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Beginner Guitar:
Tips for Beginners


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TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:

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Q:  I am a beginner, and I feel that I need a short breakdown that covers how beginners should think about and approach a daily practice routine. I feel like I just dont know what to practice, and I get really distracted. I also would like to know what kind of length of time I should expect to work on practicing guitar until a day finally comes where my technique at playing it is what would be considered competent.
- Oliver, Baltimore, MA.

A: Thanks for writing in! When getting into guitar there are several phases that players go through. It takes at least a year to fully integrate being comfortable with the instrument in a variety of ways as well as getting used to practice on a daily basis .

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THREE PHASES OF LEARNING GUITAR:
The learning curve for guitar is fairly huge. It can take a very long time to get to a good level of knowledge and skill. There are however several learning phases that a player should be aware of.

PHASE ONE: GETTING THE FEEL DOWN
When players first pick up a guitar it feels like a foreign object. But, since the guitar is such a personal instrument, and it is held so close to the body, there must be a sense of comfort established with it. To achieve this, hold it often, play it in different areas of your home and sit in several positions with it.

 

PHASE TWO: THE PRACTICE ROUTINE
There can be no success on any musical instrument without hours upon hours of practice. To achieve success, players need to establish a regime. This is crucial as it creates a regulated daily system of constant practice and review that a student simply must have in order to play the instrument.

PHASE THREE: BUILDING A REPERTOIRE
When students first start playing there is very little they can perform right away. However, songs need to become part of their practice routine rather quickly. Building a repertoire of songs is vital to a student's sense of accomplishment. Keep in mind that the idea is to learn whichever sections of a piece that are manageable. For a beginner, learning a piece from start to finish could be next to impossible. However, learning a songs; intro., verse, or chorus melody might be far more realistic. If beginners can realize this concept early on it will make the learning curve far less stressful in the long term.

CONCLUSION:
The beginner period with any musical instrument can be frustrating. With the added level of difficulty associated with learning guitar - new players often face disappointed expectations and thwarted ambitions within the first 4 - 6 weeks. Getting past this requires a strong attitude of seeing the glass as half full and not as half empty. A positive mind combined with a great deal of discipline and a comprehensive weekly practice routine will yield the results over time. If you do it, you'll get it - if you don't, you won't.

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Practice Schedule Handout
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(Adobe Acrobat PDF Document)

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