Don’t Make These 5 Common Mistakes


As rewarding as it is to learn to play the guitar, it can be a very frustrating thing at the same time.  At times it can seem as if you are climbing this infinite mountain filled with stumbling blocks especially without a good teacher to help you in your journey.  These obstacles can cause you to form bad habits or prevent you from progressing and reaching your goals.  Many succumb to the obstacles and quit playing out of frustration.

To help fight this frustration, here are five common mistakes beginners make and things you can do to avoid them.

1. Trying to play beyond your ability.

You cannot expect to be able to rip out an amazing solo or crank through a thrash metal rhythm until you have mastered the very basics. Trying to play far outside of your current ability will only bring frustration. You have the rest of your life to build your guitar playing skills.  Remember, learning to play the guitar is a journey not a race.  Take your time!

2. Not practicing correctly.

When you pick up your guitar to practice, do you just play what you already know or do you work on new material and techniques? The majority of your practice time should be spent learning new things.  Its important to maintain a healthy repertoire though so be sure to make time for playing things you already know.

3. Not Having a Good Teacher.

These days there’s an abundance of online guitar lessons, videos, method books, DVD’s and other material that allow you to learn to play guitar on your own.  If you are not working with a private teacher, you are more than likely using one of the resources I mentioned above.  The worst thing you can do is spend your time looking for garbage tab on one of the infinite tab sites, or wandering around Youtube.  If you dont have a good teacher in your area, check out some of the better resources for learning guitar on your own.  A good private teacher is best but if you're unable to to find one these resources are quality ones that will take your playing to the next level.

4. Not Warming up Before You Play.

Ever wonder why there are times when you pick up your guitar and cannot play something that you have played with ease before? The main cause is not warming up first. Try going through various finger exercises, running through scales, or just playing easy stuff you know. You’ll be surprised what a few minutes of warm up will do for your playing.

5. Memorizing, but not Applying.

Sure, its easy to memorize a bunch of riffs but are you actually thinking about how to apply what you learn to your own playing? Do you really understand what it is that you are playing and why that riff works or how you alter that handful of licks to create a different solo?  The next time you learn a lick or riff, try twisting and turning it until it becomes something of your own. It can make the difference between being stuck in a cover band and becoming an actual musician.