3 Big Beginner Guitar Mistakes

If you want to learn guitar this year, make sure that you avoid the following three big mistakes that many beginners fall into.

Mistake #1 Not Practicing On A Regular Basis

The first mistake you need to avoid is practicing only once a week for a couple of hours instead of practicing every day, even if for only a short period of time. 

The key to retaining the skills that you are learning and to building up your muscle memory is to engage in regular practice. Practicing the skills that you are trying to retain every day, even if you only have fifteen minutes, will help you retain your skills in the long run more than a single jam session once a week. 

Additionally, before you start playing every day, set a goal. Know exactly what you want to practice and work on during your session. This will help you progress more quickly and will help keep you focused while practicing. 

Mistake #2: Not Doing Both Theoretical & Practical Practice Sessions

Learning the guitar should involve a mix of both practical and theoretical practice. Make sure that you make time for both types of practice and learning.

Theoretical-based sessions should focus on learning things such as how the fretboard works and how all the strings and notes relate to one another. You will spend a lot of time both reading and analyzing note diagrams and your guitar's fretboard. Mastering the theoretical will help you apply these techniques when actually playing the guitar.

Practical based practice should focus on actually exercising your fingers and playing the guitar. Practical-based practice sessions should cover such things as learning the positions of certain cords, fingering chords, changing between cords and learning strum patterns. 

Oftentimes, it helps to first do a theoretical-based practice session and follow up with a practical-based session that builds on what you learned in your previous session. 

Mistake #3: Not Playing Around On Your Guitar

You should do formal practice sessions, on your own or with an instructor, every day in order to really learn how to play a guitar. But if you really want to be able to express yourself with your guitar, you should also build in non-practice time to play with your guitar.

These sessions should be outside of your daily practice sessions. During this time, instead of focusing on learning a particular chord or string, just play around on your guitar. Freestyle time on your guitar will allow you to experiment with creating your own unique sound and will allow you to have a little more fun in a more unstructured setting. 

Just playing around with the skills you have learned can also help you discover areas you need to practice more and help you figure out what you want to learn more about. 

As you start learning how to play guitar this year, make sure you avoid the three mistakes many rookie guitar players fall into that are listed above. The key to successfully learning how to play the guitar is to have focused practice sessions every day, and to remember to occasionally just play around and have some fun as well.