Whether you are an adult, a teen, or a kid, there are steps you can take to get ready for your first guitar lesson. Playing the guitar will likely be different from what you might expect. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.
Technique Begins With Posture
By posture, we are not referring to how straight your spine is. We are talking about finger position. Putting your hands in the right place on the guitar, and bending your fingers how they should bend, is part of the process.
Be prepared that this may not feel comfortable at first! But, honestly, getting proper finger technique from Day One will help you considerably down the road.
Correct physical technique will let you play faster and more fluidly, without wearing yourself out. It will help you switch chords more easily. And it will help you solo with much more power and expression.
Don’t worry — we can help you get there. Over time, the lessons gets easier when it comes to finger technique.
Callouses Take Time
Holding down frets hurts at first. It was that way for all of us. You are pressing down on thin strings, against a fretboard. Until you develop callouses on your fingers, holding down the strings will hurt a bit.
The fretboard feels more comfortable soon. But it does not happen overnight. Know that the callouses will grow with practice, and once the callouses are on your fingers, then fingering chords is much easier, quicker, and more relaxed.
Tuning Gets Easier
Tuning each of your six strings is a patient process. It is completely okay that it takes you a while to tune your strings at first. We will show you how to use a tuner to get your guitar into playing condition each time.
Tuning the guitar is not something you usually see when you observe professional guitarists. But we all have to tune, and we all go through the process if learning how to do it with ease. Take as long as you need to tune your guitar, and remember that we are here to help you.
Plug In Before You Turn On
That cable, running from your guitar to your amp? It is an instrument cable. It is one-quarter of an inch in diameter, so many people calls this a “quarter-inch cable.”
It is your umbilical cord, and your key to getting tone on an electric guitar.
If you turn on your amplifier before your ¼” cable is plugged in — on either side, either into the guitar or into the amp — then it will make a terrible, loud noise when you plug in.
Save your ears, and everyone else’s ears, by making sure your ¼” cable is plugged in before you turn your amp on. Make sure this cable is fully plugged in to both your amp and your guitar, BEFORE you switch on the amp.
We thank you in advance for your consideration on this particular subject. (A courtesy bow.)
Those Scales Do Pay Off
At first, when playing your first major and pentatonic scales, this fact will not be obvious to you. And that is entirely okay.
Those scales start slow. Repetition is your friend. That gradual practice, of training your fingers to move in sequence, is training your brain. “Muscle memory,” as your muscles learn how to move together to make different notes, takes a while to establish.
We are here to help you, and we want you to be patient with yourself. Your fingers will get there. Take your time, breathe deep, and relax. It is a long road toward fluidity on your guitar, but your pace will increase. You will get there.