Beginner’s Tips for Practicing by UG Community

Bought a guitar, but don't know where to start from? This tips will help you to improve your skill.

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Ultimate Guitar
Beginner’s Tips for Practicing by UG Community
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Our forum is the place, where you can find answers for almost every question that can arise during guitar practice. One of the most common requests are the tips for new guitar players. And with the help of our forum users reverb66, AlanHB, steven seagull, ayreon77, Tides9, copperwreck and MaggaraMarine some tips can be advised.

1. At first spend some time simply fingering chords and learn a few simple riffs. Try practicing more than one hour per day if possible. There is an initial difficulty hump that you should be able to clear within a few months, then playing and practicing becomes much more fun.

2. You should aim to learn some songs you like - start with something relatively slow. It's important to play things you like to stay motivated.

3. Don't worry about scales this early on, spend some time working with chords until your hands get a bit more of a feel for the guitar.

4. Don't be obsessed too much over what to learn and in what order, just invest a ton of time. Don't be afraid to screw around and invent things - have fun with it. Even noodling the same three notes for an hour is going to make you a better player.

5. Whatever you learn, try to apply it in the context of songs. If there is a technique you want to learn, say, smooth hammer-ons and pull-offs, find a song with that technique, something by Buckley, for instance, and learn that.

6. In the early stages of learning just holding down a single note and getting it to ring clearly can be a battle in itself, so even a relatively slow lead part can feel downright impossible.

7. All the theory stuff will start making more sense once your ear develops and you have more practical knowledge of music. Get some practical knowledge of music by playing music!

8. Do finger exercises and get used to using all 4 fingers of your left hand going up and down the frets till you can do it rather fast, this is done not just for speed but to strengthen your fingers,

9. Learn to practice repetitive things while watching shows and movies - it helps you get more hours.

10. If you have any theory related questions, just ask us on the Forum. But it will start making more sense when you have a better ear and you've got some of the basics down. 

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RedLabelRecords
    Ah, the good old days. I remember practicing/learning fondly. I would spend 10 minutes just holding one chord and strumming it. Just the one chord for ten minutes, then move on to the next. That was 7 chords, 1 hour and ten minutes a day. 1 week on Majors, the next week on Minors. After that, I had those chords memorized and I was able to play. About 6 months later I noticed the sharp increase in my ability. First song was Smells Like Teen Spirit. Good times. Now I'm bored and old.
    cooper9934
    one of the most overlooked parts that no one ever says in these articles is: Listen to music! Listen to it in your car, at home where ever... listen. Learn how to count it, break it apart and put it back together again.
    arnolddrummer
    Yeah, I remember playing the opening riff for 'Killing in the Name of' over and over as one of my first beginner grinders.
    Avenue13
    The thing that really whipped my ass later on was that in the beginning I didn't know anyone who could play guitar well, never got lessons etc and got spanked a bit further down the track for not knowing how to hold a pick properly back in the day...also can vouch 100% for #9 !
    CallumRocks99
    Learning to play guitar is so aggravating to begin with but once you learn to play a song all the way through it feels like a massive achievement that's honestly one of my fondest memories.
    Neolwyn
    The way I practice is having the guitar on my hands while watching a tv show or something. My opinion is, if practice feels painful, you're doing it wrong. I have a friend who counts the times he practices and how long, I mean, when you have that attitude towards something, it's because you're not enjoying it and want it to be over as quickly as possible. If you really like something, you'll do it naturally, you wont need schedules and stuff like that...