Everyone who's ever started guitar lessons wants to start learning songs right away. That's the whole point, right? So, it's not a popular opinion to suggest that new guitar students shouldn't begin by learning songs. It does, however, seem like the correct approach.
They should focus on learning technique instead. Practicing technique exercises teach the student how to play the guitar, not simply how to play a song. This is far more important in the beginning than learning a song or a couple of riffs.
Along with good practice habits, when students gain technical proficiency early, they can quickly progress into learning and playing the songs they want at a very high level.
The Enemy Is Always Tension
To play any instrument well, especially a string instrument, you need to handle tension well.
On the guitar, tension results from everything that makes the instrument hard to play, including but certainly not limited to:
The last one is a real killer, since, by its very nature, not breathing creates involuntary muscle tension, which can make playing extremely difficult if not impossible.
A guitarist who hopes to learn anything does everything with an eye toward an economy of motion and what will create the least amount of hand, arm, and shoulder tension. In the beginning, the new player must learn to recognize and deal with that tension.
Thus, most tried-and-true guitar technique exercises are designed with the idea of starting slowly and increasing speed with time, all the while teaching your hands to keep proper form and to relax away tension with proper breathing and focus exercises.
On the other hand, songs tend to be way more complex than technique exercises for obvious reasons. Chief among them is musicality. They're meant to be enjoyed by the listener, unlike technique exercises.
The Beginning Player Should Learn Breathing, Hand Mechanics, and the Basics of Keeping Tempo
The beginning player is better served by learning how to hold the instrument correctly, how to achieve proper action with both the picking and the fretting hand, and how to breathe.
When you combine all that with basic rhythm-keeping exercises, the new player learns, in the beginning, all the fundamental skills they need to be a successful guitarist. If you'd like to take beginner guitar lessons, reach out to a music teacher in your area.
In a month, my husband and I will celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary. I can’t believe we’ve been married for so many years. One of my favorite aspects about our wedding ceremony was the music. I selected two country tunes and a religious song to be sung at our wedding. A couple from my dad’s church sang the religious song beautifully while my cousin’s husband sang one of the country song’s perfectly. I sang the other country song to my groom. On this blog, I hope you will discover some tips for picking the perfect musical selections for an upcoming, important event. Enjoy!