Learning to play the guitar can be one of the most difficult things you’ll do in your life, especially if you’re trying to teach yourself. There is nothing more frustrating than practicing for hours and not feeling like you’re improving as a guitarist.
Everybody wants to immediately start seeing progress when they start playing the guitar, and when they don’t they normally give up altogether. Some of the best guitarist to ever play the instrument struggle in the beginning before they finally figured it out.
Learning to play the guitar is tough but if you stick with it long enough you’ll be rewarded with the skill to play one of the most beautiful instruments in the world. Check out the tips below to help you overcome the rut you’re in and start progressing as a guitar player.
Learn Guitar Theory
If you don’t start learning guitar theory you won’t be able to go that far as a guitarist. Learning some guitar theory has been known to be the one thing that usually brings people out the rut they’re in.
You will be surprised at how much learning just the fundamentals of music theory will help your guitar playing improve. When you start learning guitar theory you’ll be able to learn to play songs quicker, understand the fretboard better, learn chords and scales quicker, write your own songs, learn songs by ear, and create awesome guitar solos. Also, when you get more familiar with guitar theory you won’t waste as much time during practice on things that don’t really matter.
That’s right, stop playing your guitar for a day or two, or even a week can help clear your mind and keep you from breaking your instrument in frustration. When you take a break from playing the guitar you will get new motivation to pick it up and start playing again.
This new found motivation will give you the drive to put in the hours necessary to learn to play that scale or chord you have been struggling with. The next time you find yourself stuck with something take a break and when you come back to playing your guitar you will take on the challenges with a fresh view.
Focusing primarily on guitar techniques instead of trying to learn a song is a great solution to improving your skills as a guitarist. A good idea is to reserve a day or entire week to do nothing but work on certain techniques to improve your playing ability.
Some techniques you should begin working on to keep progressing include tapping, sweep picking, finger picking, and alternate picking. Once you have put in the time working on guitar techniques exclusively you can then go back to your normal practice routine.
Learn New Scales
If you just know how to play one scale you should start thinking about learning more guitar scales. Your fingers will begin to develop once you start learning new scales that challenge yourself.
Guitar scales that work together over a chord progression is what makes up the melody for a guitar solo. So if you want to progress and start creating good guitar solos you need to focus on learning as many guitar scales as you can. Continuing to learn new scales will help you make your guitar solos more interesting as you can add more variety to them.
Practice With a Metronome
One of the best ways to improve as a guitarist is to practice everything using a metronome. The metronome will help you develop your rhythm and help you determine how far along you’re coming.
With the metronome you’ll be able to see at what tempo you are able to accurately play a certain scale. Your goal would be to use the metronome and improve your speed by two or three beats per minute each time you practice.
Learn New Guitar Chords
It is easy to learn a few basic chords and not challenge yourself to learn more challenging ones. You need to learn as many chords as you can because over 80% of the songs out there require you to play chords.
One way to learn new chords is to buy a good guitar chord book and start learning new chords each practice session. One mistake you want to avoid when learning chords is not learn chords that you don’t plan on using. You need to learn chords that you are going to use so you don’t forget how to play them.
Follow some of these tips and you should get yourself out of the rut your in and start noticing improvements in your guitar playing ability.