Don’t be Bored – Use these 3 Tips to Keep Your Guitar Playing Fun
When you begin learning the guitar, it may seem that most of your time is focused on just figuring out where to put your fingers and how to make some notes. Once you learn some basic scales and chord progressions, practicing them until you get really good can seem boring, if not tedious. Don’t let your playing get stale – try stretching yourself with these three rejuvenating exercises.
#1 Play with Friends
Music is meant to be shared, and you will find that if you play with other people, your interest will surge. Play with people at and above your level. You will learn more in a few jam sessions than in a lifetime of playing alone. Ask questions and swap licks and tricks. When you are playing with other people, it doesn’t feel like practice. You may not even play entire songs, but you will be having fun. When you play with other people, you will be reminded of why you wanted to learn the guitar in the first place.
#2 Learn a New Song
One of the biggest complaints that new players have is that they can’t really play anything useful or familiar. Your teacher may have given you several pieces to play that fit a particular curriculum or your skill set, but don’t feel that you are stuck practicing only unfamiliar tunes and scales. Find a song that you enjoy that is also within your skill level. Start learning it for yourself. Your teacher will be able to help you determine whether you are ready for a particular song just by listening to it, so bring a CD or your iPod with you to share some tunes you’d like to learn. You can also try browsing the music store or the internet for some sheet music to see what sparks your interest.
Even if it’s a bit challenging at first, you will be very motivated to keep learning as you hear one of your favorite songs form at your fingertips. It’s much easier to feel like you are making progress when you know what it’s supposed to sound like, too.
#3 Write a Song
Even if you’ve only been playing for a short while, you know enough chords to play some basic songs. This means that you can arrange your own tunes, too. The whole point of learning how to play an instrument is to give yourself a creative outlet – so get creative! Take the chords you’re good at, mix them with a few you’re working on, and put them together into a new tune. Try different tempos and strumming styles. When you find a combination that feels and sounds good to you, continue to develop it.
Remember, some of the most popular songs ever written only have 2-3 chords in them. You can begin writing your own music at any level. Your songs will only get better as you learn more.
Your playing will never be stale if you try one – or all – of these tips to add some zest to your playing.