Today, we are going to look at some common problems beginner guitarists generally have when they have to practising and playing songs with chords in.
We are going to talk about how we can practise songs to get more progress so you can spend less time practising. We will also discuss how to hold your chords down so they both sound better and reduce pain in your fingers. Finally, we will also talk about how you can make your strumming sound better and more interesting to listen to.
How to practise songs effectively
An issue we see thatís holding a lot of beginner guitarists back when they practise songs is the tendency to play the whole entire song through even when they get to a mistake or problem area of their playing. They will either struggle through it to get through to the end or they will go back to the beginning of the song to play through the whole song again.
A much more effective way and I want you to try this is when you are practising and you get to your first mistake. Just take that small area, whether itís a chord change or a few notes and repeat that 20 times. And then try playing through the song again after you have done that that. And when you get to another mistake, repeat it again. If itís the same mistake, again, just focus on that and play it 20 times.
While it may seem to make your practise more ďboringĒ. It will save you minutes of your time in progress and being able to play that song and many others. And it will save you hours over the next few weeks just practising this way so that you can get more practise into less time.
Getting your chords to sound better
A lot of beginner guitarists struggle with their chords sounding ďrubbishĒ when they first start. They get their chords shapes, and then when they play, thereís a buzzing sound.
If you are getting this buzzing sound, itís because the strings of your guitar on the fretboard are not in contact with the guitar hard enough. The two ways to solve this problem is either to press harder on the guitar. Which doesnít always work, and itís extra work for you. The other option is to move your fingers closer to the fretlines. Now you donít want them directly on top of the fretlines, you want it just behind them.
This way you will get a much better sound because the strings are now in contact with the guitar. Even though you are actually the same amount of pressure that you were doing in the middle of the frets. So try this at home, and see where you can get your fingers to and see if you can get a better sound out of your chords now.
Getting your strumming to sound better
One of the common problems with strumming is that you get this blocky sound when they strum up and down the guitar strings. This happens because they are treat their strumming hand like an on/off switch. They go up and down, turning the strings on or off. While this is cool for certain type of chords, letís solve this this so you can make your strumming sound more melodic and interesting.
Now first of all, letís stop treating the strumming hand like an on or off switch. Start thinking your strumming hand like a paintbrush. When you see someone painting, you donít see them stabbing the piece of paper, they vary their strokes and depth of the paintbrush to create different lines. So letís try this with your strumming hand on the guitar. I want you to take any chord that you are comfortable with and do the following.
First, play the first few strings (6-4) slowly and then going through the rest of the strings (3-1) faster as you do a down strum. Then try it in reverse, playing strings (1-3) faster and then the lower strings (4-6) faster as you do an up strum.
You should hear it already sounds a lot more interesting. Try to get it to sound fluent with it. Once you are comfortable going either up or down, then put the two together as well.
Apply this technique to your strumming patterns and see what effects and feel you create with this type of strumming.
Hopefully these few tricks to help you make the guitar sound even better, and you playing more like a pro. If you are struggling to make the progress that you want to on the guitar or you still canít get things to sound good or sound right on the guitar then find a guitar teacher to help you.
Author: Darryl Powis from Guitar Tuition East London providing the best acoustic guitar lessons in London England. If you are based in London, UK and interested in taking acoustic guitar lessons then get in touch with Darryl.