Five Mistakes Beginners Make While Learning Guitar Online

mistakes beginners make while learning guitar online

Miami’s Top Guitar Instructor

Hi guys. Miami guitar teacher Dyce Kimura here.  In this video, I’m talking you through my top five mistakes and bad habits that you want to make sure to avoid if you are learning guitar through YouTube, especially as a beginner.

Number one, top of that list is definitely wrist strumming, or what I call wrist strumming. Which is essentially, no matter what chord you are strumming, moving or tilting or pivoting the wrist like this, rather than strumming from the elbow, which is what we want to be doing. So when we are playing rhythm guitar with strumming chord, the strumming needs to be a movement pivoting from the elbow, with the guitar nice and close into your body, not slipping down your leg like this, not leaning over to see your chords; into your body and moving from the elbow. This allows for way more accurate strumming action, and also for you not to hurt the little muscles in your wrist and hand, by doing big motion with the little muscles. We are going to use the big muscles of the arm and movement from the elbow in this sort of fashion.

This brings me on to mistake number two which is for single string playing. As a guitarist we need to treat strumming chords (which is rhythm guitar), and picking single notes (which is essentially lead guitar), we need to treat them as two separate things for now as beginners. Strumming is a movement of your arm from the elbow. Gives a nice consistent action it means that we are always strumming all the strings evenly when we want to. When you’re picking a single note, what you need to do is rest your wrist of the picking hand above the strings or above the sound hole or above your pickups if you have an electric guitar, and have that contact with the guitar and it is actually a movement for the wrist for single note playing. We want to have that wrist in contact with the guitar at all times when doing single string playing, and if you’re playing the thinnest couple of strings, you actually want to rest your wrist on the thickest strings themselves. So we want the wrist itself on these thicker strings when we’re picking. Those two techniques are crucial and are the foundation of your rhythm playing (so your strumming), and your lead plying, which is your single string playing.

Mistakes Beginners Make While Learning Guitar Online

The third biggest mistake that people commonly do is concerning the chord hand. We all have to start at some point learning our basic open chord shapes like E, A, and D. what can commonly happen is when we start learning of the harder chord shapes like a G and a C is a definite one finger at a time motion happens when we are changing chords and when we are shaping our chords. So basically what you are possibly doing at the moment and what you want to avoid is placing one finger down at a time. That is how we learn these chords. It is not how you want to be practicing them. What we want to practice, is being able to place your fingers in the correct place, strum your chord, but then lift off of that chord and have that shape memorized in your fingers so that your hand memorizes the position it’s in and the position of each chord, rather than you’re memorizing (and this is where the old neck stretch comes in), rather than you are memorizing exactly where to put your fingers by placing them one at a time like this. So we’ll go through that again. This is particularly evident on the C chord. But it can happen with a whole host of other chords as well. It’s just really evident on the C chord. A lot of people play the C 1, 2, 3 every time. In a song that is just not going to happen. If you are going to be changing from G and C and try to go 1, 2, 3 it’s going to take an edge. What you need to do is simply have your hand remember that shape. So what we are going to do is strum that C chord and you can strum along with me now. Strum it normally. Have your hand stay as still as possible, but It is going to want to rise from the fret board by about a centimeter to half an inch or so. And freeze in that position that your fingers are in. Therefore, your hand is memorizing that shape, and we’re really getting these chords into your muscle memory (the small muscle memory of your fingers). And then we want to place that chord back down, and then strum it again as a C chord. It can really help at this point to notice that my hand is on quite an angle, rather than being straight like this. The C chord in particular is a really nasty stretch. It was the first chord I was taught when I was first learning, and it’s very difficult to do when your fingers are placed in line with the frets. What you want to do is have your fingers on an angle and have them touching at certain points, and that can really help to memorize the position that your hand’s in and memorize these chords. You can even extend that towards rising form the chord that you’re on and going to another chord, for example the G, freezing or hovering just above that chord and then placing your hand down, and that really make sure that your hands have memorized these chord shapes.

The fourth most common mistake is what I’ve summarized as not getting the rhythm down. This is basically being too preoccupied with which downs and ups to use rather than getting the underlying beat to it, and being able to tap your foot to a song as you are playing it, to really internalize the rhythm, and being able to do the correct down and up strumming naturally. So for example, if you have a strumming pattern, which I call the most common strumming pattern ever if we do it on a G chord. So this is going to be down, down, up, down. There’s one of those beats that is underlying from that strumming pattern that we’re not playing on. We’re not playing on beat three. So if you’re tapping your foot, there’s one beat there which you are tapping on and not strumming on. This basically throws people right off. What can all too commonly happen with this strumming pattern and many others is people just look at the Ds and Us for example and go down, down, up, up, down. Down, down, up, up, down, and they’ve completely lost the rhythm even though you’re doing the correct downs and ups what you’re following. The big concept here is that when you are doing down and up patterns, the down strums with eight strumming patterns always happen on the beat, and the up strums always happen off the beat. So if you’re doing one, and two and three and four, the downs always happen on the beat 1, 2, and in between are the ands, one and two and. From there it doesn’t matter what combination of downs and ups are happening. That is still prevalent, so if we demonstrate, down, down, up, up, down again, 1, 2, and, and, 4. 1, 2 and, and 4. The down strums are always on the beat and the up strums are off the beat. If you missed any strums you need to keep your hand moving and of course move it from the elbow.

Common Mistakes Beginners Make While Learning Guitar Online

mistakes beginners make while learning guitar online

Miami’s Premier Guitar Instructor

The fifth and final mistake is a more general comment about what people choose to practice. It is simply that people tend not to master the basics before moving on to the harder stuff. It sounds obvious but this is mainly to do with the songs that people choose. All too often people are drawn to the songs that they know or recognize and then ends up being these classic guitar songs like “Wonderwall” for the last 10 or 20 years has been the song to play on acoustic guitar and then before that “House of the rising sun” was very popular as a first beginner song, and it’s just not where you want to start, especially if you haven’t done anything musical before. You may after many hours of practice be able to play that song to a somewhat recognizable version of it, but you’re not going to be training yourself with the right techniques and fundamentals that are going to see you through your many hopefully many years of guitar playing. So you need a whole bunch (10s and 20s and 30s) of songs that are dead easy for you to spot the pattern in these songs, for you to spot the ingredients and to be able to fully master these ingredients such as the basic open chords and strumming patterns, and how songs are structured. Get playing real songs as soon as possible, but make sure those songs are way easy.

Also check out this blog on whether beginners should start on acoustic or electric guitar.  Other things I really recommend are having a repertoire of songs that you are building, so that whenever it comes to actually performing for someone (when someone says “hey, you have been learning guitar for a couple of months now, play us something), you’ve actually got a couple of songs that you’ve played for that few months, they are there ready for you to play in front of people and you’ll do a great job at it. So there are the top five mistakes that people learning guitar online commonly make. Make sure you don’t fall foul to them, but they can take a little while to train yourself after when it becomes a habit. If you want loads of easy songs to play make sure you check out my website I’ve got a full free beginners course and loads of easy songs to take you from being an absolute beginner up to having a massive repertoire full of songs that you’d be proud to play in front of your friends.