Guitar from Zero to Hero: Things Beginners Ought to Consider

Guitar from Zero to Hero: Things Beginners Ought to Consider

In love with a guitarist from certain band, a certain song, or simply the sound generated by a guitar, you are now standing in front of the window of a musical instruments store, staring at a guitar.

If the guitar you wish to buy is a hollow-body one, the price of which should not be overwhelmingly expensive–it may take much less than your one-month salary to buy it. Moreover, out of the competition among different musical instruments stores, guitar lessons are offered at a very low price. Learning guitar has, therefore, no barriers to entry at all. However, after a long time of teaching and learning guitar, it’s so common for guitar-learners to come to a bottleneck—neither can they make a breakthrough and progress nor give up learning guitar as it is a waste of money to throw away a guitar which is already brought. After rounds of struggle, the guitar is still finally placed inside a certain corner, waiting for decay.

Therefore, it is suggested to consider a few things before deciding to learn guitar.

1. Are you afraid of pain?

We are not born to play the guitar. So, our fingers are not designated to press guitar strings either. Especially for folk guitar, its metal strings have to be pressed hard enough that they make a sound. That’s why beginners may start grumbling very soon only after pressing the guitar strings for a few times. Sadly, it can further become a hurdle to 80% of beginners who find finger pain a nightmare.

For your own good, lend a guitar before actually buying one. Or you may also give it a try in the musical instruments store. Let’s say to press the first grid of the second string with your index finger and then pluck it and see if a clean sound can be made. If not, press even harder to the extent that there is a pitting on the fingertip. Remember the pain as this will be common before a callus is developed. I won’t deceive you by telling you playing guitar doesn’t cause pain. Even worse, finger tape doesn’t help and it will weaken your sense of touch. On the other hand, calluses being built is the status symbol of real guitarists.

There is only one way out—get used to the pain. If the finger pain is too intense, take a rest while keeping on “practicing”—looking at the guitar chords chart and learning it by heart.

Some may say it being the problem of the guitar itself to have caused pain, for example, the guitar is with high action, i.e. the strings are too high off the fretboard. Don’t pass the buck to the guitar at first unless it was proven by an experienced guitarist. Adjust the string spacing or admit that you are still too young to make a complaint.

2. How much time are you willing to spend on practicing Guitar each day?

In fact, beginners can start with learning guitar by themselves. Perhaps some may think that having an instructor to guide them step by step from the very beginning would be better. However, there is not much content covered in elementary courses. It can take quite a lot of time already for beginners to get used to the pain involved fingering. In addition, knowledge of chords and fingering skills can also be easily acquired from free online resources. Before seeking a guitar tutor, make sure that you can swift smoothly among different chords, otherwise it will be a waste of money and time to use up at least one minute to change each chord in front of your tutor. Or if you really want to enroll in a course first, feel free to suspend classes if there are certain skills unattainable. Keep on practicing them until you can make it. You may then resume the classes as usual. At the early stage, “a lot of practice” is a must. If one is lazy, s/he will be crashed in certain stages. Both of the instructor and you will be anxious, agonized and frustrated. After all, how can you make perfect without practicing?

3. Do you have any basic knowledge of music theory?

Though this is not necessary, it will be more efficient for you to learn all kinds of instruments if you know what notes (e.g. quarter notes and eighth notes) and scales are, as well as how to count music and read rhythms. The concepts mentioned above can all be learned from online resources. If possible for you to learn by yourself, why afford a tutor to do so? Still, if you really cannot understand those things written in black and white, don’t hesitate to approach a tutor to learn about them. Also, you’d better prepare yourself—it will take greater efforts, more patience and passion as well in order to learn these before proceeding to stage zero, yet don’t feel reluctant to learn about music theory.