Guitar Tips, Tricks and Advice

Of all the guitar tips you'll find here, this is #1:


The better you get at playing, and the more you play with others or for others, the more fun you will have. You really can enjoy learning! Sure, you will get frustrated sometimes. Relax and keep trying, when you finally "get it" you'll feel great.

If you feel like you're in a rut, learn something new...a new song, some new chords, learn a scale, or try a different style of music.

Taking a trip to a good guitar shop and trying out some of their equipment is always fun. Falling in love with a new guitar or amp will give you something to aim for and can be inspiring.

For important guitar tips this is #2:

PLAY! The more you play, the better you get.

Play with other people, for other people, alone, in the park, at the beach, at a campfire, play, play play!

Play with purpose. Set goal's and stick to them, practice until you nail your goal, then move on to the next goal, and for heaven's sake learn the whole song! Sure, it's great to learn a riff or melody, but it's more fun after you learn the whole song...and your friends will appreciate it too!

Guitar Tuning Tips

  • Get your guitar in tune, and keep it in tune! Check your tuning whenever you start to practice or play.
  • ALWAYS tune up to the note you want, never tune down. If you pass your note while tuning up to it, tune below the note and try again. If you don't tune this way, your guitar will de-tune faster.

Buy yourself a good tuner. You won't always be at your computer. Chromatic tuners hear the pitch of your guitar when you play into it. The tuner will guide you to the exact pitch you want, using a needle, arrows, colored lights, or a combination of these. Some chromatic tuners come equipped with a metronome.

I prefer an "intellitouch" tuner. It clips onto the headstock and "feels" the pitch of my guitar. The advantages are: I can tune in noisy places and I don't have to position my guitar close to the tuner. It's also great for adjusting the intonation on an electric guitar.
Detailed Tuning Guitar Tips and Free Guitar Tuners (opens in new window)

Guitar Practicing Tips

  • Schedule a set amount of time to practice every day, and stick to it. You can practice longer if you wish, but have a minimum. Practice time is for practice, if you want to learn a new song, do it after practice.
  • Follow a lesson plan, and don't jump around from lesson to lesson. Practice your lesson until you understand it, and can play it fairly easily, then move to the next.
  • Use a metronome if you aren't playing along with a recording or video. Using a metronome will help you develop a subconscious sense of timing. For an in depth article about why and how to effectively use a metronome read "The glue of repetition by Jamie Andreas", (opens in new window).Remember: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"!
  • If you are using an electric guitar, set your amp to clean. It's easier to hear what your fingers are doing. Don't turn the volume up too loud, prolonged exposure to loud noise WILL damage your hearing(not maybe, it really will).

Guitar Buying Tips

My pet peeve is crappy guitars! They do more damage than good. Always buy the best you can afford. Some people give up because their guitars are hard to play and sound bad.

Before you spend your money learn what you can about guitar construction, materials used to build it etc. You can discover why some guitars cost more than others, and decide which guitar suits your playing needs in the section:
How to Choose the Right Guitar

  • If you're an electric guitar fan, and you already own a good guitar and amp, or you are buying one,you can improve your sound greatly with a top quality guitar cord. A chain is only as good as it's weakest link. For around fifty bucks you'll notice quite an improvement.

Guitar Care Tips

  • Buy a guitar case and use it. They help protect your beloved guitar from all kinds of unexpected damage.
  • Don't lend your beloved guitar to someone that's drunk. Guitars often get accidentally hurt that way.
  • Keep your guitar away form all sources of heat. Acoustic and electric guitars are held together with glue. Heat causes glue to soften and loose it's strength, and wood to shrink. Keep your guitar away from heaters, campfires, and blazing sunlight. DO NOT leave it in a hot car.
  • Store your guitar in it's case, or a good guitar stand. Don't leave it laying around so things can fall on it, or on the floor to get stepped on. Leaning your guitar's neck into the corner might cause the neck to warp after awhile, and if you lean it against a flat wall, eventually the guitar tips over.
  • Don't wear belt buckles when you play, they scratch the back of the guitar.
  • If you use a strap, spend a couple bucks and get some strap locks. Straps can easily pop off guitars!

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