I have been playing guitar for more than a decade and I am always learning so when people ask me, “how long does it take to learn guitar” I can only tell them they will never stop learning about playing guitar. Yet at the same time I tell they could be playing songs within days. That’s guitar playing, you always have something you can learn.
I have friends who have been playing guitar for more than 30 years and I know more about playing guitar than they do yet they are so much better than I am. I still teach them new things periodically so it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing guitar or how good you are there are always new things to learn.
If you are a beginner guitar player you should benefit from the following 5 areas so read on.
Practice Finger Exercises
You can pretty much pickout people that don’t practice guitar playing exercises. They usually play chords and nothing else. They don’t try to hit that extra note in the song or play a little riff once in a while. Even among my friends who have been playing forever.
Practice exercises like playing scales teaches your fingers and your brain to move in certain way. The more you practice the faster you get and before long you will be able to move up and down the neck of your guitar and actually sound good. Lots of practice.
I have a few friends that know basic chords and play hundreds of songs but in all the years they’ve been playing they never move into bar chords which allow the player to play down the neck without using a capo to bar the neck.
When we play songs with bar chords these players just stop playing. They are missing out on so much more guitar fun just because they think it’s hard to play bar chords. It’s all about learning one and practicing it until it’s easy.
Finger Exercises For Faster Playing
I have a couple of exercises that stretch my fingers so that I can play even more chords, ones that might need a little stretching of the fingers to make it sound clear.
Here is a video I found on Youtube that uses an exercise for getting those fingers to lossen up and reach further. With practice and time you will be amazed at what it will do for your playing and confidence. Enjoy and practice.
The exercise above is just one technique of many which could include:
- string skipping
- sweep picking
I love hammer-ons and bending the strings for that little extra they provide to the music.
Playing Other People’s Songs
What I have found, going to local guitar jams, is that I learn other people’s style of playing without realizing I am learning.
When someone new comes to the jam, with a different style, I find over the next week I seem to improve my playing. It was a long time before I put two and two together and realized it was new playing styles.