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More Common Beginner Guitar Mistakes

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In the last article, I outlined some of the beginner guitar mistakes, but by no means is that all of them. Beginners with any instrument will have trouble and it’s important to know what some common issues are to make sure they’re avoided.

Here are some more common beginner guitar mistakes.

1. Not taking lessons. With online tutorials and videos promising to teach prospective guitar players how to play the guitar, it may seem silly to pay for a teacher. Taking guitar lessons is still necessary for all students who seriously want to learn to play guitar. A good teacher can teach students things and answer questions that a tutorial cannot.
2. Overdoing it. New students are often overanxious to learn the guitar and want fast results. Practicing for 10 hours a day might seem like the way to go, but overdoing it one day can cause pain and discomfort for the next, especially when just starting out.
3. Skipping warm ups. Just like vocal students, guitar students need to warm up their fingers and hands before playing. Not warming up can result in injury and cramping during practice.
4. Practicing the same things every day. It may seem necessary to perfect something before moving onto a new thing, but that?s not always the case when learning guitar. Students who are having trouble with certain chords or songs should move onto something new and come back the next day. Sometimes the mind needs a break.
5. Not experiencing live music. Live concerts showcase guitar players and their showmanship. Attending concerts gives students a chance to learn something new and get up close and personal with the guitar players.

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Common Beginner Guitar Mistakes

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Learning a new instrument can be difficult. It takes time and motivation to stay on track. The guitar is one of the most popular instruments because it has a nice acoustic sound and is popular in bands. Beginning guitar students (or any beginning instrument student) might become discouraged easily or make avoidable mistakes.

Here are some common guitar mistakes that new students should be aware of.

1. Giving up too soon. Learning a new instrument is not an easy task. It takes time, effort and dedication. Most people will not be able to pick up a new instrument and instantly learn to play it. It?s important to keep in mind that learning a new instrument is a journey and everyone who can plan an instrument has gone through it.
2. Only practicing one chord at a time. This is an easy habit to fall into because it makes sense. But think about learning anything new, often starting out by trying to learn several things at once will be more effective. Instead of learning one chord at a time, try learning three.
3. Buying the wrong guitar. It may seem silly that there is a wrong guitar out there, but there are different sizes. Smaller students should not get a huge acoustic guitar. Students learning guitar to play heavy metal in a band should probably start out on an electric guitar. Every guitar has a purpose.
4. Not changing guitar strings. Dirt and oil from fingers will eventually build up on guitar strings. They need to be changed periodically to maintain clear sound.
5. Taking it too slow because of sore fingers. All guitar players need to build up calluses on their fingers so they can play longer. It might seem like a good idea to take a break because of sore fingers initially, but the more a student practices, the faster the calluses will develop.

Similar articles:
Acoustic vs. Electric: Which guitar is right for you?
Should You Be Practicing the Guitar Right Now?
Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.

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Making the Most of Music Lessons

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Music lessons can be an expensive investment; you have to pay for the instrument and materials that go along with it, upkeep, lessons etc.? With the money you?re spending on lessons, it?s definitely a good idea to make sure you?re making the most of each lesson!

Here are some tips to make the most of music lessons.

1. Begin music lessons at the right age.? Adults can begin lessons at anytime because their success is based on their dedication.? For children, they need to be mentally and physically able to play an instrument.? Starting a three year old out with vocal lessons isn?t a great idea because they aren?t developed enough to get everything from the lessons.?
2. Take private in home music lessons.? With group lessons or lessons in a classroom setting, students do not get much one-on-one time.? If you?re trying to get the most you can out of each music lesson, private lessons are the way to go.
3. Make sure you have a qualified instructor.? If you want to learn to play the piano like a professional but you?re getting music lessons from someone only qualified to teach beginners, then you won?t progress past beginner level.? Not qualified instructors could also teach you bad habits, which would be hard to break later.? It?s best to learn from a qualified instructor from the beginning if you would like to progress quickly and efficiently.
4. Use practice time wisely.? Don?t sit and practice your instrument in front of the TV or try to cram in practice right before bed.? Set aside designated time each day to practice your instrument and always practice in the same place.? If you?re practicing at the same time in the same place, practice will become routine.
5. Have fun!? If you hate practicing or taking music lessons, then you?re not going to want to progress.? Try finding a different teacher that uses different techniques before giving up on lessons.? Sometimes a new teacher can make things fun again!

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Acoustic vs. Electric: Which guitar is right for you?

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Definitely a big decision for beginning guitarists?should you purchase an electric guitar or an acoustic. Everyone will have an opinion for you, your friend who plays in a band and loves his/her electric guitar will likely push you towards that, the salesperson you are purchasing the instrument from will have an opinion based on how much commission he receives. So how do you know which guitar to choose?

