4 Amazing Guitar Tricks That Every Guitarist Must Know

guitar tricksThe guitar, probably the most expressive instrument in the world, has been around for centuries and is basically the instrument that singlehandedly shaped that all encompassing music we now refer to as Rock N’ Roll. Many names has been associated with this instrument like peas in a pod; guitar pioneers like Leo Fender, Les Paul, Francisco Tarrega to the virtuosos and guitar giants like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix… The list goes on and on even until today.

Of course, these people would not have been as successful if it we’re not for their masterful use of guitar tricks and techniques. Imagine, Clapton or Hendrix without the know-how of string bending and their genius in the art of guitar amplification. Without his guitar tapping wizardry and blazing hammer-ons, would Eddie Van Halen still be considered as one of the guitar gods of the past century? Learning the basics of guitar playing is just the first step if you want to really be a successful guitar slinger. When it comes to playing the guitar, forget about genre. Since this instrument transcends them all: Country, classical, jazz, pop, funk, rock n’ roll and everything else in between—even Rap and Hip-hop!

We’re going to talk about the fundamentals, tricks that should be familiar to any serious guitar player. Sure, you know all the chords! Sure, you know how to strum the six-string—well I got some news for you kid, chords can only get you so far! If you really serious about learning the craft, you need to learn the good stuff, the tasty bits… stuff that will get you noticed. These are the guitar tricks kid! Be sure to pay attention!

The Guitar Tricks: Your Arsenal

Power Chords

Power Chords – The life blood of guitar playing are the chords. Group of notes played together are the basis of songs. You have been learning chords since the day you decided to pick up the instrument. Now, let’s pick up the ante a little bit—to something that is considered as the building blocks of rock n roll, the power chords! What are they? From the word itself, these chords are no ordinary ones, they are chords with attitude.

Rock Chords

Power chords are part of rock guitar. In fact, they are the cornerstone of modern music. Music of today will not have that bombastic element and driving rhythm without the power chord. If you are certainly into guitar playing, guitar tricks like this, is a very important element. You’re going to be exposed to it all the time, in rock music most especially, where power chords are the trademark.

Things to Remember about Power Chords

Power is definitely a quality that is needed in properly executing a power chord. Most of them are composed only of two notes—root notes and fifths, so to be able to have these notes ring out, you will have to have a certain amount of force in hitting the strings with your picking or strumming hand.

Controlled Chaos

Power chords are guitar tricks that are not only limited with your strumming hand or right hand. The truth is, in playing power chords, both recklessness and control needs to work in unison for it to be successful. With the left hand, fingers need to press the right strings, and in just the right manner, progression and shapes, on the other hand, the right one should do exactly the opposite. Hitting the strings as hard as possible is the key here—so let her rip! Let your tone be as sloppy, as chunky and as angry as you want it to be!

Let it Flow

Playing power chords in never a clean-cut thing. Don’t focus too much on hitting only just the two notes (the root and the fifth). Do not be too concerned if you happen to hit some notes other than them—with power chords, ruggedness and feel is more important! Have fun with it!

Power Chord Masters

There is not one rock guitarist out there who does not use power chords! But some groups are known strictly for them.

  • The Ramones
  • The Who
  • Nirvana
  • Bush
  • Black Sabbath


Hammer-ons – One of the most essential guitar tricks that everybody has to learn. A hammer-on is a skill that will definitely add more facets and more range in your guitar playing. You cannot be called a great six-stringer without it. It can be used with both acoustic guitars and electric guitars.

Hammer-on: Description

A hammer-on is when you hit a string on the fretboard with your left hand without exactly picking it with your right. You do this by sounding out the string first using your picking hand and then hitting or hammering that same string with your fretting finger quick enough so as to create enough vibration to keep it ringing. You should be able to hear the tone change when the trick is done correctly. The opposite of the hammer-on is the pull off.

Things to Remember about Hammer-ons

Hammer-ons are important because it enables you to play fast without exactly picking all the notes with your right hand. Picking all the notes with your right hand will make your guitar playing sound cluttered, labored and sloppy whereas using hammer-ons together with pull offs will make your guitar playing more fluid.

It’s All About Speed

Speed is very important if you want to execute this guitar trick effectively. Hitting or hammering the string quickly is key here, because if you hit the string too slow, as soon as the finger touches it, it will mute the string. The string will not sound out.

