3 Common Problems Beginner Guitarists Have

Dan Smith, Instructor at Edmonton Guitar Music School

Do you have trouble moving fluidly between chords? Do you find your playing is quite sloppy? certain chords are quite difficult for you?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, I have solutions for you. Just keep reading!

I know these challenges can be quite frustrating; I used to have the same problems when I first started learning to play the guitar. I felt like it took me forever to progress as a player. I thought that all of my guitar heroes had some special ability that I didn’t have. What I found is: there is no special ability! The reality is that my guitar heroes spent time practicing and learning to become the players that they are. Now, let’s see 3 of the most common problems for the beginner guitarist.

The Songs You Play Don’t Sound Smooth

Most beginner guitar players have difficulty changing between chords fluidly. They start playing on one chord; introduce the rhythm, and when it becomes time to move to the next chord they lose the pace. They move to the next chord (usually removing all of their fingers off of the fretboard in the process) and then start playing the rhythm again. If you do it this way, the song or chord progression you are playing won’t sound very smooth.

The first step towards eliminating this problem is to try to keep playing the rhythm with your strumming hand, even if your left hand has not fingered the new chord yet. The benefit of doing this is that the song will have a more consistent pace, so it will sound better and closer to the original version. In other words, give priority to the rhythm, not the chords.

Your Playing Sounds Sloppy

An easily overlooked problem almost all beginner guitar players have is this: the player speeds up while playing until whatever he is playing falls apart because it is too fast. This can feel very frustrating for the player. It can e hard to recognize this problem. This is because your brain naturally pushes you to play faster and faster, even if you don’t notice it. And while you hasten the pace your hands tense up until you are not able to play anymore.

To solve this problem you need to SLOW down! Try to pay attention to your speed while you play and if you find yourself speeding up use a metronome. A metronome will help you keep your rhythm even, and this will prevent you from speeding up. Also, try starting at a very slow speed so it is easier to play what you are practicing. The benefit of using a metronome is that you will train yourself to play on time, all of the time, so that you will be able to play with other people.

You Find It Difficult to Play Some Specific Chords

Another common problem that beginner guitar players face is learning to play chords that are too difficult for their current level. Some of the chord shapes are actually quite challenging to play at the very beginning of the learning curve. For instance some chords require your fingers to be stretched across 3 or more frets, which will feel very stressful on your fretting hand unless you have some experience. This is totally understandable as your hands are not used to this kind of position. Also, some chord shapes will require you to use all four of your fingers, which again can feel quite difficult and unnatural to your hands.

A solution to this problem is to learn to play the chords in the right order, starting from the easy ones, and gradually learning the more difficult ones. Ideally you should start with chords that use only two fingers and are located within 1 fret. Then gradually introduce chords that use three fingers that are located within two frets. Then three finger chords spanning three frets. Only after you have learned those chords you should learn to play chords using four fingers. Of course you do not know what chords these are yet, and this is why trying to learn on your own can be quite difficult and frustrating. Getting help to learn to play the guitar by getting a great teacher will not only improve the way you play, but will help you to get there faster by avoiding limiting mistakes, or bad habits.

By downloading the E-book linked below, you can get started in the right direction. There is great benefit in learning the chords in the right order: you allow your hand time to adjust to the different stretches required to play different chords, so that it will be easier for you to play.

What Should I Do Now?

To help you overcome the 3 problems above I (Dan Smith) together with Edmonton’s guitar chief instructor Tommaso Zillio have created an eBook for you. In the eBook there are pictures of chord positions and photos of the fretting hand so you can see the fingering you need to use to play certain chords.

By reading the book you will:

  1. Learn how to play the correct way, by using the training exercises we have provided for you.
  2. Learn the tricks to change between chords effectively so you can play chord progressions as easily as possible.
  3. Watch the video so you can see exactly what is happening in real time and hear what it sounds like.

Click on this link to download your FREE eBook "Your First Guitar Chords And How To Move Fluidly Between Them" (and see the exclusive video lesson too!)