Knowing how to play guitar comes with a lot of benefits. Learning and playing any musical instrument can help you improve your memory and problem solving skills. It also develops your concentration and dedication. But let’s face it – you picked the guitar over any other instrument for a reason. When eternally cool guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Joe Strummer, and Kurt Cobain have become cultural icons, the guitar is the instrument with the most style. But before you can look good while you play your guitar, you have to overcome some of the challenges that come with the instrument.
For any beginner, co-ordinating your strumming hand and picking hand can be the biggest challenge. It might feel alien to move your right arm across the strings while your left contorts in awkward chord positions, but with some practice these movements will become as unconscious as breathing. Novice guitarists often complain especially about their left hand. The pads of your fingers are unused to the stress that you put them through as a guitarist, so they’ll definitely hurt (and maybe even bleed) until you’ve built up a set of calluses. The muscles in that hand and wrist can become tight from moving between and holding different chords, so intersperse your practice time with stretches to avoid hurting yourself.
Eventually with enough practice, you’ll fly by these challenges and become a truly great player. In order to develop your skills properly, you’ll have to take every opportunity to practice. Many people find that music lessons with a professional instructor can help set them on the right track, but nothing beats plain, old practicing. Dedicated and mindful study of the notes and chords of the songs you love is the only way you can master your instrument.
Once you get a handle on your favourite instrument, you might realize that your single guitar isn’t enough. When each guitar has a different personality and tone, there’s no such thing as too many guitars. If you want to expand your fleet, you should check out a local guitar store that has a reputation in your city. That way you’ll be able to hear for yourself the difference between an economical Squier and a budget-busting Les Paul. But if you can’t make it out to your local guitar store, don’t fret. (Get it?). Renowned brick and mortar music stores like Long & McQuade have an amazing selection of guitars at Long-mcquade.com. Their online selection is just as great as their in-store collections – if not better! So you can find the exact guitar you want even if you can’t get out to see them yourself.
Fair warning to you though – once you start collecting guitars, you might find it difficult to stop. But as an avid guitarist, you won’t mind that your basement is slowly filling with different guitars and all of the accessories you could ever need. They’ll be visual proof of how far you’ve come from novice to expert, just like your guitar heroes.