The Pull-Off

Pull offs – The Hammer-on’s partner in crime. Taken from the word itself, the pull off is when you release your fingers from the string that you’re currently muting. It might sound easy but don’t let the name fool you! Pull offs are a little more challenging to execute than hammer-ons. Most pull offs are done after a hammer-on, this one-two punch combination is what guitar players call as Legato. They are skills used to make guitar players sound faster, more fluid and juggle more notes as possible.

Things to Remember about Pull 0ffs

When trying to execute this guitar trick, you will need to pluck the string that you are trying to pull off from on your left hand. You don’t just lift your finger from the string because it will not have enough momentum to sound properly. The sound that will be generated is going to be weak.

The Technique of the Pull-off

During pull off attempts, some guitar students instead of plucking the strings downwards on the fretboard, they accidentally bend the string instead. To counter this, one must just push the string downwards slightly when attempting a pull off and the finger before the finger that’s going to do the pull off, should be muting the other strings on the fretboard to prevent accidentally hitting or bending them.

Hammer-on and Pull 0ff Masters

  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Vai
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Alan Holdsworth
  • Kirk Hammett
  • Eddie Van Halen

The Slide

Slide – Slide can either be of two things: A.) It can be the guitar trick or skill wherein you pick the note and then moving or “sliding” their finger to another fret in the fretboard. The other kind of slide is B.) A piece of glass, ceramic or metal used in guitar playing. This type of guitar playing is known as Slide guitar, and the sound generated using this technique is smooth, crystalline and almost magical.

Traditionally a Blues Techniques

It used to be strictly used in Blues especially Delta Blues popularized by Robert Johnson and Country music. Since this article is about guitar tricks, we will talk about the technique—which is divided into 2 kinds: the shift slide and the legato slide.

Shift and Legato Slide

Both making use of picking the note or string and then sliding it either down or up the fretboard. In shift slides, you’re going to pick the string or note twice, from the fret where you started to where you ended. In the legato variety, you only pick once, usually from the fret where you begun. If done correctly, you should hear the difference of the pitch as the finger goes from one fret to the other.

Things to Remember about Slides

Every time you attempt a slide on the fretboard, make sure to dig deeper against the string to ensure that the pressure of your finger will still be there upon reaching the other fret. If this is not done correctly, the string will not sound right or might not sound at all. This applies on both sliding up or down the fretboard.

No Pain, No Gain

Sliding up and down the fretboard may be kind of painful if you are just starting out with the guitar. Don’t worry though, with continuous practice, you will develop callouses on your fingers that will help and protect your fingers as you glide from one fret to the other. Practice makes perfect! It always boils down to the amount of time you spend honing the skill.

Slide Masters

  • Eric Clapton
  • Jimmy Page
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Duane Allman

Conclusion – Guitar Tricks

These are just four of the many tricks you can do on the guitar. You can never be another Clapton or Hendrix or Satriani, but who can right? Develop these skills and maybe you can even be greater than them. The most important part of learning a new skill is the first few steps, the fundamentals! You get that down pat, and everything will just fall into place and will just improve or strengthen what is already learned.

For more tips and tricks, be sure to check Jamplay.com–Where you can learn more skills that you can use to complete your guitar playbook. They have instructional videos, chord shapes, tablatures and instructors online that can help you get to the next level of guitar playing. If you’re really serious about your guitar skills, this is the place! Once again, it’s www.jamplay.com!

Mastering Guitar Scales

learn guitar scalesAside from the vocalist, the lead guitarist is the most popular member of a band. It is no wonder that kids want to learn how to play lead guitar even before they can master rhythm guitars. To the beginner, it is a wonder how guitarists can create great solos with ease. Looking for easy guitar solos to learn can help the guitarist play popular solos, but it does not teach the student how to improvise.

Those who search for answers discover that the secret weapon of lead guitarists is mastering the scales. This is why aspiring lead guitarists are interested on how to learn guitar scales. However, learning scales on guitar is not the only skill needed by prospective lead guitarists. Here is a basic guide on what to practice.

