How some common mistakes spoil a Guitar Learner

You have just bought a guitar and excited about it. Do you know some common mistakes which normally we all do while learning guitar? This article is an eye opener to all those who wants to learn guitar and make music as a profession. It is natural to get excited once you have your favorite guitar in your hand. As a beginner, we have some beautiful imagination running in our mind when we join the guitar classes. The first desire which comes to our mind is to just start playing like professionals, or if not, at least start playing some songs. This is where beginners create illusion in their minds and makes mistakes. Actually, it is not their fault always but it happens because of less knowledge about music or wrong guidance. As a beginner we must understand that we cannot magically start playing some songs in guitar after a few weeks or months. If the student is a kid, we must let him/her understand the necessity of hard work, patience and practice required for learning any kind of musical instrument.  To learn the basics in any kind of musical instrument, it takes about 6-9 months. Some talented students learn faster, some take their own time. In both the cases, one needs to work hard and practice well to progress further. There are some common mistakes we do while learning guitar which we should avoid or else, it might demoralize us and hinder our further progress in music. What are these common mistakes that beginners tend to do and what are the things we must watch out for? This is what I am going to discuss about in this article. If you follow the guide provided here, I am sure your journey towards learning will be smooth and steady.

Avoiding sight reading: 

Initially, the musical notes are easy to read and understand. After practicing for a few days, students try to avoid sight reading musical notes. They tend to think “oh! I already know it, so there is no need to look at the book again and again”. This is a very common mistake we do in the beginning. Of course, playing by listening is a great talent but not at the initial stage. If you get into the habit of avoiding sight reading, it will create a problem concentrating as you go to higher levels where you need to depend more on sight reading than playing by listening.  Also once you start playing by listening, you might tend to take reading notes casually and this can create lots of problems in future. You can try and play by listening which can strengthen your sense of musical sounds, but not when you are practicing lessons where you need to read musical notes.

More depending on tab reading:

Tablature technique is used to help to read notes and guide proper finger placement on the fret board. But some of the students make it a habit to read more of the tab part than to concentrate on reading notes. It is good to learn different techniques, but please don’t totally depend on it. One must know to read musical notes fluently which is the permanent and complete method of learning a musical instrument.

Try to play faster:

Music is all about sound, timing and patience. One must start slowly while understanding each note, its sound, timing and beats. To practice properly, a beginner has to have patience and play each note with its timing. In order to complete the lesson fast, one tries to play faster and makes mistakes. Sometimes it might annoy you, but remember it happened with everyone. You are not the first who needs to keep patience while learning. So, to learn properly, one must listen to the sound, take it in his/her mind, feel it and then try to play. Music is just another kind of meditation. The more you focus, the faster you will learn.

Focusing more to play popular music:

Once beginners get to know the basics of playing guitar, they immediately shift their gear to play popular music. Yes, I too have done this mistakes and this is why I am here to guide you. Frankly speaking, playing popular music or trying to play for fun is needed to keep ourselves motivated and enjoyable. But to focus more into playing songs, take you away from your main goal. Obviously, playing just a few songs is not your goal. So, a good student will always focus on learning new techniques, playing higher level music and not restrict himself to limited playing.

Casual approach:

After learning for a few months, a student gets habituated to guitar learning. It is this time when the thinking of a student plays a big role. Some become casual and some become more serious. Casual approach will take you no where, but instead will bring you back to where you started. Secondly, always tune your guitar before you start your practice. Learn to tune it by hear. Whenever you have the guitar in your hand, whatever you play, try to play seriously. Always make a goal to learn new things whenever you hold your guitar. Just playing few known notes and chords again and again should be avoided.

Not warming up before each lesson:

Beginner student sometimes don’t know the importance of finger warming up or they purposely avoid it. It is very important to warm up your fingers before you start playing your guitar. It will help your fingers to stretch and move faster on the fingerboard.  By not doing this, you unnecessarily bring more tension to your fingers and get tired easily.

Focusing more on first few frets:

After learning for a few months, a beginner starts playing songs with the help of a few basic chords which can be played on the first three frets. Since they get excited to play some songs and somehow they manage to play too, they tend to avoid practicing full barre chords which can be played on the entire fret board.  Their focus becomes limited to the first few frets. As a result of this, they take more time to complete learning guitar than the normal time required.


Hope this article would help you to become a more mature and serious learner and minimize your mistakes which you might do. Making mistakes is not a big issue, but we must avoid those mistakes which can divert us from reaching our goals. So, feel proud of yourself that you are at the door of the music world. You just need to be an honest and hard worker to reach your goal.

All the best and good luck!


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