Many beginners who start on their guitar journey have a decision to make — should one buy an electric, acoustic, or an electric acoustic guitars? While many consider acoustic guitars to be more versatile (and more affordable, too), a lot of new learners choose the electric guitar because of a few advantages. Apparently, learning how to play electric guitar can put you on the fast track:
- It is easier to hold down chords, since the width of the neck is commonly shorter than on electric guitars.
- The strings are also softer, providing less strain on the fingers.
- The lightness of the strings provide for an easier way to learn barre chords
- Most amplifiers have ports for headphones, so you can practice without disturbing anyone.
That said, there are a few things that electric guitarists do that need correction. Here are some of the most important tips on how to play a guitar for beginners:
- Tempo and timing are just as (if not more) important as getting the notes right. This is a common beginner mistake, particularly for the meticulous type who delays picking a string simply because it did not land on his finger’s “sweet spot.” Remember that the song won’t wait for you.
- Effect pedals were meant to add color to your playing, but should be used very sparingly. It was not meant to cover up your playing when you’re out of beat.
- Use the most effective fingering technique. As noted earlier, strings are much easier to finger in electric guitars — using three fingers to play a D will be inefficient, since it can be played with two. Also, moving your hand when you can just move the fingers is a waste.
- Practice putting in the correct pressure. When playing, make sure every note can be heard clearly. Pressing too tightly or too loosely can cause mutes, buzzes, or trail-offs. There are some who get the best out of notes by putting in the lightest possible touch, which also help relieve any tension.
- Take a different approach to the music. This is particularly applicable for those who have had training in acoustic guitars before they picked up an electric. When this happens, these players typically strum the guitar like an acoustic: too hard, and too much rhythm. Strumming an electric guitar needs much less work, and will require one to accurately perceive the natural sustain of the guitar’s body.
- Record yourself. It can be difficult to objectively gauge whether someone playing a guitar — especially an electric one — is doing things properly. That said, it is best to get into the habit of recording your practice sessions. With this, you can easily see if you are producing the notes you intended to.
- Understand the electric guitar. An electric guitar is a very sophisticated instrument. It can have different kinds of selector switches, several pickups, and different settings that can all be fine-tuned. And don’t forget the amp whose multiple knobs and dials make for the perfect sound. Learning about these can give you a real advantage especially when practicing for a performance. Plus, remember that proper electric guitar tuning is a must.
- Listen well. When you play an electric guitar, it’s usually in conjunction with other instruments. One thing you need to particularly watch out for is the keyboard — since you play in the same octave spectrum, you might end up clashing. Make sure to compliment the keyboard by playing in different “spaces.”
You might be wondering, “How much do guitars cost?” or “How much are guitars?” Well, the answer to that is to check for reviews online to find out recommendations for the best cheap electric guitar and vintage electric guitars, as well other types of guitars like the 12 string acoustic electric guitar and left-handed acoustic electric guitar (if you are a lefty).
Still, good electric guitars only make up half of the equation. You can find a slew of guitars — among them are the green electric guitar, the electric resonator guitar, childrens guitar, etc. — and you might settle for the best cheap guitar you can find, but if you don’t practice regularly, your guitar journey will not move forward. Electric guitar accessories also only add flair to the actual playing. The most important part will always be the player, and for that, one needs to pay keen attention.