Learning Scales

Ideally, playing guitar solos would mean complete control of the four fingers of the left hand, if right-handed. The pointing, middle, ring, and pinky fingers should be able to move independently of each other. Learning scales on guitar would be challenging if the guitarist have problems controlling these fingers. Luckily, finger exercises are available and can be used to train these stiff little fingers. Check out videos demonstrating these exercises. It would help if a metronome were used while practicing these exercises.

Another essential to learning scales on guitar are basic playing techniques. Guitarists new to guitar improvisation tend to play the scales up and down the fretboard, resulting in a boring melody. Applying basic techniques on selected notes can help liven up the tune. Instead of hitting two consecutive notes, guitarists can hammer on the second note or slide to the next note. When going down to the next note, a pull off can be made to make it more interesting.

When hitting three consecutive notes, a bend can be applied on the second note to make it match the third note. Long and short vibratos can also be applied on certain parts of a guitar solo. Knowing basic playing techniques is necessary for guitarists learning scales on guitar. To practice these techniques, choose four consecutive notes on the guitar to play an idea, changing it a bit by applying these playing techniques. Forcing the guitarist to play using only four notes encourage creative solos, instead of just playing the scales with random notes.

Types of Scales

What scale needs to be learned by the beginner lead guitarist? The major scale is the mother of all scales. It has seven notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B that can be used to play most modern music. However, some students may be confused with too many notes. A simpler alternative for starters, but powerful nonetheless is the pentatonic scale. As the name suggests, it is composed of only five notes, with the notes F and B excluded in the pentatonic scale. While it contains lesser notes, the pentatonic scale is widely used in blues and rock music, and is the scale of choice for beginners who are serious in learning scales on guitar. For ballads, however, the major scale may be more suitable. Look for easy guitar solos to learn. It is possible that the major or pentatonic scale was used for the solo.

When searching for online guitar lessons, look for sites that offer a comprehensive collection of guitar scales in any key. Sites with instructions on how to play the scales, along with music theories are recommended. Watching video examples on how to learn guitar scales is much better than reading long paragraphs of explanations. It would also aid the student if famous solos that use scales being learned were shown as actual examples.

So as not to intimidate the beginner, scales are grouped into five forms or shapes and are typically numbered for easy reference. These shapes can be moved left or right across the fretboard to match the current key being played. The position of these shapes cannot be interchanged. Shape #1 is always followed by scale shape #2 and so on. It also wraps around. Shape #5 is followed by scale shape #1. Memorize these guitar shapes. Once these are mastered, the guitarist is free to jump across these shapes.

Another important aspect of guitar solos is phrasing. Try listening to popular guitar solos. Just like singing, notes are not played continuously from start to finish. Singers need to breathe, and so do guitar solos. Imagine listening to a speaker who is reading a paragraph with periods, commas, and semicolons. It is easier to follow compared to paragraphs without punctuation. The same principle applies to guitar solos. Use pause, bends, or vibratos to break up long parts.

Playing Fast

Playing fast licks looks amazing, but these may become boring if played from start to finish. Reserve them for fillers between phrases or as highlights near the end of guitar solos. Think dynamics. There should be soft and loud parts. There should be slow and fast licks. These simple ideas can make guitar solos more interesting and easier to remember. Licks that linger in the mind long after it is heard tend to be remembered. Listen to hit songs. Chances are they have good phrasing. Each song is not a collection of the most complex licks, but a theme that revolves around a single idea.

How does one practice working on a single idea? Find easy guitar solos to learn. Choose a nice lick. Play that lick exactly as heard. Change a note or two. Add a few notes, but always return to the basic notes. Experiment with the playing techniques. Change the order of notes. Do not make the solo too complex, except for a few selected parts. Do all these, but retain the idea of the original lick.

Find sites that offer backing tracks on any key. Backing tracks allow solo guitarists to practice without a band. A matching smartphone app that offers backing tracks is also an invaluable practice tool for guitarists.

Live Instruction

Live guitar instructors are excellent, even if only online. Questions on the current lesson may be posted, answered, and further explained. Join communities targeted to guitar newbies. Its members can be more helpful compared to forums with guitar gods who may not have the patience for members asking the same newbie questions.

