This past week in Kansas City, an 11-year-old guitar player wowed crowds. During a performance by Steel Panther, a heavy metal band that parodies glam-metal groups, Aidan Fisher was invited to a guitar duel against lead guitarist Satchel. And, according to the crowd, Fisher was the winner with his Eddie Van Halen “Eruption” solo.
There’s no secret to great guitar playing. It’s a combination of tenacity, a willingness to learn, and quality equipment. Many people pick up the guitar with hopes of becoming a great player, but few actually get past the point of being a novice. Here are three tips for becoming a better player.
1. Be Tenacious
If you go to online guitar shops to buy your instrument, you might see that some guitars are being re-sold because they “hurt someone’s fingers too much.” This is, sadly, what happens if you give up right away. The strings will hurt until you develop callouses that serve as a buffer. If you’re especially worried about this happening, electric guitars might be a more ideal entry instrument than acoustic, since the strings are easier to pluck. Stick to practicing as often as you can, on a regular schedule. Don’t give up just because your fingers hurt, or because learning the beginner scales are boring.
2. Be Willing to Learn
The best guitar players are often those who can take joy in simply playing the instrument, even when they’re not jamming out to intense, intricate music. This is important, because many of the songs you will start out with won’t be much more hardcore than “Mary had a little lamb.” Learning takes time, and is necessary to build up finger memory for more mature songs. Be willing to give yourself the time and space to master the beginner level before moving on.
3. Get Equipment to Enhance Your Sound
Once you understand what you’re doing and have a better feel for the instrument, it might be time to upgrade your equipment. Many of the well-known aspects of electric guitar, for example, will require guitar multi effects pedals to accomplish. There are many affordable brands available for newer guitar players, including Walrus pedals and T-rex pedals. This isn’t limited to only electric players, though. Electric-acoustic guitar pedals are available as well for those instruments.
How is your guitar learning going? Do you use acoustic guitar pedals when you play? Let us know in the comments.