Mistakes That Slows Your Progress In Learning Any Musical Instrument
When learning how to play any musical instrument, you could catch up fast or you could progress at a snail’s speed. It all depends on your learning approach. Most music teachers focus more on making sure that you don’t miss your learning sessions. Of course, missing your practice will slow your progress down, but your learning approach is more important than the time spent on it.
Students make several mistakes in their approach and these mistakes impact the result they get from their practice sessions. Here are some of the mistakes and their solutions.
1. Playing without concentration
Some students practice with their musical instrument while doing something else. Most commonly, people play an instrument while watching the TV. Learning requires full concentration as it requires the whole of your mind. When you play an instrument without full concentration, it is just a repetition of what you have already learned.
It is a waste of time because you won’t learn anything more. Whenever you want to practice, you have remove anything that may cause a distraction, so you can listen to what you’re playing and look out for flaws.
2. Playing without looking out for flaws
Another common mistake is playing an instrument through a piece of music without taking note of your flaws. If you do that, you won’t improve. You’ll only turn your training session to a formality. You will continue to move on with your flaws. You’ll slow down your progress that way.
Instead, watch for flaws while you’re playing the music. And if you come across any bad spot, stop and try to improve on the spot before you move on.
3. Playing through a particular musical piece repeatedly
It is true that practice makes perfect. You’ll improve when you keep playing through a piece again and again, but the rate of improvement will be very slow. You’ll keep playing through your flaws over and over again.
It is better to stop each time you encounter a problem. Find the cause and solution to the problem before you move on. You’ll learn faster that way.
4. Playing a problematic passage until it sounds better
Some students prefer to play over a problematic area until they observe an improvement before they move forward. The problem with this learning technique is that it is not certain that you’ll breeze through the spot when next you play the piece.
It is better to get to the root of the problem. Find out the real problem and the cause of the problem. That way, you’ll be able to proffer a technical solution to the problem. When the problem is solved, you’ll be able to play it better subsequently.
You need full concentration and engagement for identifying problems and solving them. When your brain is fully engaged in this, you’ll be able to take note of the problems and their solutions. Most importantly, everything you learn will stick with you for a long time. This is the most effective approach to learning how to play any musical instrument.
People always ask - is it difficult to learn the guitar? When watching maestros play the guitar, it is easy to think that learning the string instrument could be an easy feat. Well, you may be right but also wrong at the same time. While it’s easy for any passionate individual to take up the guitar, learning could be extremely difficult without having a good guitar teacher around and adopting some proper learning methods.
You’ll need constant practice to become a professional guitarist. Already, the internet is replete with lots of learning tips and resources on guitar playing but how valuable can these be without a proper model to guide you? Ultimately, those looking to become professional guitarists can either choose to learn through tabs or through musical notations.
While it’s easier and more convenient for beginners to learn through tabs, it is, however, not recommended for those looking to become professionals to take this route. Most experts would recommend learning notes. Though this process may seem quite challenging and complex in some way, it is worth the stress in every way.
When playing the guitar, it is expedient for learners to be mindful of their grip (how they hold the instrument) and posture (how they position themselves). It is natural to feel pain around the fingertips, however, it is good to know that the pain always goes away with time. The skin on the fingertip gets harder with regular practice which makes you feel less pain.
Is it difficult to learn the guitar? No, if only you understand what you are doing. Before practicing, it is advisable for guitar learners to first take some time out to study the fretboard of all the 6 strings in the first position. It is imperative to study these strings and their tuning frequency. In a bid to effectively simplify the tuning job, turners come with lots of clips these days. From the first string, you can easily understand how the tuning goes by memorizing these keys - EBGDAE.
No doubt, there are several hurdles to face when learning the guitar. The easiest and most convenient way to scale through common beginner challenges is by having the right teacher around. You can progressively get along once you have a solid learning foundation. Train your fingers to run the scale first then you can begin to try chords. Before trying full bar chords, ensure to begin with simple open chords.
There is no musical instrument you can’t play once you are passionate to learn it. The real challenge begins when you aspire to attain a professional level. Interestingly, there is no hurdle you can’t surpass once you set out quality time for constant and consistent practice. As for the guitar, you should learn to practice for technics, such as alternative strokes, arpeggios, hammer on, pullover or slur.