Online Guitar Lessons

How to Find the Best Online Guitar Lessons

jamplay_vs_guitartricksThe Internet is heaven-sent for guitarists. Aspiring guitarists can search for online guitar lessons covering chords, chord progressions, guitar improvisation, and even tabs for guitar solos. Many musicians have created YouTube channels for those interested in learning guitar techniques, yet, there are still guitarists who have problems learning. Most of these novice guitarists have no idea where to start.

Some guitarists are confused with the lessons they find on the Internet because most videos are targeted at specific questions. These lessons sometimes assume that the guitarist is already familiar with related lessons, resulting in confusion to some. Others teach the theory, but the application is taught in another video that the guitarist has to find.

Search engines can only show links to specific guitar lessons that the guitarist want to learn. It requires that correct keywords be entered in order to show accurate results. Unfortunately, beginner guitarists do not know what they need to learn first. What happens is an unstructured learning wherein guitarists try to search for bits and pieces of lessons they think they need to study.

They do not fully understand the concepts taught because students jump from one lesson to another, missing fundamentals that could have helped them. They memorize the pentatonic scale in the key of C from a video, but they have no idea how to play the scale in a different key. They know the guitar scales, but are unable to use it to improvise guitar solos. They know how to improvise, but their idea of improvisation is playing all the notes up and down a box.

Guitarists who share these challenges are better served by guitar lessons online that are organized and easy to follow, not just a collection of tutorials with no clear lesson plan. Lessons should be laid out like a book with defined chapters, building up the skills from previous lessons to the next. Guitar lessons should be like traveling by car, following the path through towns and gaining experience along the way. It should not be like an airplane ride where the destination is reached without appreciating the beautiful scenery in between.

What are the things to look for when searching for a site offering online guitar tutorials? Here are a few questions to ask when looking for one.

Does it come with a free trial?

Not all paid sites are the same. A free trial will allow the student to feel if the lessons are easy to follow and understand. Access to free online guitar lessons will give the student an idea of how the lesson can help or otherwise.

Are the lessons organized?

A good online website for guitar lessons will not treat the students as if they are on the same level of skills. It will provide guided lessons based on the level of the guitarist. Beginner guitarists will be taught not just playing techniques, but guitar fundamentals as well. Self-taught guitarists will be guided through the lessons to ensure that gaps caused by learning random lessons are filled.

Does it cover a variety of music genre?

Not all guitarists like to play blues. Not everyone plays metal. Guitarists want to learn techniques that are related to their choice of genre. A good site will provide lessons based on the guitarists’ preferred music type.
Does it teach how to play specific songs?

Anyone can download tabs for songs they want to learn. However, not everybody has the skill to understand how to play downloaded tabs without guidance. A website that provides videos of how to play specific songs is good.
Does it have lessons on selected artists’ playing style?

Guitarists typically want to copy the playing style of their favorite artist. Sites that provide lessons on particular artists’ playing style, not random artists’ techniques, can help the student play like their idol.

Are there live lessons?

Nothing beats live lessons where students can ask questions from the teacher. An option to get help from professional guitar instructors is definitely a plus.
Does it host a guitarists’ community?

Sure, there are countless guitar forums on the Internet. However, most are dominated by guitar geeks. A community of guitar newbies is a welcome alternative.

Is there a comprehensive library of chords?

A site that teaches all the chords using chord charts, tabs, and pictures will facilitate learning of new guitarists.

Does it teach all popular scales?

A good site does not just show the guitar scales, but teaches it in a way that is easily understood by beginner guitarists. It should come with accompanying videos demonstrating the different scale shapes so that students will know what to do with the scales. Videos should also explain how to apply the scale to improvising guitar solos.
Does the site provide its own backing tracks?

Backing tracks are required to practice guitar scales and improvisation techniques, especially for those who are studying alone. However, it is not easy to look for backing tracks for specific keys and genre. A site that has an extensive library of professionally recorded backing tracks is recommendable for guitarists that are serious in learning lead guitar.

Is there a lick and riff library?

Guitarists learn by copying popular licks and riffs, then changing some notes to create their own. While video streaming sites offer these, a site that lets the guitarist select the desired genre is much more helpful.

Does it come with a mobile app?

Online guitar lessons that are accessible using mobile phones are a great help for would-be guitarists. Mobile phones are more portable than PCs and laptops, and having access to chord charts, exercise libraries, scale libraries, and backing tracks anywhere is an advantage.

