Let’s face it, after the initial thrill of learning your first chords, there comes a point when an aspiring acoustic guitar player loses the drive to practice, especially when some chords still don’t sound right after all the efforts. It can’t be helped but frustrations are likely to come to beginners as they learn to play acoustic guitar.
However, who says you should experience all these frustrations alone. Try linking up with other beginners who are in the same boat as you are. This way, you do not only hone your skills in playing acoustic guitar, you also develop your social skills as well.
Here are some tips for an aspiring guitar player to maintain persistence and motivation in striving for perfection through the help of other people.
Try the buddy system. A buddy may be a mentor, music teacher or a friend who plays too. Jamming with friends is always fun that you forget that you’re actually practicing. On the other hand, as playing guitar is also a science, nothing compares to the professional inputs from a music teacher. It is always good to know the explanation behind all the strumming and pressing techniques. Think holistic learning!
Join a club. Nothing helps learning better than association. Clubs are usually composed of people who have years of playing to their credit. You will gain from their experience and at the same time, you gent to expand your social network. In these clubs, you will sure find a mentor who will hopefully not only share his time and knowledge, but his accessories and materials as well.
Hit the internet. The presence of buddies could be physical and yes, in this generation, virtual. There are countless guitar forum, blogspots and communities in the internet. These venues are full of people from a wide range of playing styles and levels of accomplishments and are happy to help both the budding artist with instrument recommendations, stylistic interpretation, musicality, finger care, performance flair and every concern there is.
Regularly play before an audience. Grab every opportunity to share your new-found talent to others whether it is for a family gathering, school activity or church service. This will take a lot of self-confidence especially from those who are just starting to play an acoustic guitar, but this is a good motivation as any.
Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo and Gabriela performing at Esplanade Concert Hall on April 11, 2015. — PHOTO: HONG WEI LONG / ESPLANADE
The thought of performing before a crowd is enough motivator for you to practice your piece until you get the chords write even without looking at your guitar. This is called “muscle memory” or the body’s ability to remember, or automatically perform a well-practiced motion. See how the professionals do complicated chords without even looking at their guitars and or even thinking about it.
Every artist dreams of performing before a crowd, so you might as well start with the crowd nearest you – your family or friends who will celebrate your every performance.
At the start, don’t aim for concert quality pieces. Start learning songs with just three to four chords and take it from there. Even a simple song requires hours of plucking and strumming until your fingers hurt. As they say, no pain, no gain, so don’t be discouraged by a few humps and bumps because only those who religiously stick to the craft gets to the top.