Learning How To Prevent Your Fingers From Hurting While Playing The Guitar
There are lots of fun to enjoy in music and learning to play the guitar is no exception. Unarguably, practicing this stringed instrument can be quite interesting but it can also be tough. To some degree, there are some guitar issues to be encountered of which pain is one of them. Nevertheless, it is good to know that there is a way out of this. Here is how to prevent your fingers from hurting while playing the guitar.
Practice with a decent guitar
When practicing to play the guitar, it is important for learners to know how to properly set up the instrument with low action. If you don’t know how to do this, go along with the instrument to a real music store to ask for assistance. A decent guitar is one that is properly set up to produce the right sounds with little efforts.
Strung up your guitar with the right strings
Using the right set of strings is obviously one of the easiest ways to get started. While the electric guitar requires .08 set of strings, acoustic guitars work best with .010 strings. As a learner, you may not know which set of strings is appropriate for use on your instrument. However, you can get the right settings done by visiting a real music store to get the professional assistance you need to string up your guitar. To achieve the best, learners should ensure to make it easy on themselves. However, there is no need to shy away from pain – besides, no pain… no gain.
Engage in music lessons with a professional guide
Having someone (preferably an expert) guide you through music lessons can be highly profitable when it comes to learning the guitar. Learning to play well will require you to adopt certain techniques recommended by experts to ensure an effective play session. Interestingly, you can get all the fundamentals covered at this time. You can effectively learn how to prevent your fingers from hurting while playing the guitar when you adopt an organized and focused practice session with a professional guitarist. Simply put, you need someone who can guide you and guide you well.
For the safety of your fingertips, soft practices are recommended. To do this, you don’t need to squeeze down when fingering a chord. All you need to do is to lay your fingers on the strings then do some back and forth movements but don’t press down. This can basically help to improve your solo, riff, and scale practices.
Play for shorter periods
You can improve your fingering skills by avoiding long-term practices and playing less long stretches within your time allotment.
Learn with fun
To avoid hurting your fingers while playing, there is no need to practice as if you are in a competition. Take some time to relax and ensure to have some fun while you practice.
Knowing how to choose a lesson length is an important aspect of learning music. Unfortunately, not every music learner, particularly new students, knows how to choose a lesson length. This is why it is very common to hear people ask, “what is the best time length for music lessons?” This post is set to guide music students on how to choose the right lesson length so as to enable them to make the most progress possible.
These 6 basic factors are established to enable music students to get the best time length for their music lessons.
Goals are generally established to give learners a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Goal setting is an important aspect of learning that cannot be underestimated even in the music world. Learning how to choose an appropriate goal can go a long way to help you obtain the best time length for music lessons which depends largely on your ambition.
It is imperative for every music student to learn to play accurately. Interestingly, this cannot be achieved without a high level of concentration. It is a bad habit for a musician to make mistakes while playing. This doesn’t reflect growth in any way. Your concentration levels will determine the length of music lesson you take. Consider taking a shorter lesson especially if you find it difficult to concentrate for a longer period (about an hour).
Generally, it is difficult to achieve progress in an uncomfortable state or situation. You must ensure to be comfortable with what you are doing to achieve a significant time length with your music lessons. There is no need to stress yourself learning music when you are not comfortable with it.
Music teachers play an important role in helping learners achieve their goals regardless of the lesson length set. When it comes to learning music, there is simply no need to dish out long tiring lessons. The most important thing for every music teacher is to provide the necessary information required to improve learning. This can go a long way to enable the learner to find the best lesson length set. Note that too much information can overwhelm the learner.
Experience, they say, is the best teacher. It is important for learners seeking to know what the best time length is for music lessons to ensure that they build on their experience levels. Studies have shown that the more experienced a person is at a thing, the longer he or she will concentrate which can be very helpful in building confidence.
Like experience, ability is built over time. Your ability to focus on the project at hand (learning music) can help you identify the best time length for music lessons. Develop your ability to learn and you will find ample time to achieve perfection.
Finally, your practice and budget will also play an important role in improving your lesson length. So ensure to practice effectively and ensure to go with a lesson that you can afford.
3 Best Starter Guitar To Consider In 2019
You might want to ask a few questions that would keep you informed about the best starter guitar.
