Here are a few beginner guitar technique tips to address some of the common faults I see.
1. Wrist PositionPlaying 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 AngleAfter 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 LearnOften 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 InstrumentSometimes 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. AttitudeGuitar 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.