31 August 2007

Guitar Learning Mistakes

This is the first of a series of posts about mistakes I've made learning to play guitar. I learned these mistakes through plenty of time spent making them.

Don't worry if you think you're making some of them too. Mistakes are a vital part of the learning process. But I hope that these posts will help you to avoid spending too much time on them.

Here's a brief summary of my personal top five:

1. Playing too fast

This for me is the top mistake because it seems that everybody makes it and few teachers emphasise it enough. A few people mention that you should practice slowly. I thought I was doing that but it took me a long time to realize just how slowly. I'll be giving plenty of tips on how to practice really slowly.

2. Trying to learn everything

OK, so I'm a perfectionist and this problem really doesn't affect anybody else. Just in case, though, remember that you can't play everything. At least not in the first twenty years of playing :-)

3. Learning too much technique

I spent a lot of practice time diligently collecting techniques and moving on to the next. Along the way I forgot to spend time just playing with the techniques I already had. After a while I ended up with quite a lot of technique but couldn't play a lot of songs. Even with only a little technique you can play a lot of songs in different styles. And playing songs is really what it's all about.

4. Not training ears

Lots of people say it, but I just didn't listen. I'll be giving some tips on how to practice your ears that don't take a lot of time.

5. Practicing what I already know

Another trap that it's easy to fall into is spending time practicing stuff that you can already do. When you have little time to practice, you must be really ruthless and focus clearly on the bits you don't know.

That's my list of top mistakes, although as I'm good at them I've made plenty of others over the years. I'll be going through the gory details of these and the others in future posts...


Anonymous said...

Garry, yaar you are simply TOO GOOD!! I wonder how a WONDERFUL blog like yours remains undiscovered like this. As I wud say in Punjabi "Paapey tusee great ho jee" - tranlated means "Buddy, you are simply superb; AWESOME!!"

God Bless You

Gary Fletcher said...

AJ, Thank you for your so heart warming comment. Kind words like these make me happy to know that the blog is valuable to readers.

I love the cool Punjabi quote, always nice to have a few useful words.

I guess the blog is not undiscovered, because you for one found it :-) That said, I would love to have more visitors. So please tell your friends and the world about it by voting at Digg, De.licio.us, Technorati, etc.

Keep tuned, I've got lots more great content planned, including some stuff on Indian music...

Happy guitar playing,

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