Guitar Mistakes to Avoid When Learning How to Play 

Guitar Mistakes to Avoid When Learning How to Play 

Learning to play your guitar for the first time can be exciting. The moment you strum the strings, you would want to know everything right away, from notes to all the slides and bends.  

However, in your eagerness to learn, you may forget some not-so-obvious but essential elements when playing the guitar. 

As a beginner, it’s normal to commit mistakes. Avoiding them as much as you can is crucial if you want to continue your dream of becoming the guitarist you’ve set out yourself to be.  

In this article, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes when learning to play the guitar and how to avoid them. 

1. Improper holding of your guitar

First in the list of common mistakes is holding the guitar incorrectly. Let’s admit it – people find it challenging to wrestle with the instrument especially if it’s big for them. For beginners, you can learn to hold your guitar correctly by taking advantage of the curves. If you’re seated, position the curve of the guitar on your right leg and keep the back of the guitar close to your chest and stomach. If you’re standing, you may want to use a guitar strap and adjust the height of the guitar similar to when you’re sitting. Remember, properly holding the guitar can help you perform some strumming techniques well. 


2. Failure to tune your guitar before practice 

Most beginners don’t realize the importance of tuning their guitar properly before every practice. They don’t even notice that their instrument is out of tune. It’s therefore essential to make some tuning adjustments before you give it a strum. Remember, when you practice on a guitar that is consistently out of tune, you will start thinking that the sound is right and will not recognize the correct pitches. Also, the guitar can be tuned in different ways. You can choose from standard tuning, E-flat tuning, drop D tuning, and open D and open E tuning.  

3. Incorrect finger techniques 

Another mistake that you should avoid when learning how to play the guitar is the incorrect holding of the chords. Make sure you apply the right finger techniques so you can play the chords correctly. When you know the proper methods, you’ll then have a comfortable time playing the chords. 

4. Practicing what you already know how to play 

Don’t waste your time practicing what you can already play. It’s one of the biggest mistakes that most beginners make. While there’s nothing wrong if you want to run through the songs you know how to play, it’s still best to push yourself in learning new things. If you’re practicing the same piece for three months, then you’re not making any progress at all. You can play the songs you already know a couple of times a week, but don’t forget to upgrade your learning by adding more tunes to your practice to prevent stagnation. 

5. Avoiding the barre chords

If you want to become a professional guitarist someday, you can start by learning barre chords. They are, in fact, the major hurdle you’ll deal with when you’re advancing your guitar skills. Because barre chords are challenging to play, a lot of the beginners get intimidated, and as a result, they will avoid playing the songs that require them. However, you should learn how to play the guitar without any reservations. Spend time working on your barre chords skills. Begin by learning songs with barre chords in them. While it can be a bit overwhelming for the first time, playing barre chords will get easier as you’ll get your fretting hands stronger. Not only that but playing them for a couple of months will surely make a huge difference in your guitar skills. 

6. Having too many sources 

When learning to play the guitar, you’ll be tempted to consult too many sources. Unfortunately, if you keep on jumping from one source to another, you will be bombarded with an overload of information. Instead of finding the answers that you need, the wealth of information can paralyze your practice. If you get stuck on something, don’t easily replace your learning sources to make things easy. The best thing you can do is to look for a qualified teacher or an online course with a clear lesson plan on guitar patterns that you can stick with. 

Final Thoughts 

Music such as playing the guitar is good for you mental well-being. But there are so many things to consider when learning how to play the guitar. You need to take a minute to examine yourself whether you’re making the same mistakes listed here. Now that you know the most common guitar issues to avoid, it’s time to move forward and improve your skills. Plan out your next practice session. Learn the fundamentals, and you’ll be a step closer to your dream of becoming a professional guitarist in no time.  

Mathew Tucker