As a beginner, it would be important to start learning Acoustic Guitar. Acoustic guitars contains all you basics and fundamentals of string instrument that you need to kick off and it requires a less practice to play if you really want to achieve a degree of success and become an expert in no longer time. If you're looking for an artificial style of play, then, consider learning the Acoustic guitar. You need to prepare and warm up for the ear and finger drills as it requires a more level of attention.
Some of the best starter Guitar available in the market are
1. Yamaha F310: I started learning the Guitar practice with F310. It's a great start for beginners because the neck is a little smaller than other types of guitars, and produces an incredible sound and to also crown it, it is available in the market and quite affordable to buy.
2. Squier SA-105 Acoustic Guitar: This guitar has been designed on the "classic" firm-shaped and will produce a warm tone generated by the laminated elegant top and laminated back and edges. It contains a native neck holding a rosewood fingerboard that the fingers glides through. It also has a well made turning pegs for a smoother turning control.
3. YAMAHA FS100C Acoustic Guitar: It possess a unique wonderful sound with a relatively mild bass but treble sounds so great and mid sound. This gives the guitar a traditional-like quality. It has less weight and also possesses a great sound quality. Action has remain even unchanged and I hope that it won't be compromised at any time soon. It's an amazing starting point guitar for beginners with a profound brand name.
Any of these three are amazing and they can be recommended to learning guitar.
I will advice that the best starter Guitar for beginners who want to improve their skill and become an expert in Acoustic guitar in no longer time should be more of traditional and much more affordable. Take more practice religiously, and if it interests you, then, go further to scale up your skills in Acoustic guitar. The preliminary stages of learning a thing is certainly intense and boring, you might lose a great deal of interest at this stage if you keep up complacent but it gives a great feeling eventually when one has mastered the skill and ready to put it to use. Learning Guitar requires a consistent practice and with a drive to attain the master level. You may need to practice daily with a lot of focus.
All the best :)
Understanding The Purpose Of Electric Knobs Part 2
You can’t know how to use electric knobs if you don’t know what they are meant for or how they work. This is exactly what this post - The purpose of electric knobs part 2 - is all about. As a guitarist, you will first need to learn what the electric knobs is, then consider what they are used for, before finally knowing how to use them.
Understanding electric knobs
Most electric guitar experts believe that tone knobs play a major role in cutting treble frequencies. When set at 0, a significant amount of treble and even some high mid sounds will be cut. But if you want all the treble frequencies to get through, then set it at 10. While the use of electric knobs can be very valuable, it, however, depends on the genre of music involved.
Just so you know, not every genre of music requires a tone control, such as hard rock and heavy metal. In such cases, guitarists may either choose to use guitars without a tone knob or they may just decide to not even touch it but keep it wide open. You tend to create a piercing shimmery single coil tone when you play the guitar while leaving its electric tone knob wide open. This is simply just what most country musicians do.
Why some music genres require a tone knob and others don’t
As earlier mentioned, most country style music cannot do without making use of electric knobs which are usually left wide open. But this is not usually the case with metal and hard rock genres because the amp is mostly used for shaping tones particularly when it comes to employing high distortion pedals. Guitarists of this genre prefer the warmer and less treble tone they get from their humbuckers which help to create that pickup tone.
Blues and jazz guitarists often focus more on blending with the rest of the music. To this end, there is the need to cut more of the treble by rolling off the tone knob in a bid to create those thick, beefy, mellow, warm sounds that they are commonly associated with. Unlike hard rock guitarists, these guitarists usually have little or nothing to do with their amp settings as they could always use the tone knob to make changes on the tone whenever they choose to.
How to use the tone knob
It’s as simple as using the “On and Off” command. You get a treble sound when you open the tone knob and get a warmer, darker tone when you roll it off. Now that you’ve read this article -The purpose of electric knobs part 2 – you should be able to know how and when to use electric knobs.
It is funny to see how people who claim to be guitarists are yet to fully understand what the uses of the electric guitar knob are. Just so you know, these instrumental elements which are visible on virtually all electric guitars have one important role or the other to play. Understanding these features can go a long way to improve your style of play and how you produce acoustic sounds. So, what are the uses for the electric guitar knob?
