5 Mistakes to Avoid When Playing the Guitar

These five mistakes lead you on the wrong path to becoming a great musician. Learn how to get rid of them.

Too much physical effort

New players often feel like pressing and strumming the guitar strings requires a lot of tension and effort for better performance. Of course, learning new scales and rhythms can be really hard but the physical act itself should not be strenuous at all. It should feel quite easy.

You must place your fingers near the fretwire but shouldn’t press right above it. You should rather do it slightly behind the fret wire. Adjust your fingerpositions properly and playing will be much more effortless.

Try it out for yourself and you will see that it requires less pressure to create a clean and defined note.


Too much speed

You shouldn’t try to play a song in the actual tempo before learning where all the notes are and how to play them. Your technique is far more important than speed. If you prioritize the latter, you will end up hitting several wrong notes throughout the song without even noticing.

Beginners should play at 50% speed or less. It doesn’t mean that you are less skilled at playing. It means that you´re focusing on doing everything on point so that you can perform the song flawlessly at 100% speed.

Players that want to play the original tempos right away usually have a very sloppy technique that will stay glued to them and will be much harder to let go of in the future.

Inconsistent practicing

To put it simply, playing any instrument boils down to muscle memory. Playing the guitar requires meticulous motor skills. So, the best way to make the movements become natural and effortless is by practicing consistently without long intervals.

Playing for several hours straight is not necessarily a synonym of progress. If you spend a week or so without playing, the training will be inefficient. If you don’t have much time per day to play, try practicing daily from 10 to 20 minutes.

It is much better than having an unreasonably long session only once a week.

Too much at once

In the beginning, it is totally natural that you are super motivated and ready to learn. But being motivated doesn’t mean trying to learn too much at once and moving to new skills or techniques without mastering previous ones.

You will totally agree if we put it this way: being great at a few things are much better than being mediocre in many. With guitar playing, that’s exactly the case.

Obsession with perfection

Even the best guitarists hit lots of wrong notes throughout their successful careers. If you get too caught up with perfection, you will be more anxious and your body will become more tense, which will result in you making more mistakes.

What happens in music and virtually anything else in life is that we perform much better when we’re not focused on pleasing others or prove ourselves.

Of course, the objective is to achieve a great technique. But think of playing the guitar as a combination of two goals that you can’t forget about: having the privilege of enjoying your own music and play it to the best of your ability. The first goal should be the top priority.

You’re lucky if you get to read this before starting to play so you can avoid these pitfalls right away.