We receive tons of questions from our members all the time. In order to help address common issues that guitarists face, we have decided to post commonly asked questions here…
Question: Hello, thanks for checking on me to know how I’m doing with my lessons. I’m currently reading the manual since I don’t have my acoustic yet. I don’t know where to get the acoustic and I’ll appreciate if you could help direct me on where to get one.
Answer: It depends on your budget.
For all of my subscribers I always recommend this package from Epiphone. For those of you who never heard of the brand, Ephiphone is a sister company of world renowned guitar-making company Gibson.
The good news is that it is bundled with award winning Gibson’s Learn And Master course at a heavily discounted price. I feel that this package offers the best overall value for a new player and you get a quality guitar at a decent priceline.
Question: My finger tips are sore. They are getting worse every time I play. So, do they get used to it overtime? Is there a technique that I can use for say, breaking my finger tips in? I had tried pressing softer on the strings and even considered using light gauge strings. Will an extra light set of strings make any difference?
Answer: It is very normal for fingers to get sore. I assure you that they will get used to it overtime. If I were put a time frame to it, you would typically need between 2-3 weeks to get your fingers used to fretting strings.
During the beginning periods, I would recommend you to take intermittent breaks in order to let your fingers rest. Say for example, practice for 15-30 mins or till your fingers feel tired and continue after a 15 minutes break.
Changing to lighter strings would help but I don’t suggest doing so. Stick with what you already have and your finger strength would build up over time with enough practice.
You might want to check out these other lessons to help you get your fingers stronger.
1) Warm up exercises: http://www.guitarplayerworld.com/beginner/warm-up-exercises/
2) Barre chords: http://www.guitarplayerworld.com/beginner/movable-and-half-barre-chords/
If you find that this is too much information to absorb, go through the lessons slowly and learn a small chunk at a time.
Question: The second question I have is that I am having a hard time playing an A major or A minor. My fingers are t0o wide to fit and I have tried every way possible to make it sound right but I just can’t fit my fingers. I’m not a large man and I have pretty normal hands for the most part. Perhaps, I just have really wide finger tips.
Also I’m playing an Ovation Balladeer special – USA built gcs771-c. Might it be due to the smaller fret sizes? Is there anything that I can do? Thanks for all your help so far. I am very committed to learning guitar and you guys have helped in many different ways. Thank you!
Answer: Typically, finger sizes don’t really matter. When I was a student in a group guitar class, I had seen tons of people with different finger sizes, short – long – fat – thin. All of them were able to fret chords after some practice.
One thing you want to be aware of is that you should always trim your fingernails and keep it short. I would say that the optimum fingernail length should be ONLY 1-2 mm. Otherwise, the nails would impede your fingers from fretting the chord properly.
You can check out how to play A major here: http://www.guitarplayerworld.com/video/a-chord/
Hope this helps and keep on practicing.
1) A big HI to GuitarPlayerWorld! It’s been 2 months when I started working on the lessons given by you. From then, I have stood up to a brilliant standard in my playing, which I think is unbelievable for me.
My friends appreciate what I play now, all I have to say a special ‘thank’ to you for giving away such marvelous lessons online for free.
2) Thanks for the e-mail. I found your website after a quick Google search to find some good beginner lessons. I am happy with what I have read so far and I learnt useful information from the e-book. For example, the stretches are helping me out big time already (I also draw and paint digitally) even though I haven’t gotten a guitar to play yet.
My older sister has an old classical guitar that is in great shape and she was going to let me have it ’til i can afford my own and also show me how to play a little. I think with that and your awesome website, I will learn to play in good time and have fun 😛
I’ve already read the whole e-book and 3 of the beginner articles. However, I was confused about the fretboard and notes ’til i saw the video and read the explanation in the Understanding the Fretboard article and it clicked. I thought “wow that is easier than I thought!” and I went to sleep following the notes down the strings in my head.
I can’t wait ’til my sister brings over her guitar for me and I get to start practising and learning more.
Thank you very much,
3) Hi Paul,
Thanks for the freebies. I have been playing about three years now; initially having lessons and teaching myself for the last 18 months or so.
I have no pretensions of becoming the next Angus Young or Dave Grohl or Eric Clapton!! I am just a 43 year old guy who wants to get fluid enough with chords to play his favourite Oasis / Foo Fighters / Beatles / Fountains of Wayne / Tom Petty songs etc etc.
The feeling of nailing a song after hours of practice is so awesome. Hard to explain but it is soooooo rewarding.
I really liked the finger exercises. The other tips I would look for are a suggested practice routine to maximize progress (I currently do 20 mins per day), tips to learn chord progressions, how to sing and play at the same time and how to master B minor!!
Do I Need to Learn How to Read Music?
For new players, learning to read music may seem like a huge chore and isn’t an important part of their practice routine. However, if you want faster progress and a better grasp of music concepts, this is something you shouldn’t avoid.
Are Group Guitar Classes for Adults Effective Means of Learning?
I know most of us have different commitments in life. Be it work or family, we only have 24 hours a day. When it comes to learning the guitar, are group classes the most effective use of your time?
For the most comprehensive step-by-step guitar training program, we highly recommend Gibon’s Learn & Master Guitar course. This award winning DVD course is currently having a 3-day sale and you get to save $100 off the usual price today!
Click here to find out more information and get the course before this promotion ends…