5 misconceptions about playing the guitar

There are many misconceptions when it comes to playing the guitar and we’re here to debunk them!

‘You'll need to start on a classical guitar’

FALSE! If you let it be known that you are planning to start playing the guitar, then, sooner or later, someone’s bound to tell you that you need to start on a classical guitar. It’s simply not true, while yes starting with a classical guitar can be easier softer strings, for example, the reality is you can start on whatever guitar you like. It’s probably best to start with the guitar you actually want to play rock music? Get electronic! Want to strum some smooth acoustic then go for it! This means you can start off with the guitar sound you want which is great for motivating you to practise.

‘You really should learn music theory first’

NOPE! You wouldn't learn how to paint from reading a book similarly you’re not going to learn how to play the guitar by starring at sheet music, so get stuck right in! Believe it or not, some of the best guitarists in the world can’t read a note of music! If you’re wondering how on earth you can learn to play songs then, let us introduce you to guitar tablature. Although it looks a little bit like musical notation, it’s actually far easier to read. Each line represents a string on the guitar and the numbers show you on which frets to place your fingers. It’s as easy as that! When you start jamming with friends and improvising, then learning some music theory basics can go a long way.

‘You have to have long fingers and big hands to be able to play’

OF COURSE NOT! One of the biggest misconceptions about learning the guitar is that you have to have big hands and long fingers to be able to reach all the strings. learning to play the guitar is all about practice. It’s likely that you’ll experience some pain in your fingers at the beginning, but this is the same for everyone. It takes time for your fingers to get used to playing the guitar so it’s important not to rush it. Practising for a short period of time regularly is much better than one long practice session each week, for instance. If you don’t believe us that finger length or hand size doesn’t make a difference when it comes to playing the guitar!

‘You don’t really need lessons’

Thanks to the internet, a cheeky google search and million youtube tutorials pop up a huge amount of lesson material available that can help guitarists to progress. While this may work for some (provided you have your own guitar) you have to admit sitting at home with an instructional video doesn’t sound as fun as a jamming session and a professional. Not only will they help you learn the correct techniques right from the beginning, but they’ll also help you master the skills you need in a progressive manner. This normally helps players to master an instrument like the guitar much faster than playing the same exercises you find on the internet over and over again.

‘The thicker the string, the thicker the sound’

This ‘misconception’ is slightly more controversial because not everyone agrees that it is a misconception. Guitarists like Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Brian May (Queen) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) all use relatively thin strings, however, and their sound is anything but thin! For beginning guitarists, the feel of a guitar string is far more important than its thickness. A set of strings with gauges from .10 – .046 should feel suitably tight for most beginners, but those looking for a looser feel may wish to consider strings with gauges of .009 – .042. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to string thickness, it simply comes down to what you prefer.

Want to get started? Come along to our next open day to see what we are all about and to get a free voucher lesson too!

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