Over the last year I have been following the brilliant Tiffany Ash and her YouTube guides on how to play the guitar. I knew when lockdown kicked in that I should have something to aim for and work towards, which would keep me from getting bored. I’d had an old guitar sitting around for may years, and I decided that now was the right time to get started. It was actually friend of mine who recommended that I used Tiffany’s guides, and I must say that they have been absolutely brilliant, and I’d really recommend them. I have learned a lot over the last 12 months, and that is why I wanted to share some simple tips for anyone out there who’d like to play.
Practice is absolutely critical to improving and whilst that may sound like easy advice to give, the reality is that it is so important that we have to mention it. Even if it is just 30 minutes per day, it is critical that you take the time to hone and improve your skills. To be completely honest, if I let 3 or 4 days go by and I don’t practice then I can feel it as I play, in the lack of fluidity and rhythm that I have, always do what you can to make sure that you squeeze a little bit of practice time in.
I wouldn’t discourage anyone from learning how to read music, but my suggestion is that you first learn guitar tablature, which will help you to play some songs early on. Tablature is far easier to read than sheet music and it will not take you much time at all to learn how to do it. Basically tablature features 6 lines on a page representing each string, and then a number written on each string to show which fret you should put your fingers, that’s how simple it is.
Learning Licks and Scales
Trying to learn a song can be frustrating and a great way to keep your fingers loose and to increase your depth of knowledge with regards to playing guitar, is to learn some licks and scales that will help. These are small, multiple note tunes which are often the foundation for so many modern day songs. Most of the scales that you will learn come from blues and they are a great to increase your dexterity and to increase your feeling for sound. What you will find is that the more of these that you play and learn, the easier you will find it when you do have to learn a song.
Fingerpicking is a real art and if you get it right then this is going to take your playing to the next level. Unfortunately however this is not something which is easy and that is why the sooner that you learn and get practicing the better it will be in the long term.
Good luck and remember that there is no pressure on you at all, the idea is to have fun.
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