Technique Tips for Beginner Guitarists

author: Rhys Lett ESSM date: 02/10/2014 category: for beginners
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Technique Tips for Beginner Guitarists
In my experience there are a few common problems people starting to learn the guitar experience that can be easily addressed. Often students book into guitar lessons with me have attempted some self-learning through YouTube or tab sites and struck difficulty.

Here are a few beginner guitar technique tips to address some of the common faults I see.

1. Wrist Position

Playing the guitar has nothing to do with the size of your hands. It does rely on the correct positioning of the wrist. The idea of someone thinking their hands are too small/too big to play guitar is often down to poor wrist technique. Placing your wrist at a bad position or angle will limit movement and access to the notes.

2. Finger Angle

After improving your wrist position you should check that your fingers are fairly straight. Often students have their fingers placed across the guitar. The hand in the correct position should comfortably be able to have a finger assigned to a fret.

3. Material to Learn

Often students are trying to play songs with skills, in particular chords, that are beyond their skill level. Learning to play an instrument is much like training for an athletic event. Building up strength and skill over time is required. The help of a teacher that understands how to design a curriculum of songs and exercises will get you playing the songs you want in faster time. The pictures below show the progression I take students through from easiest to hardest.

4. The Instrument

Sometimes you can blame the tools of trade. Students that have guitars that are in disrepair or simply an inappropriate guitar for the size and age of student. Faults such as the strings being too far away from the neck or badly made cheap instruments contribute to the difficulty you will experience. It is important that you purchase an guitar that feels comfortable. Don't be afraid to sit in a shop and try 10+ guitars out. Read our article on buying electric guitars for some great tips. Even if you have no playing experience the guitar should sit easily in your lap and your hand easily accessing the neck. Go with your instincts with this.

5. Attitude

Guitar is not an instantly satisfying instrument. To play it requires strength development, coordination of left and right hand and music skills such as rhythm. BE PATIENT! It will happen.

I hope these tips get you playing guitar with more ease.
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