Does it come with a money back guarantee?

At the end of the day, the reason guitarists take online lessons is to learn how to play. The site failed if a student did not feel any improvement after taking the lessons. Offering unconditional refunds for unsatisfied students shows that the site believes that it can make a difference.

Guitar Chords For Beginners

beginner guitar chords

Why Learning The Basic Guitar Chords For Beginners First Is Best

Learning a musical instrument can be a magical experience for any person of any age. Not only does music reach the hearts of anyone who hears it, it can bridge gaps between ages, genders, and even races. No matter how old you are or where you come from, learning the gift of music and sharing it with those around you can be an amazing experience. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, financial stability, or confidence to pick up an instrument and learn how to play it properly. Luckily there are many opportunities that can assist a person in remedying these obstacles, especially for our younger generations.

Starting Out on Guitar

Learning how to play an instrument like a guitar can be time consuming, however, making it important to ensure you are prepared before starting. Before learning any guitar beginner chords, you can benefit from having a basic understanding of the instrument itself and how to take care of it. Guitars have been around for a while, and come in two typical varieties of electric and acoustic. An acoustic guitar is a hollow instrument, that amplifies the sound in its hollow interior as you strum on the strings. An electric guitar, on the other hand, transfers the sound via vibrations through electronics and into an amplifier to create sound.

In both types of guitars, you need strings which are coiled metal in most cases, to create music with. You have a neck which stretches these strings along it, with tuners at the end for adjusting the strings to ensure the chords you make sound proper when strumming. The necks are lined with finger placement frets, allowing you to hold the strings against them to create specific notes and chords as you play. If your strings aren’t properly adjusted, like any other string instrument, your chords will sound out of tune as you try to play on it. Keeping your strings adjusted properly, and keeping your instrument well maintained will help keep your instrument lasting for years to come.

What Is The Easiest Way To Learn Your Chords?

The easiest way to start learning your new instrument, is by learning the most basic of guitar chords for beginners. The first chords you will learn are pretty easy to remember, often being incorporated into the majority of the music you will be playing on your guitar. There are eight beginner guitar chords that every guitar player should learn first as they start out. After memorizing these guitar chords for beginners, anyone learning the guitar will have all the technical knowledge necessary to start creating their own songs, as well as playing other people’s songs as well.

There are eight guitar beginner chords that you will be learning first when taking any type of guitar class or when learning on your own through the use of websites or books. These guitar chords beginner are the A major, C major, D major, E major, G major, A minor, D minor, and E minor. Once these are learned by you and practiced properly, constructing your own music will be a lot easier than you may be thinking.

Some of these chords can be a little difficult to learn the finger placement for. With the help of a higher quality lesson book or a reputable guitar class, you’ll have examples that show you the placements and how to hold your fingers properly without messing up the chords and notes.

What’s The Best Way To Learn How To Play?

Once you get the basics down, moving on to creating and playing music on your own will be much easier. Unfortunately for many people, finding a class or a good website to learn from can be difficult. When searching for a class to learn how to play the guitar from, you always want to go with a reputable teacher who has a good amount of experience in the instrument you want to learn. While it’s often said that musical genius isn’t reliant on a single instrument, learning how to play the guitar from an actual teacher who focuses mostly on playing one them self can help increase your own education with one.

Going into a class, however, isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer solitude as they learn an instrument, making it more comfortable for them to learn how to play without worrying about someone overhearing or seeing them messing up. This makes it easier for them to learn their chords and guitar tabs for beginners in the comfort of their own home, by making use of lesson books or websites. This can often be a good way for children who aren’t good in crowds or being in public situations to learn how to play an instrument, without fearing ridicule or teasing from their peers.


No matter how you learn, playing music can be a great way to spend your spare time. Not only can music be relaxing, but it can also be therapeutic in many aspects. With a bit of motivation, dedication, and passion, you could be playing some of your favorite songs in no time, or even creating your own.

