then keep practicing, and slowly build up the speed until you can keep pace with the tempo.

Hand position, rhythm, and speed or tempo: master these, and you will immediately find that your standard of playing has not only considerably improved, but it's much easier as well! When it comes to practicing the guitar - you now know a little more about where your priorities should lie.

If someone tells you that you will be able to play the guitar like an expert after a few lessons, then be wary. But if you do practice, and practice correctly, you will get more out of this wonderful instrument. To play the guitar to a high standard takes a number of things - it takes commitment, determination and a lot of practice.

Liam Gibson of, specializes in helping aspiring guitarists get the info that they need to make the right choices. Liam, a stage guitarist himself, leads his team of guitar experts to constantly review new courses and products in the market and make sure you get the best value products that work for you. Check out actual user reviews and feedback of the most popular guitar courses at LearnGuitar-User-Reviews.

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