To some professionals, electric guitar knobs are simply potentiometers – i.e. they are used as complementary devices or terminal components mainly for controlling volume to create a variable electric potential. However, it is imperative to note that tone knobs are not in any way employed to enhance neither treble nor bass effects on sounds produced but they are mainly used to reduce and restore frequencies. Even after removing higher frequencies, players can still restore them back to the sound by turning them up. Ultimately, these devices give players the power to control frequencies on their guitar.
It is common to find professional guitarists rotating those shafts on their guitars. But do you really understand the effects of their action on the sound produced? Basically, these features are established to enable guitarists to get all the frequencies that their guitar and pickups require to effectively produce soothing sounds. Depending on the amount frequencies required, guitarists will need to rotate the shaft backward or forward to find a suitable rate.
Without proper regulation, the electric guitar is very much likely to sound harsh especially when the knobs are set at the highest (10). In most cases, professional guitarists will need to remove some of the higher frequencies by adjusting these knobs to (possibly turning them down) effectively roll off the treble. In simpler terms, you tend to reduce the frequencies when you turn the knob downward. However, restoring the frequencies can be effectively done by turning the knob upward toward 10.
But there is more to these. What are the uses for the electric guitar knob? It is imperative to understand that increasing or restoring frequencies do not necessarily add active treble frequencies to the pickups that guitarist do when producing sounds. Learning to turn the knob is an act of professionalism. Electric guitar knobs can be used to help professional guitarists get the overall tone they need. However, it all depends on how they set the Tone knob.
While it has been stated that removing and restoring frequencies can significantly help to improve the overall tone of the electric instrument, it is, however, important that guitarists adjust their knobs based on the app they are playing through. Regular changes can be made to tone controls on the guitar even while playing.
As the most popular musical instruments available today, people often ask “What is harder to learn, guitar or piano?” Well, this post is designed to reflect the main difficulty levels of both instruments. A proper understanding of how these instruments are played will give you the right answer to the question.
What you should know about the piano
The piano is generally referred to as a musical instrument with keyboard. This is one instrument that comes handy with a wide range of musical theory. With the piano, anyone can be able to play chords effectively without having to erroneously mute another key. This is mainly due to its simple layout that requires the use of fingers to hit a set of keys that are seemingly far from each other.
Playing the piano involves lots of muscle stretching which calls for an easy hand movement. This is why it is generally believed that learning the piano opens the way to easily learn other instruments (including the guitar) as you learn to use the hands independently.
What you should know about the guitar
The guitar is a stringed instrument that requires the pressing down of strings to create sounds. Hand placement and finger positioning matter much when playing the guitar. As a matter of fact, players must avoid creating muddied sounds by ensuring not to lean into or brush against other strings. Also, you must avoid getting sounds thrown by ensuring that your finger is not well placed on the fret – not too high and not too low.
What makes one instrument a better choice?
Again the question – “What is harder to learn, guitar or piano?” can be quite tricky as both instruments are different in all aspects. However, due to the way the keys are arranged on the keyboard. It is much easier to perform hand movements to reach difficult chords on the piano than on the guitar. This is because playing the guitar involves more tricky and finicky techniques than the keyboard.
But when it comes to creating stunts, such as slides and vibrato, and hitting chords, the guitar features more easy techniques than the keyboard. In a bid to effectively build up callouses on the finger, players need to endure soreness while playing which happens to be more tensed on the keyboard than on the guitar.
But when it comes to accessibility, it is easier to handle a guitar than a piano (regardless of how portable it may be) because guitars are meant to be carried while playing. Nevertheless, much care is required to handle the guitar which includes regular cleaning, re-tuning, strings replacement, etc. Anyone learning to play the guitar must be able to take good care of its components which can be very fragile.
As for sound, there is no clear winner as to which instrument does better. Both instruments are greatly versatile when it comes to making sounds and are fun to play. However, it is more comfortable to play the piano than the keyboard.
This is a question that has been asked countless times over the years. The short answer is that I believe the piano comes easier to small children and adults who cannot dedicate all of their time to practicing.
Aside from these concerns, there are numerous pros and cons to learning each instrument first. The choice boils down to the student's willingness to practice.
Piano vs Guitar
For beginners, learning and memorizing piano notes is easier because of the repeating pattern across all keys. To make things even simpler, many piano teachers start by teaching adults the white keys (there are 7 in total), or while kids learn the black keys (total of 5).
