Top Myths About Guitar Players and Playing
By this point, chances are you have seen someone playing a guitar. Probably it is your favorite rock band, it could be a relative or a friend of yours, or a musician playing a cover of a song.
Guitar remains one of the most popular musical instruments to learn, mostly because it lends itself very well to multiple genres of music. You may have had the desire to learn it, but probably there was something holding you back, and you feel that now is the time to pick up the instrument. What you need to remember is that there is no quick solution to learning how to play it, as everyone learns it at a different pacing.
Various myths exist regarding guitar players and the instrument itself, much like Massachusetts drug rehabs. These include:
If you do not start young, the chance is gone forever
This is a very common misconception, caused mostly by the ages you see your favorite guitarists start playing – most of them started when they were children, others in their teens. Brain science does not help the cause either – the brain has been shown to be more open about learning new skills when you are young because of its plasticity.
However, other factors come into play, especially when you are completely dedicated to learning something new in older age. It is never too late for you to begin learning an instrument, contrary to popular opinion. For each major musician that began playing the instrument as soon as they reached 6 years old, there are still many who took up the instrument later in their lives and became good with it.
Remember – with any kind of skill, including playing an instrument, there is never an ideal time to start learning. Age does not matter really – what matters is that you have passion for your instrument and are willing to try it.
You need to have an ear for music before you start
If you have ever been discouraged by seeing a person who plays more than one instrument, this tip is for you – you need to realize that even the best musicians in the world started with non-existent playing skills, and none of them knew how to read music anyway when they started.
Contrary to popular opinion, you can develop an ear for music. Most people think that this is a ‘talent’ limited to certain gifted individuals who are bestowed with the ultimate calling, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, practice can serve to dispel this notion.
Many people hold themselves back from learning any musical instrument because they feel as if they lack the so-called ‘talent’, a musical oriented mind, or they cannot read musical notes. However, as long as you receive proper training, you can develop a musical sense because your ears will learn to respond to changes in musical structure. In the age of the internet, various YouTube videos also exist to educate others on musical notation and playing guitars.
Guitars are too costly to afford
The truth? No.
Guitars come in different price ranges, and most of the guitars you see on your favorite rock guitarist are premium-end guitars – after all, they have the money for it. If you want that same guitar they are using, it is okay, but you will have to fork out a decent amount of money for it.
However, when you are a beginner, intermediate player, or you cannot afford the pricey instruments, there are plenty of very good guitars with price ranges of below $300. Second hand guitars also exist, and many of them are very good quality, which is helpful when you are starting out.
Learning guitars, in addition to other instruments, does not need to be a full time hobby. Yes, it is true that devoting more time to the instrument gives you more progress in a shorter time, but sometimes life happens, and you cannot devote your full time in it.
Even if you decide to put study hours at a few hours a week, it will help you immensely as you progress. The more time you put into it, the better you will become.
Metronomes are the keys to gaining speed
Metronomes are not a bad thing – in fact, they can assist you to improve your playing in many ways. However, new players of the instrument are presented with the notion that they need to practice with it alone, and then it will help them gain speed when playing.
In the beginning, this may work, but the progress eventually disappears or slows down with time. This is because the basics of playing guitar involves learning to redirect the muscles of your fingers and hands so that they move in certain ways and effectively play certain chords and notes.
The whole process takes time to learn, and your muscles must adjust to this movement until it becomes second nature, making the process slow. For many beginners, this is the reason learning to play without a metronome is important. For you to keep playing,you need to master the basics – learning to hold chords, and changing the motions of your fingers. After you have mastered this, then the metronome will come in handy for gauging your development and increasing your speed.
You can learn solely from online sources or books
Here is the truth most of us do not want to admit – part of committing to progress, especially with an instrument, involves having some formal training. It is a major investment in terms of both time and your money, but that commitment always pays off in the end.
Many players who are starting out may not have the resources to hire the services of an instructor, so may turn to the internet for some lessons. However, sometimes getting an instructor is the better option because you get to see your progress as you continue, and your teacher can help you spot mistakes you may be making.
Becoming a good guitar player takes practice and time – you need to stay dedicated as you learn and improve. Most of the things you will hear regarding the skill are myths, therefore making it important to know what is real and what is not, in order to become an effective player.