Updated: Dec 3, 2019
1) Relax your right hand (Wrist) when strumming
- A relaxed right hand will translate to smoother grooves and feel when strumming the guitar. Guitar playing is just like playing badminton. Badminton is a sport that uses the wrist and not the full arm. It is unlike tennis, where they will usually use the whole arm to attack the ball. Try not to lock your wrist while strumming.
2) Curl your fretting fingers
- Whenever you press the strings, your finger should curl like an eagles claw. It should look as if you are holding a cup or a baseball bat. A nicely curled finger would ensure it does not touch the strings beneath it. This will then produce a nicer sounding chord or note. Curled fingers also gives more strength than a flatten one.
3) Press closer to the fret bar on the right
- Whenever you press a note, it will be in the space between 2 frets. To get a good sounding note, try to press closer to the fret bar on the right. Fretting it too left will result either in muffled note or a flat note.
4) Let your notes ring and sustain
- When the note is being played, always try to let it ring and sustain till the next note is played. Do not stop the note prematurely. Many times our guitar pick touches the string too early and kills the note or we let go of our fretting finger too early. This will result in a choked melody.
5) Ensure thumb position is a good thumbs up
- Having the thumb in a good thumbs up position will help your hand to have the right posture. This posture will provide more space for the strings to ring and vibrate. Having the thumb too high up might pull the the fingers lower and thus causing them to touch the strings below.
6) Do finger exercises
- As our fingers are not used to pressing the guitar, this will result in some form of pain on the fretting fingers. In order to train the fingers to get stronger, most guitar teachers will often teach some form of exercises. After a season of training, this pain will reduce and you will be more comfortable playing the guitar.
7) Use a guitar pick
- We generally encourage new guitarist to use a pick. Using a guitar pick protects the right hand finger nails from getting injured through prolonged strumming. Strumming with the pick also produces a nice brighter tone so you can hear your chords better.
8) Slow down
- Often times we encounter many excited students who tries to speed things up. This can be trying to strum faster than the beat, trying to play many chords but without getting a clear sounding chord, playing a melody super fast etc. At the start, we encourage you to slow things down and ensure your fundamentals are good before speeding it up.
9) Practice with a drum beat or metronome
- Following up from point 8, using a drum beat or metronome can be a good guide to help you achieve consistent tempo. As a beginner, we will often tend to strum faster and faster (this is very normal). Using a metronome, it will show you if you are speeding up or on time. Try not to rush :)
10) Practice in front of a mirror
- Lastly we recommend practicing in front of a mirror. By doing that, you can see your overall sitting posture, guitar angle, hand position etc. It also teaches you to look up whenever you can instead of always looking down at your guitar or scores.
We hope these tips will help you in your beginner guitar journey. Be patient, relax and most importantly enjoy the music you play!
Guitar Emerge is a specialised guitar school which provides guitar lessons in Singapore. We solely focus on Electric Guitar Lessons, Acoustic Guitar Lessons and Ukulele lessons.
Our guitar classes are conducted in Jubilee Square #03-08 (5 mins from Ang Mo Kio MRT). Our 2 studios are nicely sound proofed, with high end guitars and equipment for students to use. Learning guitar in a conducive environment is important as it will accelerate your learning.