In the next paragraphs, you will find valuable tips to keep in mind during the learning process. This advice will put you in the right direction of how to play electric guitar. Simply for one reason: it will show you how not to do it.
You might be interested in learning only the basics to play your favorite music on the acoustic or electric guitar. Or wish to get into an advanced level with the electric guitar from the beginning. You can create your own songs, solo, improvise and use the most different techniques. Whatever your goal, the advice is the same. They apply to any guitarist and help them to get further and faster. So let’s go to what matters.
How to play electric guitar – Think in the Long-term
Learning to play the electric guitar is just like building a house. If you do it in a hurry, you will certainly have problems ahead. But if you do everything right and carefully, you will be surprised with the results and all the effort will be worth it. And the best part is that you will be able to enjoy the house however you want.
Do not develop bad habits
Many people discard perfection when they rush out to learn something. The desire to play faster causes the guitarist to make small mistakes. It creates a habit which is hard to get rid of.
A bad habit is the tendency to do something wrong (or at least in a less efficient way). We always end up following this trend. When you get used to doing something in a certain way, it’s hard to break the habit. The essential tip for avoiding bad habits is to find them before they get out of hand. It’s easy. Whenever you want to cut corners or make a small change in the right way of playing, stop and think: “where will it take me?”.
When you play a song and make a mistake, go back to the beginning and play it right. Don’t get used to playing wrong.
Don’t be satisfied playing well. Try to play until it can’t be any better. It requires more training in the beginning, but you will reap the benefits in the long-term. Soon it will be easier to learn new songs, and you will make fewer mistakes. Have good hearing. If it doesn’t sound good, find out why and solve the problem.
How to play electric guitar – Be patient
In the beginning, it may seem you are developing slowly. You might even think this not for you. This is not the smallest issue. Almost every guitarist feels the same way in the beginning. Doing all those chord layouts is weird. We forget the right positions, can’t open the hand very well to reach the notes. There are many difficulties, but we get through them. Don’t worry. All this goes away. How? Check out following tips.
How to play electric guitar – The Details are Very Important
The electric guitar is an instrument with many details. The more information you get to know and the more accuracy you can affect them, the better guitarist you will be. A single detail might not impress much, but when you put it all into a song, the combination is extraordinary. This is exactly what a great guitarist does. Every song, every phrase on the electric guitar, each solo is detailed. Even the songs that sound simpler have many details behind them.
In this article, we are not going to talk about these details because the site tells about them. But one thing we can say is when you listen to a guitarist and get impressed with the song he is playing, don’t simply think “this guy is great”. An excellent exercise is to observe what he is playing and try to find out what the composition is. All you need to do is to divide the song into parts and smaller parts again and pay a lot of attention to it.
Are you probably thinking “to play an electric guitar I need to think of many notes at the same time? I thought I just had to play and be done” the answers is “no”. When a guitarist plays one song, he doesn’t think about many notes at the same time. It’s simply a part of a way to play. But there is a lot of necessary training to get to this level of playing. While training, pay attention to every single note until you memorize them. As if your fingers would remember how to play by itself.
The most common thing for beginners is to think about your favorite guitarists and ask yourself “how can they play so well?” The answer couldn’t be any simpler: dedication. Slash, Eric Clapton, B.B King, David Gilmour, all of them have dedicated part of their time to play the electric guitar better. “Nothing is better than one day after the next.” This means: you don’t have to learn to play today, you just need to play a little better than yesterday and do the same thing tomorrow and so on. Don’t rush, but don’t waste time. Every minute you play will make you better.
It’s not enough to dedicate yourself; you need to commit yourself in the right way. Most of the time it means dedication in an efficient way. For this, you need to be methodical. An unstructured training won’t take you very far. Establish goals and do your best to reach them. An example of the goal is to learn three songs every week. There are thousands of possible goals. Always try to improve, avoid stopping. Set more challenging goals every time (use your creativity).
If you have lessons, dedicate a good amount of your training to practice the exercises your teacher gives you. There is no one better to say what to play and how you should train. If your teacher is not used to give homework after a lesson, ask him to do it more often. It’s just like a sport. Football, basketball, and volleyball players practice all the time. That way, they are in great form and ready to make the right moves when the games begin.
This is one of the most valuable lessons for whoever wants to learn how to play the electric guitar. Never forget this: “if you want to learn, you need to make a lot of repetitions.” It is one of the biggest truths. It serves for beginners as much as it does for those that have played for years. In fact, the fastest guitarist known in the world are those that most train repetitions. There is no secret – when you talk about technique, repetition is what matters the most.
Get a Teacher
Having a teacher is just like getting a coach for sport. He knows you and helps you improve. He knows the fundamentals and principles and will put you on the right path. Complex subjects such as musical theories can’t be left aside. A pro guitarist is the most suitable person to teach you.
Steve Vai knew the importance of having a good teacher and searched for the one that soon would be one of the best in the world – Joe Satriani taught him everything he knows. Steve Vai was his most dedicated student, nowadays, he is one of the best guitarists in the world.
We believe 100% in your capacity to look for knowledge. Over the course of your life, you’ve learned to do a lot of things all by yourself. By playing the guitar, you will have the chance of using your self-teaching. Even though we firmly recommend that all guitarists look for a teacher, we value the self-teaching a lot. It is an excellent way of learning. Often even faster. We can quickly forget what we are told. But we never forget what we learn by ourselves.
Self-teaching is a way of learning that uses our intelligence to discover new things. In other words, to reach conclusions by your logic. This way, we can see that the electric guitar is an excellent way to exercise your intelligence.
We suggest you to make the most of both ways of learning music on the electric guitar. Have a teacher and learn things by yourself. This way, you will maximize your potential and use your time efficiently. To help you along this path, remember that music is just like science, where everything makes sense. Notes are not played randomly to sound good. There is an explanation for everything that is played, but this is another subject (musical theory).
A teacher will teach you everything that he can (which are a lot of things) in an organized way. The self-teaching is what will make you unique. No teacher taught Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page to do what they do.
The electric guitar is a world. Once in, you can spend years discovering new things. However, you will only figure it out if you chase them. Even if you are having lessons with an excellent teacher, he won’t tell you everything you want to know unless you ask him. He won’t say for two reasons: There is a lot to say, and he probably doesn’t know everything (anybody knows everything). So you can’t wait for the information to fall into your lap. Go after them!
The principal trait of a curious person is to look at the world as a scientist and want to understand how things work. Being curious is not to accept what is told. It is to want to know more. For this reason, you need to ask questions, think about issues, have doubts, and suggest a hypothesis. And of course, look for the answers. The pieces of the puzzle come together with time.