Here are some tips for choosing the right guitar.

Use. What are you using the instrument for? If you?re going to be playing in a rock band, then an acoustic guitar will not produce enough sound. If you want an instrument that you can play anywhere that doesn?t require a lot of equipment, then an acoustic is the way to go. Decide what you will use this instrument for the most, and buy according to that. Eventually you can purchase another guitar, but that might not be a feasible option when you?re just starting out.

Sound. The acoustic and electric guitars produce different sounds. An acoustic guitar will have a natural sound that is uninhibited by electronics. On the other hand, an electric guitar will be able to use modern advances and electronics to amplify and enhance sound. You will be able to create louder and different sounds with an electric guitar.

Difficulty. The electric guitar is easier to play than the acoustic guitar because it is able to use electronics to amplify the sound. Therefore, you don?t need to push down as hard on the strings and your strings can be lighter. Acoustic guitars don?t use amps and require heavier strings to make louder sound. You will need to use more energy to play the acoustic.

What it really comes down to is: which guitar do you want to play. If you?ve had your heart set on playing the acoustic guitar, then that?s what you should get. If you want to play an instrument, then you?ll be motivated to find ways to play that instrument.

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Should You Be Practicing the Guitar Right Now?

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There is no right amount of time per day that everyone should be practicing the guitar. Practice duration depends on a number of factors:

-What do you want to get out of guitar lessons?
-How motivated are you?
-How much time per day do you have to practice?

You probably know someone who practices for hours everyday and is making quick progress, but that doesn?t mean you need to practice six hours a day to achieve the same results.

Here are some guitar practice tips.

Identify your goals. Figure out what you?re trying to get out of guitar lessons. Are you trying to join a band or have a real love for the guitar? Or are you just looking for a new hobby? Once you decide what you?re trying to get from the guitar, it?ll be easier to figure out how long you should practice per day. If you?re friends are starting a band and need a guitar player in three months, you should probably be practicing for a couple hours a day. If learning to play the guitar is on your bucket list, then you can leisurely practice for 30-60 minutes per day, or however long you get enjoyment from it.

Motivation. If you?re determined to learn to play the guitar and you?re practicing efficiently, then there is no reason you need to practice for hours every day. If you know what you?re doing, then efficiently practicing for 30 minutes a day will yield the same results and someone less motivated who practices for two hours a day.

Stay positive and have fun! If you enjoy playing the guitar, then you?re more likely to enjoy the journey than if you?re learning the guitar for someone else. If you want to progress quickly but cannot stay motivated for a three-hour practice session, break up your practice through out the day. Wake up a little bit earlier in the morning and practice, then right after school and maybe again before bed. Regardless of when you?re practicing, always have fun!

More guitar practice tips:
Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.
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10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Practice Area

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It?s easy to become distracted, especially if you have a lot of other things on your mind. If you want to learn to play a musical instrument, you need to focus and practice. Learning an instrument doesn?t happen overnight. One thing that can help motivate you to practice is creating the perfect practice area.

Here are some tips for creating the perfect practice area.

1. Choose a place where you can practice every day. If your sibling watches TV shows every other day for a few hours, don?t practice in a room where there will always be other people.
2. Pick a place where you can have your lessons and practice. If you?re taking lessons in the same place you practice, things will become familiar and you?ll be more likely to remember your lessons when practicing.
3. Rid the area of distractions. Don?t choose the family room as your practice area because that?s a room that has a lot of traffic.
4. Choose a place you feel comfortable in. The living room will probably be much more comfortable than the kitchen.
5. Make sure the room you choose has adequate lighting. You don?t want to have to strain your eyes to see the music.
6. Don?t practice near the kitchen if you?re going to practice around dinnertime. You?re more likely to become distracted if you?re hungry and can smell dinner cooking.
7. Choose a quiet area. If there are lots of noises around you, you may easily become distracted without even knowing it.
8. Don?t pick a small area! You need to have enough room to create a nice sound and to move around if your instrument requires it. If you play the french horn and are trying to practice in the corner of the kitchen, you?re probably going to hate practicing and not want to do it anymore.
9. If your learning an instrument that?s stationary, like the piano, set up practice times every day and make sure your family knows they are not allowed to interrupt you during that time.
10. Make sure all the tools you need to practice are in your area. Keep your music stored in the area and have a glass of water near by. You want to make sure you have everything you may need handy so that you do not need to get up and leave the area.

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Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.

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Myth: I don?t need to take guitar lessons because I can learn to play the guitar by watching YouTube videos and downloading tutorials online. It?s true that we live in a time when everything you would ever want to know is online and you can find guitar lessons demonstrations or tutorials on YouTube. ?How to? videos on YouTube can show you what?s in the video, it can?t tell you if you?re playing something right or wrong.

