There is no better feeling than being able to touch people with your music. This might explain why many people continue to venture into the music industry. For instance, aspiring guitarists have grown in number over the years, with a report from Fender revealing that half of the newbies are women.
If you’re part of these statistics, you might find the following facts about musical instrument brands shopping and, essentially, becoming a guitarist, helpful.
1. Expect Your Fingers to Hurt
Remember when you happily put on a new pair of shoes and suffered from blistered feet days after? Learning how to play the guitar is just like that.
Your fingers will need to adjust to the pressure of pressing on the strings with one hand while strumming with the other, and it will hurt at first. However, once you start strumming, you’ll find it hard to stop.
When you’ve already built up calluses on your fingertips, some of the pain will go away. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have to go through those painful times again. You’ll just have to get used to it and look at those calluses as your best buddies in your quest to become a full-fledged guitarist.
2. Reading Music Notation and Tablature Is an Advantage
While this is not required when you are learning how to play the guitar, being able to read musical notes and tablature can help you digest more advanced techniques easier and quicker.
Although the terminologies might overwhelm you, you must remember that they are not as complicated as they seem. For instance, the music notation is basically a set of instructions on how to play the music.
Think about it this way: You bought a new piece of furniture but discovered that the instructions on how to set it up are written in another language. You’ll eventually figure out how to piece it together, but it would’ve been quicker if you already knew how to read the language.
3. Restringing Your Guitar Is a Vital Skill You Need to Learn
When you’re serious about playing the guitar, you would have to learn skills to ensure that your instrument stays in its ideal state. This means you must learn how to restring your instrument.
Electric guitars tend to require more frequent changing of strings compared to acoustic ones. Whichever type you have, you might want to learn this skill to maintain your guitar’s sound quality.
Here are seven steps to help you get started:
- Gather the things you will need for the process. Aside from your guitar, you should have a new set of strings, some wire cutters, a string winder, and a tuning machine (optional).
- Look for something to hold the neck of the guitar to keep it balanced during the restringing process.
- To start restringing, you must remove the old strings first. Use the turning key to loosen them before unwinding.
- Take the bridge pins out to detach the other end of the strings from your guitar. For most acoustic guitars, these are the white, ball-headed pins that secure one end of the strings to the bridge.
- Attach the new set of strings on the guitar. To prevent a string from detaching, you must pull the string simultaneously with one hand while pushing the pins with the other.
- Move to the other end of the string and attach it to its respective turning post in this order: 5A, 4D, 3G, 2B, 1E. Push each string through the corresponding turning post roughly three inches through before winding. Make sure that the string pulls towards the bridge and cut about two inches for securing the end on the turning post.
- After securing all the strings in place, you can start tuning your guitar.
4. Practice First Before Buying Expensive Gear
Before investing in expensive gear, it is crucial that you first practice a lot to learn how to play guitar well. Although the instruments help you produce those melodious sounds, it is still your skills as a guitarist that will make people want to hear your music.
While it is understandable that you would crave that same Gibson guitar that your rock idol plays, it is highly recommended that you practice first with stringed instruments from Yamaha and Washburn.
Washburn is known to have a legacy of famous and talented artists who have helped shape the soundscape of today’s modern music. Their guitars are particularly popular among junior players because of their themed guitars, but they are also known for their leftie-friendly stringed instruments. With roots going back before the Civil War, Washburn is an iconic brand mastering the art of guitar productions, building stringed instruments since 1883. So you could say they definitely know what they’re doing.
Yamaha, on the other hand, made it their mission to deliver affordable and high-quality beginner instruments since they began manufacturing instruments in the 1940s. However, they also make some topnotch pieces that seasoned guitarists and even popular bands like Earth Wind and Fire, Duran Duran, the Goo Goo Dolls, and No Doubt have used in the past.
A Final Word
Whether you plan to start a career in the music industry or simply want to dive in it as a hobby, you must know the essential facts about playing the instrument. Look for tips online and ask someone good at playing the instrument to mentor you. All it takes is practice (and more practice) to be able to play like the pros.
Amrit Shivlani is the Founder and CEO at Music Majlis, a community-driven e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of musical instruments and equipment for every musician and sound professional. The company’s goal is to make music-making, recording, producing and mixing accessible and available to everyone.