How To Start Playing

Biginer's guide how to practice

Ultimate Guitar
First, I'll try not to sound boring as much as posible. There are enough boring topics (very useful later, but boring at begining) to be learned later. Here's what I would do if I would start learning guitar playing now: 01. Playing Is Fun. If it isn't, there's something wrong. When I've started learning, it was horible. I had probably the worst guitar in the world (we didn't have money for anything better), but it was fun sounding like GNR, Metallica or some local band (I'm from small country in Europe, so probably nobody had ever heard of those bands). One thing could be very important, and that's tutor. If you have someone who will guide you, it's much easier. 02. Play What You Can. First, if you have bad guitar, you probably won't be able to shred on it, but you can find some songs among those you listen to you can play on your guitar. If you're lucky, you have good guitar, so only limit are your abilities. It's very important not to put your goals too high. Start with balads, and progress from there. 03. It's Very Important To Start Playing As Soon As Posible. Yeah, there's a lot of theory you should learn as beginer, but not right away. First things you should learn is how to hold guitar, how to hold the pick, how to put your fingers on strings and frets, how to read tabs (this is in close relation to "putting your fingers on freatboard"), and how to strum strings. This is all you need to learn you first song. Ask someone to write tabs of the song you like, if there isn't any on UG (not very likely, but posible), and start playing. Don't bother your self with the "magic" of the theory yet. 04. Don't Be Lazy, Theory Is Good, So Learn It. Once you master playing the song of choice, learn the theory behind it. What are the chords you're playing? Why on those strings and frets? What is chord at all? What is scale? What kind of scales there are, and how to play them (not all, but at least major and minor). But this time it's up to you if you're going to learn which tone is on which fret/string, or that is too much theory for you. Of course, idealy, you should learn songs that include new chords, so you practice what you read and learn through theory. 05. Try Learning Some Solo. This is important so you understand why the hell the scales exist. As with first chords and song's, just learn to reproduce the notes, later, of course, don't be lazy, learn the scales that form the solo you've chosen, but don't stop there. Learn as much theory as you can (through examples, not just reading). 06. Find Some Friend To Jam With. It's best if you have someone you hang with that plays some instrument or sings. Learning how to work with someone can not be explained. If you're good friends, you'll figure it out. Just go slowly and avoid tension (read, it has tons of good advices on forming and staying in succeseful band). 07. It's Time For The Band. No one want's to play alone. At least, I can't see the joy in it. I'm not going to tell you how to do it, because I don't know (my band was formed in a month because when I decided to play the guitar, I already knew basist, guitarist and drummer without a band and we all wanted to play metal). What I would do now if I wouldn't know any player is go to practice studio and read ads ("guitarist wanted for type of band", for example, or put your own ad). 08. By This Time You Must Have Noticed That There's Something Missing. It's time to start practicing all those boring things like scales, arpeggios, picking technique, and such. This is the level I'm at, now. Figuring out what I've been doing wrong in my songs (I'll explain later). Playing slow reveals a lot. Just one example. If you picked down the last note, but first note/chord in the sequence needs to be picked down, too, you play 3 or 4 times slower and figure out how what to do with your right hand (maybe skip one pick and play pull, or hammer?). This is the part where you learn how to play right. Don't underestimate playing slow. I've speeded up a problematic part of the song we're currently working on by playing it slow for an hour, finding different picking patterns, and choosing the one I think it's the best. So be patient, go slow. 09. If All Of The Above Isn't New To You, you're better and more expirienced than I am, so please, fill the gaps in this article through comments. I'm trying to explain what I would do if I would start all over now, but that's not the ultimate truth, so feel free to comment any part of this article. Hope this will help you not loose hope like I once did (I've played through whole elemntary school, and 2 years after it (10 years, to be precise), but had such a crappy instrument, that I thought I'm not made to be guitarist. I'm playing again after 10 years of hiatus, after trying out firends Les Paul, and now I know anyone can play guitar. REALLY! ), and ignore my bad english (it's not my native). PS. Explanation for 08. You shouldn't just play the song, you should understand it. Not right away, but as you practice it, you should learn what key the song is in, what are the names of chords, what scales are used in solos, etc. It's a bit different when you start a song out of few riffs that sounded good during jam sessions. You play what ever comes to your mind, experiment with sounds, notes and chords, and later on figure out what you have done, if you end up playing something you have no idea what it is (I mean, you don't know the theory behind it). That's the situation with the mentioned song we're working on. Once more, you HAVE to know what you're playing and describe it through theory, because it can help you create other songs that have same theoretical basis.

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    Hi, a little message because I'm happy to find another owner of a vikomt... I'm like you...I've got a Gibs' etc but I keep my old Vikomt...I love its sound..I guess I'm alone in France with this guitar ( I bought it in Algeria 20 years ago when I was child )...just one single coil, but it bites !! friendly sqoqo