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Ralph S

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November 28, 2007

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Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar - Acoustic Guitar Tips For The Beginner

So you want to learn how to play acoustic guitar? Do you have hopes and dreams of one day becoming a professional guitarist in a popular band? Perhaps you just want to play for the purpose of entertaining yourself, family, and friends. Whatever the case may be, I do hope the following article will help you achieve your goals as an acoustic guitar player.

The very first step in learning how to play the acoustic guitar, is of course to get a guitar. For the sake of argument, I am assuming you already own a guitar and are ready to start playing. If not, you may find it easier to purchase a second hand guitar in the beginning while you are practicing and learning the basics. You will also save some cash. When you get better you can always upgrade.

Whether you are buying a new or used acoustic guitar, you will save a lot of headaches if you do your research first. Visit free newsgroups and forums online to see what other guitar players have to say. If you are buying a used guitar make sure you are able to physically see and check out the guitar before buying. You will need to examine the entire guitar for any visible damage or other imperfections. You want your guitar to have the correct action, intonation, and pitch. Your best bet, if you are that lucky, is to find an experienced guitar player to take along with you before you buy.

Once you found your guitar, it's time to start practicing. Learning the correct way to practice is probably the most important part of your acoustic guitar playing success. It is better to practice 10 minutes of quality focused exercises then to spend an hour on the couch messing around trying to learn a complicated song. The environment that you learn in is equally important. You will need complete silence and privacy. You should not have any interruptions at all if possible.

You will need to recognize the learning method that works best for you because everyone is different. The last thing you want to happen is for your guitar learning to become boring and monotonous. I think every one has come to that point at one time or another. You appear to hit a dead end where your guitar playing doesn't seem to get any better. No matter how long you practice, no matter how many finger exercises or chords you learn, you cant seem to get over that hump. Your brain is not responding as well because it isn't being stimulated. Definitely do not become discouraged by your lack of progress. Put down the guitar and take a break. Stimulate your brain by doing something else for a while, then come back to your guitar practice.

Don't give yourself super challenging tasks to complete in the beginning. You are setting yourself up for some major disappointment. Start off slow and easy. Learn the easy stuff first then tackle the more difficult stuff later on.

Set easier goals for yourself. When you set easier goals that you know you are capable of doing, you are building confidence and you are making progress.

Think about the growing stages of a newborn baby. The baby does not come right out of the mothers womb and instantly knows how to run marathons. No, he learns to crawl first, then walk, then run. The baby has to develop his muscles first in order to support his body. The same holds true for guitar playing. If you want to be able to produce clean sounding chords or play complicated solos, you have to develop your muscles, and this only happens when you are patient in your practicing. Over time, you will begin to develop what is known as “muscle memory”. This refers to the body's ability to remember, or automatically perform, a well practiced motion. If you ever watch a professional guitar player, you will see this in action as the guitar player plays complicated chords and solos without looking or even thinking about it.

Be persistent. I don't care if takes you 6 months to learn two chords. Never stop trying. If you have the desire to become a good acoustic guitar player, then you will succeed. It is simply a matter of time.

Listen to as much music from as many different artists as possible. Do not limit yourself to only your favorite artists. There are a multitude of acoustic guitar players out there in a number of different genres including classical, folk, jazz, rock, etc. If you limit yourself to only one particular area, you are depriving yourself of some beautiful music. You never know what artist can influence your playing style. So be open to new styles of music.

You also have an amazing resource at your disposal called the Internet.  Do a search at any popular search for the keyword phrase "acoustic guitar lessons" and you will find plenty of information on this topic.

I hope this article has gotten you excited to start learning the acoustic guitar. Remember to keep practicing and to never give up, no matter how long it takes.
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