Easy Guitar Exercises For Beginners

guitar exercises

Learning to Play the Guitar: Easy Exercises for Beginners That Will Help Improve Your Skill


If you’re learning to play the guitar, it’s important to commit to practicing guitar exercises if you want to improve your skills. Guitar fingering and strumming practice sessions are great guitar exercises for beginners and they can also be used as a warm-up for intermediate and advanced players. Done regularly, they’ll improve you finger placement, enhance your strumming abilities and make you more comfortable with your guitar. They’ll also provide a much-needed workout for your fingers and improve your dexterity and coordination–important skills for any aspiring guitarist. Keep reading to learn more about some easy beginner’s exercise techniques that will have you playing more skillfully in no time.

Strengthening Your Fingers and Hands

As a guitarist, you’ll need strong hands and flexible fingers if you want to be able to play for long periods of time. Strengthening your hands and fingers will also help you learn to play faster and more precisely. To be effective, strengthening exercises should be done every day. For beginners, start out with 15 minute sessions and gradually increase your time as you improve. So, what are the best ways to get strong, flexible hands and fingers? Here are some tools and techniques you can use that will make the task a lot easier:

Improving your grip strength is important for guitarists. To improve your crush grip strength, try using a set of grippers. There are many gripper products available, but the objective is the same no matter what kind you buy: To squeeze the grippers closed until the handles touch. Used regularly, they can really strengthen your grip and allow you to play the guitar longer without fatigue.

Like your crush grip strength, your pinch grip strength will also affect how well you play the guitar. A better pinch grip will lead to better fret finger positioning and more precise chord playing. To improve your pinch grip, try a technique called plate pinching. To do it, place two or more weight plates standing upright together on the floor and lift them up by pinching them. Start with less plates at smaller weights, and gradually increase the weights and number of plates as you improve. If you’re just starting, try pinch lifting 3 or 4 10-pound plates and go from there.

Playing with Chinese exercise balls is a great way to improve your hand coordination and agility. Using them regularly can greatly improve your guitar fingerings and your playing speed–and they’re fun to play with. Chinese exercise balls are simply two small metal balls that are maneuvered in different directions in one hand. There are many different exercises you can do with them; the product manual that comes with most sets of exercise balls should outline some basic techniques.

Guitar Fingering Exercises

There are plenty of simple guitar exercises involving fingering you can practice on your guitar to improve your strength and chord-playing accuracy. Here’s a simple technique to start with that can be done on any string and on any fretboard position:

Work on one string, and place your four fingers on adjacent frets anywhere on that string.

Lift two fingers that aren’t adjacent off the string while keeping the other two fingers in position on the fret.

Put your lifted fingers back in their original position and lift the other two fingers off the fretboard.

Repeat this exercise for 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing speed while maintaing finger positioning accuracy.

Guitar Strumming Exercises

There are two basic guitar strumming strokes: The downstroke and the upstroke. The downstroke is the motion of moving the pick across the strings in a downward direction, and is typically easy for most players to learn. The upstroke can feel a bit unnatural at first, since it involves moving the pick across the strings upwards towards your torso–you may want to invest in guitar strumming lessons if you struggle with this stroke. To become a better guitar player, you should practice some simple strumming exercises using both downstrokes and upstrokes each day. Here’s an easy practice session you can try at home:

For four beats, strum your guitar with a downstroke.

For the next four beats, strum you guitar with an upstroke.

On the next four beats, use a downstroke on the first and third beat and an upstroke on the second and fourth beat.

Repeat the entire pattern several times or for around 10 minutes each session.

Taking Guitar Lessons

One of the best ways to improve your playing quickly is to invest in professional lessons. You can either take a class from a guitarist or purchase course material online or on a DVD. If you’re a beginner, guitar alliance is a great online resource. Many of their course materials and exercises are free, and it’s affordable to become a member and access their extensive listing of lessons. Guitar lessons are really necessary as you advance your skills and want to start learning more complicated techniques.

Just like with any skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to the guitar. Try to devote some time each day to strengthening your hands, fingers and wrists and work on basic fingering and strumming skills before you try and tackle any songs. And don’t forget: Lessons are the best way to improve your new skill quickly.

4 Steps To Learning The Note Names On Your Guitar

One of the first steps to properly learning guitar is to understand the fretboard and the the notes on each string and fret.

Learn Note Names on Guitar in 4 Steps

"Learn all the note names on the guitar on all strings and all frets in 4 easy steps."