Fact: Online videos can never take the place of one-on-one personalized lessons with a professional instructor. It?s true that you can probably learn to play a song on the guitar by watching a video, but you will only know how to play that song. You won?t know how to practice or create your own music; you would need to watch another video to learn how to play another song. ?How to? videos will only be able to show you one approach to practicing or playing a riff, but an experienced instructor will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and show you how best to practice and play songs.

Not all songs are the same level of difficulty to learn and if you are having trouble learning a more difficult song or riff, you cannot ask a video what you?re doing wrong or for a different approach. A guitar instructor will be able to help you through more difficult riffs and give you tips about playing guitar. Online videos can give you tips, but not all may pertain to or work for you. If you?re serious about learning to play the guitar, professional guitar lessons are a must. YouTube videos are great for brushing up on some skills, but nothing beats the one-on-one time with an experienced guitar teacher.

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Music Lesson Myth: Band instruments are gender specified.

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Myth: Band instruments are gender specified-girls should play woodwind instruments and boys should play brass and percussion. If you look at a school band ensemble, typically the girl will be playing the flutes and clarinets and the boys will be playing the drums and brass instruments. Seems legit right? If you look at a school band, most of the flute players are girls and very rarely will a female be playing the drums or tuba. So it would seem that girls should play woodwind instruments and boys should play brass instruments and percussion instruments.

Fact: Instruments are not gender specified, but instead, gender stereotyped. Boys can definitely play the flute and in fact, some of the best flute players in the world are men. The myth came about because the flute and other woodwind instruments are smaller and create a lighter, higher pitched sound; all things that are thought to be more appealing to females. While on the other hand, brass instruments are larger and create bigger sounds, things that males are thought to be more interested in.

In reality, both males and females can play any instrument. All instruments require practice and some children might be more talented at one instrument than another. If a girl has had piano lessons, she will most likely excel at playing the drums over a boy that has never taken piano lessons. Don?t limit yourself or your children to certain instruments simply because of gender stereotypes in music.

More music lesson myths:
Music Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.
Music Lesson Myth: I?m not musical and incapable of learning an instrument.
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.

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Music Lesson Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.

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Myth: Listening to classical music automatically makes you smarter. Parents always want the best for their children and try to follow rules and myths they?ve heard about making their children smarter. Listening to classical music will make you feel more cultured, like you?re on the same level as great composers like Mozart and Bach. Even movie companies are selling intelligence by stating that watching their movies (that involve lots of colors and classical music) will enhance children?s cognitive development.

Fact: Only listening to classical music will not automatically make children smarter. This myth was born because studies show that students who listen to classical music before a standardized test will score better than their peers who do not listen to classical music. That isn?t because they are getting smarter from the classical music, but rather increased performance on certain special-temporal tasks. Classical music is also shown to slow heart rates and reduce stress levels, so if students are nervous about an exam, classical music could calm them down so they perform better on the exam.

While just listening to classical music will not make you smarter, taking music lessons will. Students who have taken some type of music lessons (even short term lessons) perform better on standardized tests, have better listening and communication skills and have the capacity to learn new languages with ease. However, students do not need to be classically trained or playing classical music to get these benefits; any type of music training will make you smarter.

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Music Lesson Myth: I?m not musical and incapable of learning an instrument.

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Myth: I?ve taken lessons before and am just not musical; therefore, I cannot learn any instrument.? This is a common but damaging myth.? Many people assume that since they were forced to play the piano as a child, or hated playing the flute in elementary school, that they just aren?t musical.

Fact: By nature, humans are musical.? If you can sing along in the car or tap your foot to the sound of a drum, guess what?? You can learn a musical instrument.? Learning to play an instrument is difficult for most people.? There are a number of reasons as to why previous lessons didn?t work out.? Maybe your teacher did not understand your learning style or maybe your parents didn?t encourage you to practice enough.? Sometimes young children do not have the maturity level or dedication to learn an instrument without constant encouragement, especially if they aren?t interested in learning the instrument in the first place.

If you?re worried you might not be musical, take a second and think about an instrument that you would actually like to play.? If you hated the piano, maybe you?ll love the guitar.? If you love jazz music, maybe you?ll enjoy the saxophone or the piano.? There are many instruments out there so everyone can find something they are interested in.? Don?t give up on lessons just because things aren?t working out with a specific instrument or instructor.? Both can be switched and you should not let one bad experience ruin music lessons for you!

Everyone is musical!

Sign up for your free lesson today and find out just how musical you are!

More Music Myths:
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.
Music Lesson Myth: Children should learn to play the piano before any other instrument.
Music Lesson Myth: Children should not begin music study until they can read.

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