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5 Essential Practice Tips for Becoming a Better Guitar Player

 by Autumn Huerter

A man practices playing the guitar

The guitar is undoubtedly an iconic instrument, serving as a staple in many different genres, from classic rock to pop to country. When many people think of modern music, they think of the guitar and all of the different ways it can add variety to a piece of music. Many even express an interest in taking music lessons in Kansas City to learn how to play it!

So if that is you and you are interested in playing the guitar, but you might not know where to begin – we can help! Or maybe you have been playing for some time and want to improve your skills. No matter which case applies to you, we have some information that could help! Keep reading to discover the five tips we have for becoming a better guitar player.  

Tip #1: A Little Goes a Long Way

While practice makes perfect is an age-old adage, you shouldn’t feel as though you need to spend relentless hours on end playing your instrument each day. This is a sure fire way to lead to fatigue, burnout, and may even result in an injury. Any of these three things could cause you to stop playing indefinitely, and that’s the last thing you want!

As a general rule, we here at Music House recommend playing for about 20 minutes a day. This will help you to strengthen your muscles and build your skills. Plus, this is a great pace if you’re trying to build up the stamina necessary for performances. The pros might make it look easy, but holding a bow all day is no easy feat. 

Try to develop a routine for practicing. 20 minutes a day should be pretty doable, even if you are someone with a very busy schedule. If you aim for the same time each day, this will help you stay in the habit. For example, shoot for every evening after dinner or if you are a student, the moment you get home from class. Because the guitar takes a lot of practice, it’s imperative that you set aside this time every day. 

Tip #2: Love Making Music

If you don’t love making music or love playing your instrument, you are going to have a hard time staying committed to the guitar. We understand that hiccups occur and that there are times that learning can be frustrating or discouraging. But music, just like anything else, takes time and patience. Icons like John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix didn’t become world-renowned guitarists overnight, and neither can you.

Take the time and effort to learn what you love. When you are at your music lessons in Kansas City, have these types of discussions together with your instructor. They should be able to help field questions you may have or even give you new pieces or techniques to try. Even if you adore playing guitar, there might still be things you don’t like, and that’s okay! But focus on what you do love and use that as motivation to keep up the hard work.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to Technique

Just like with any instrument, there are a lot of techniques and mechanics that go into playing the guitar. You need to pay attention to these each and every time you play to avoid developing bad habits. Focus on posture, hand placement, and other fundamentals to ensure that you have a good baseline while you are playing. Especially as you are just beginning to try guitar, you don’t want to skip over this step. 

When working with your music instructor, listen to what feedback they might have in this area. If there is something you need to improve upon, do your best to make these changes. Honing in on these technical aspects will undoubtedly make you a better player.

Tip #4: Find Your Practice Spot

One step that sometimes gets overlooked when learning to play a new instrument is finding a good quality practice spot. Just like when you study for an exam or prepare for a presentation at work, it is probably best to find an area that is conducive to learning. The same concept applies to music!

Whatever this spot might look like for you, be sure to embrace it! Some might prefer practicing in their bedroom or home, while others might enjoy sitting outside when the weather is nice. No matter what, just make sure you make time to practice there as often as possible.

A young man plays guitar outside with his friends

Tip #5: Play as a Group

It is no secret that practicing or playing on your own all the time can get a bit boring. While it is a necessary part of becoming a better guitar player, so is playing as a part of a group. This doesn’t mean you have to run out and play in a full scale band, however. But even joining up with two others to create a trio can go a long way. You are going to learn from the others in your group, get to tackle more complex pieces, as well as even make new friends! 

Not only does adding new faces make music more fun, but it also creates an accountability partner. If you are supposed to be performing a piece together, and you have been slacking at practice, it’s not just you who is going to suffer - your whole ensemble will not be cohesive and not bring their A-game before an audience. Becoming a part of a team effort is great motivation to give it your all and make the other members of your group proud. 

The Takeaway

While these are just a few of the tips we have to become a better guitar player, there is certainly more to learn! When taking music lessons in Kansas City, be sure to listen to the instructor’s feedback and apply that in your practice. Remember to stick to a routine, practice 20 minutes a day, find joy in creating music, and branch out to find people to share the love with. 

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Written by Autumn Huerter
Autumn Huerter
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