This is a very helpful video and very nicely done.
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Learn To Play Guitar – Disciplined Guitar Practice

Many guitarists start out with the dream of becoming a great guitar player and it’s well within the reach or anyone willing to put in the work to learn their craft.  However, sometimes the work is what stops many people.  Practice won’t always be exciting and will sometimes be downright boring if you don’t go at it with a plan and some discipline.

When you first start to play guitar, it’s easy to practice because you’re basically just sitting around noodling away and getting to know the instrument, you have no real direction or agenda and things are pretty simple.  Sooner or later you’re going to see or hear other guitar players that are playing things a little beyond your current ability and you’ll want to ramp your skills up so you play that well.

The good news is that everyone starts basically at zero and builds on their skills from there.  How fast you excel or how far you go is entirely up to you but you can rest assured that having disciplined practice will allow you to go further faster.

You’ll want to pick specific times for practice.  Pick times when you can concentrate just on the task at hand without anything interrupting you.  Have all of your household chores and duties done and out of the way, homework done, dog walked, and everything else that could interrupt and interfere.

Create a practice plan and stick to it until each topic is very well understood and you can play it very fluidly and easily.  You can break things up into categories like this for example:

– Warm up

– Major Scales

– Free jamming

– Minor scales

– Riffs from songs you like

…and so on.

The idea is that you’ll stick to the plan every day until you’ve master the topics.  Play slowly and cleanly and with a metronome if possible.

Resist the urge to want to play fast too soon.  It will come with time, but you’ll be a much better guitarist if you take the time and effort to cleanly pick every note.

So you want to practice regularly and with a plan as well as playing everything you learn very deliberately so as to get it perfect before you move on.  Once you’re confident that you’ve got it down, move onto something else to keep challenging yourself. Stay focused on your objective to learn to play guitar.

Getting Started – Playing Guitar Part 3

This is the third post in the series, Guitar Tips for Beginners – Getting Started – Playing Guitar Part 3.

Step 5. Play songs all the way through. When you get to the point that you can play a complete song, play and practice the song all the way through, meaning from beginning to end. Many people that are beginning to play want to demonstrate their abilities by playing small sections of popular songs that they have mastered. For example, your friends come over and you want to show them some new things that you have learned. So you play the beginning to one song, the chorus to another song, etc… There is nothing wrong with this as you are proud of what you have learned and you want to show other people that you can play. However, what I have learned is that the learning curve for playing the guitar is shortened when you begin to learn and play songs from beginning to end. Something happens when you go from playing fragments to complete songs.

For example: I remember when I began playing; I was the king of the fragments. I knew this cool intro to a great song, a chorus to another song that wasn’t that difficult to play, but it looked and sounded complicated. My friends were impressed and I was proud that I could play these licks.

At that point, I decided to get together with a friend who could sing and we would put together some songs to showcase at parties or social situations. I realized then that I needed to learn songs from beginning to end to be able to perform them with the singer. I was accountable to him to learn the songs.

Once I began to learn songs completely, my friends and friends noticed that my playing vastly improved. I wasn’t doing anything different in my practice routine except for playing complete songs instead of fragments. My playing continued to improve after that point just by incorporating this one step into my routine.

Step 6. Be patient!!!! Again we asked the question “how much do you want to learn guitar?” Learning the guitar, as with learning anything new requires discipline, dedication and most of all patience. Everyone started somewhere. So get started today!

Getting Started – Playing Guitar Part 2

This is the second of three posts each containing 2 steps. These steps are designed for beginners or anyone thinking about learning the guitar. Getting Started – Playing Guitar Part 2 – Steps 3 and 4 are as follows:

Guitar Tips For Beginners – Part 2

Step 3.  Buy a metronome.  This may be the most crucial step of all.  A metronome is a device that you can set to create a pulse, either audible or visual, at a desired rate to establish a steady tempo.  The metronome is similar to a click track that keeps the beat as you play along.  It will help you to focus on playing at a steady tempo which is a very important part of learning to play guitar.  There are many people that have problems with tempo and using a metronome at the very beginning should help anyone to master this at the very beginning.

Another benefit of the metronome is that it can help you to learn scales or rhythms at a slow speed and then slowing increase the speed to enable you to play not only faster but also correctly faster.  For example, say that you heard an interesting lick by one of your favorite musicians, but they play it pretty fast.  You listen to it or find the notes printed somewhere and you try to figure it out.