After they have been mastered, the remaining notes come into play. Beginners can also understand basic musical patterns on a piano. If the notes move downwards while reading sheet music, the student knows they’re moving to the left along their piano keys. Intervals, also known as the measurable distance between each note, are easily identified. Pattern based songs can be learned within the first month of lessons.
Note patterns tend to be more complex for beginner guitar players. Each string comes with its own arrangement of notes. This makes it far more difficult to learn which string will affect the pitch, allowing it to go higher or lower.
Unlike pianos, guitars must be tuned before playing. This is another area of study that must be conquered quickly. Otherwise, a student is unable to use their guitar without seeking assistance from their guitar teacher.
Piano lessons offer instant gratification. Playing a note is easier. Sit up straight, lift the wrists upwards, gently curl the fingers and go from there. While the piano will become trickier later on once rhythmically independent notes come into play, the student will learn more about the effect of different fingers and hands.
With guitar lessons, more coordination is involved during the early stages. Students must learn to to fret and pluck strings simultaneously without dampening the sound, whereas new piano students do not use both hands right away.
For piano students, learning curves slow once necessary coordination develops. Using both hands on the keys and playing different melodies and chords is not as easy as it looks. Playing guitar becomes easier over time. Guitar students can grasp chords and learn how to play songs at a faster pace than many piano students.
This point is debatable, as each student learns at their own pace. The student's own level of enthusiasm will also determine their learning speeds.
Learning to Read Music
Piano and guitar lessons provide better learning opportunities than singing lessons, as these teachers will offer a formal music theory foundation. Students are taught how to read music. Conversely, a guitar teacher may start with beginners' books before moving into teaching by example and by ear.
Classical guitar lessons are the exception here. Students must pass RCM exams after learning through graded lesson books. Those learning other styles of guitar playing can ask a teacher to include note reading and music theory in their lessons. The best instructors are always happy to oblige.
It’s All About Preference
The piano is an excellent choice for children. Instant gratification is offered during the first few lessons, there is less music theory to learn and the student is given a foundation from which to work with later.
Deciding between the piano and guitar is all a matter of preference. Do you require instant gratification from piano learning with every key laid out like a musical map? Or would you like to work a bit harder to memorize a fret board and become a master of the electric guitar?
Both instruments are able to provide a crash course on essential music fundamentals. Other instruments simply cannot provide the same benefits. They are both great beginner instruments that provide their own differing paths to the same objective: to enjoy playing music and maybe even become a professional musician over the long haul.
When it comes to the age old question of whether it is too late to starting taking music lessons, there are simple answers and there are answers that are slightly more detailed.
The easy answer is no. It is never too late. On the other hand, those who want a slightly more detailed answer will need to know a few things.
For starters, there are a wide range of disadvantages that come up for those who try to start the process of learning how to master a musical instrument during a latter period in life. We are referring to adults in these instances, as opposed to school aged children.
After all, a 21 year old is hardly too old to start learning. So what are these disadvantages and how do they affect the learning process? Time is a major consideration in these instances. It will take an older student a great deal of time and effort to achieve their objectives.
An older student is simply not going to have the same amount of time and energy to dedicate to the learning process. When a child comes home from school, they have a limited number of obligations. They do not have to endure the same number demands on their time.
An adult will need to spend their free time running errands, socializing and dealing with work related concerns. While this may seem daunting, an adult should be able to carve out at least 30 to 45 minutes each day to practice their instrument.
One downside is that an adult will not be able to receive free tuition from their school or locate a helpful peer group of fellow beginners. This is something that you may have been able to take advantage of if you had taken the time to start earlier.
Those who are self motivating and self discipline will still be able to learn the ins and outs of their instrument quickly. It is important to remain realistic about the process, though. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to be Carlos Santana or Stevie Wonder by the time next month rolls around.
In order to learn more more about the mechanics of your chosen instrument, you should be taking the time to study the basic principles of music theory. This is especially helpful for guitar players who are looking to further their understanding of melody, harmony and rhythm.
The more you know about each of these principles at a theoretical level, the easier the learning process becomes. Learning about chord construction, intervals and scales may seem a bit academic and overly heavy. However, it is a crucial aspect of the learning process and a great way to open up your mind to new information.
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