Ever since the 1950’s the electric guitar has been an iconic instrument that many people want to learn. We all probably know someone who has started to learn but gave up. Why is this so common? Here are 3 common mistakes people make.
They start learning on a terrible instrument
As a beginner, your chances of progressing will not be helped if you buy a bad instrument that’s difficult to play. While no one should spend a fortune on their first guitar, it is important to get one that is actually playable. The guitar is quite a physical instrument and one that is of poor quality can also be very difficult to play, even for an experienced guitarist. It might be difficult to tune, it might not stay in tune.
Solution; There are plenty of perfectly good instruments available at a relatively low cost and you could even buy a decent used guitar. If you are a beginner then the best piece of advice is to take someone along who can at least play a little and can warn you off any bad instruments. If you really don’t know anyone then maybe you could find a local guitar teacher who can help you with this.
At this point, if playing the electric guitar is your goal, you really don’t need to start out on an electric guitar. If you’re a complete beginner then you are probably better off starting on an acoustic guitar. You won’t have to bother plugging in amps or cables and your poor neighbors are less likely to complain.
They expect miracles
Like most skills, you’re not going to become really good at it overnight.. You can get up and running very quickly but don’t expect to be soloing like Hendrix within weeks. It’s all about managing your expectation and is a bit like learning another language. At first, you pick up a few words and then you seem to stay at the same level for what seems like forever, waiting to become fluent.
Solution; Just take things one step at a time. Try not to get frustrated, and before long you will notice that you’ve improved. Those chord shapes that seemed impossible at first will gradually become easier. It’s almost as if your fingers remember the shapes, even if your brain can’t. Different people learn how to play electric guitar at different rates and in totally different ways. There’s a lot to learn and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. You could start out learning just chord shapes, or you could begin with basic music theory. There is no right or wrong way, so just see what works for you.
They become one-trick ponies
Learning a few chords and playing them over and over again is fine, to begin with, but won’t get you very far in the long run. You’ll get bored eventually and give up. Learning how to play the electric guitar is really a never-ending project. Most seasoned pros would say that they are still striving to improve.
Solution; Try to keep some kind of balance between learning techniques, chords, theory and developing your repertoire of songs. After all the whole point of learning an instrument is to eventually be able to play either for or with other people. One of the best ways to do this is to play along to the kind of music you enjoy.
Remember, however you learn, it takes practice and commitment to become really good. The rewards could be fame and fortune or maybe just years of enjoyment, satisfaction, and fun. Either way, it’s a very worthwhile journey.