Once you figure out what notes to play, you begin to try and recreate the lick.  Most people are going to try and play it immediately as fast as they heard the lick or in real time.  First of all, they currently probably don’t have the chops to play the lick correctly at the real time speed.  So, if they try to play it fast, the lick will be played either incorrectly or just sloppy.  The answer is the metronome.

Take the notes that are in the lick and listen to the phrasing of the lick.  Now set the metronome at a tempo or speed that you are comfortable with, and play the lick at that speed.  Practice the lick at that speed until you can play it perfectly.   Next, you increase the speed of the metronome by one click and continue to play the lick.  You repeat this again and again as you practice the lick, increasing the tempo each time.  Depending on your desire to achieve this, you will over time be able to play the lick in real time, with the added benefit of playing the lick correctly and building your chops in the process.

Now realize that this doesn’t happen overnight.  This process will take some time and will require patience.  You will know when you have mastered the lick at a certain tempo and to move the metronome to the next speed.  The overall result will come down to the question we asked before “How much do you want to learn guitar?”

Step 4.  Keep it fun!  If learning the guitar becomes a chore, you will never stick with it.  Of course you will need to learn a lot of new things like chords, scales, timing, ear training, theory, etc…  But keep it enjoyable.   One thing that I would do is to listen to my favorite bands or artists and try to pick up some things that they are playing.  So, during my practice regimen, I would make this a part of my routine.

This had a great effect on my playing and on my motivation.  First, it allowed me to play something that I liked very much.  This made me feel good about my playing and helped me to persevere.  Secondly, I could apply some of the chords and scales that I was learning to an actual song or lick that I enjoyed while getting some real world experience in the process.  Having a productive enjoyable part of your practice will keep you motivated and give you the confidence that you will need to continue each day.

Guitar Tips For Beginners – Playing Guitar 101

6 Steps To Start Playing The Guitar


It is a lot of fun to learn how to play the guitar. But, like anything, you must get started somewhere, regardless of your current level. So, we will get started with 6 Steps to Start Playing the Guitar.  These guitar tips for beginners are designed for anyone thinking about learning to play the guitar.  So if you are ready, let’s get started.

Step 1.   If you don’t already have one, buy a guitar.  Start with an acoustic guitar if possible.  My reasoning here is the fact that the strings on an acoustic guitar are a heavier gauge than an electric guitar.  The heavy gauge strings will require that you apply more pressure when pressing down on the strings.  Doing this when you first start out will naturally strengthen your fingers and will speed up the learning curve of building strength in your fingers.

Before you started to play guitar, you probably never used the muscles in your fingers and hands the way that you will be using them to play the guitar.  Be prepared for cramps in your fingers and hands as you begin to practice and play on a regular basis.  But just like any exercise, the repetition of playing the guitar will build your strength and dexterity.  It will be difficult at first and there is no way around it.  But, over time, it will begin to feel more natural and you won’t feel like you are killing yourself.

The key here is this: how much do you want to learn the guitar?  This will be your either your biggest obstacle or your greatest motivator.  For me, it was my motivation.  As learning the guitar took me out of my everyday life and into a world of creativity, achievement, and expanding myself into different styles, types and the vast array of music that I enjoyed listening to and would be able to play.

Step 2.  Get access to either a guitar teacher or some form of quality guitar lessons.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have probably have opted for a qualified guitar teacher.  I’m not talking about a good guitar player that is looking to make some extra money.  I’m talking about a teacher who plays guitar.  There is a big difference.  Let me explain.

The good guitar player may show you some of his best licks to dazzle you, but may not have a basic program with which to get you started and a practice regimen to keep you on track as you learn.  The teacher guitar player will most likely have a basic program in place, a practice plan for each lesson, and he will make you accountable to learn the material and keep you on track.

Also, they should truly care that you are serious about your craft and be dedicated to helping you succeed.  There is an old adage “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Enough said!

Guitar teachers can be a bit pricey, charging anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour.  If this is more than you are willing to spend, you may want to look for either a guitar instructional guide or a multimedia guitar lesson program where you can learn at your own pace.  There are a multitude of options available, both online and offline.  Whatever you decide on, just make sure to keep yourself accountable to learn the material and stay the course as you won’t have the teacher to report to after each lesson.