The best players in the world all have one thing in common: great guitar habits!
It’s their dedication and technique that makes them the great musicians that they are.
To follow in their footsteps, you will need to adopt great habits that can take your skills to the next level.
Here are the best habits to pick up NOW:
Try to Learn Something New Every Day
Aim to learn one new thing each day to develop your skill set.
It can be as small as a new guitar exercise to as big as learning a new song!
Perfect your riffs, licks, tuning, and chords to create a sound that’s as good as the greats.
Broadening your skills will help you to express yourself better on the guitar too.
Take some time each day, even for a few minutes, to learn something new.
The self-discipline will help you to develop good guitar habits. As a result, you will be able to stand apart from the average musician.
Avoid the Death Grip
Don’t give into the dreaded death grip when playing the guitar.
When a person first picks up a guitar, they often find that the strings on the fretboard hurt their fingers. It can also cause your wrists to ache as well.
Why is it coined the death grip? It’s because the tight grip on the guitar neck will restrict your finger’s reach — and your potential!
To avoid this problem, all you need to do is hook your thumb over the top of the fretboard.
This will give you a little leverage. You will be able to press down the strings with your fingers rather than with the fingertips.
It might feel unnatural to hold the guitar this way at first, but you will soon get used to the position.
Take Lessons to Learn Good Guitar Habits
You might think that taking guitar lessons is giving in, but it isn’t.
Lessons will help you to iron out any bad guitar habits and ensure you develop at a faster rate.
While there are many books and videos to help you teach yourself, you can’t put a price on a teacher’s experience.
They have already dealt with and overcome all the problems you are facing.
What’s more, they will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses better than you can. As a result, you can stop making silly mistakes and strengthen your skills.
Every guitarist takes inspiration from another player. An instructor can definitely inspire you to become a better musician.
Master the Difficult Chords
There are some guitarists out there that would like to avoid difficult chords at all costs.
Unfortunately, this will only limit your skills on the guitar.
If you want to develop good guitar habits, you need to tackle those difficult chords head on.
For instance, if you are struggling with a B minor chord, don’t try to avoid it.
See the chord as a challenge you need to master.
Spend a bit more of your time on the chord, so you no longer have to think about it when playing the guitar.
Rehearse in Different Positions
If you want to play the guitar alone in your bedroom, you don’t have to stand in different positions.
If your dream is to play in front of a crowd, you will need to be able to play standing up.
There is a big difference between playing the guitar sitting down to standing up.
When you’re playing on a chair, you may hunch your back to see what your hands are up to.
Yet, when you’re standing up, you will not be able to hunch your back and it will be harder to see your hands.
For this reason, you must try to develop good guitar habits by playing in different positions.
Invest in a great guitar strap and ensure it sits comfortably on your shoulder.
Practice playing the guitar standing in one position while walking around.
The more you practice the different positions, the more natural it will feel!
Play with a Metronome
Struggling with your timings?
Playing to a metronome can help improve your timing and rhythm.
Set the metronome’s beats per minute (BPM) to a slow pace. It can help you to learn to play in time and at a steady tempo.
It might be difficult playing to a click track at first but stick with it as it can help to develop your technique.
There’s No Need to Play Fast
One of the worst guitar habits you could develop is trying to play fast.
It’s unnecessary and a complete waste of your time.
Playing the guitar is about playing the right chords at the right time.
Stop focusing on how fast you can play, and start concentrating on accurate fingering instead.
Once you learn how to develop a good finger technique, the speed will take care of itself!
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Many beginners are tempted to overdo practice to give themselves a head start.
It’s important not to push yourself too hard too soon. Not only will it result in cramped muscles or stinging fingers, but it could destroy your passion.
So, when your hand starts to ache and your fingers become sore, take a break and enjoy some downtime.
It will not only aid your practice, but it can prevent damaged tendons or ligaments.
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It can be hard to identify how well you are doing as you play.
To see where you are going right or wrong, you should record yourself.
Your smartphone makes it easier than ever to record your progress.
When you listen to a song back, you might hear things you like or dislike during your performance.
It can be a great way to spot your strengths and weaknesses, so you will know the areas to focus on moving forward.
Now, it’s time to put your new habits to the test.
Have you overcome any difficulties playing the guitar?
We’d love to hear about your guitar habits and tips in the comment section below!
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