On this page I'll give you some handy tips that you can use to become a better player or use to your advantage when you buy new gear. If you have any other tips that you think are important to become a great guitar player or anything else that is good to know for a musician, then please let me know at tips@csguitar89.com. If your tips are useful I'll try to include them here and give you credit for your contribution.

I've divided the page into the following sections:

  • Playing tips
  • Buying tips

Playing Tips

These are some playing tips that I think are really important to remember while practicing and helped me to become a better guitar player:

  • First of all let me tell you that there is no easy, fast way to become really good. Improving your skills and becoming a really skilled guitar player is just a matter of lots and lots of practising and dedication. Sure, some people improve a bit faster because they are talented but having talent doesn't mean you have to practice less. These tips will only give you the opportunity to practice in an efficient and effective way.

  • Always try to practice with a metronome, it really improves your rhythmic skills.

  • Also try to add some variety your practice. Learn songs, scales, chords, licks, improvise,  practice technique, intervals and try to write your own stuff. And those are just a few examples of what you can practice.

  • Keep a good balance in what you practice. Don't spend the entire time learning theory or scales, because then you will not improve the other aspects of your playing.

  • Practice something at a speed that feels comfortable. You don't have to be able to play something at full speed right from the start. Slowly build up, that really trains your accuracy.

  • Listen to a lot of music that inspires you and be open to new things. Also listen to how other guitarists do it, try to learn the style you like and make it sound original.

  • Create your own sound and try out as much equipment as you can. In that way you will know what sounds you want and a great sound makes playing much more fun for me.

  • If you don't feel like playing, don't play. You probably will just get frustrated and you probably won't learn anything. Most of the time when I don't want to play it doesn't sound as well as usual. Try to do something different and relaxing when you don't feel like playing guitar.

  • Try to get in a band because you learn a lot from jamming with other musicians, especially those who are better than you are. Also try doing a few gigs, it can be really fun to do and it helps improving your playing dramatically.

  • But the most important thing of all is... to have lots and lots of fun!


Buying Tips

Buying a guitar, especially your first one, can be quite difficult so here are some tips that should make the choice somewhat easier for you:

  • If you're buying your first guitar, make sure to take someone with you who already plays the instrument and has some experience. If you're a beginner you probably don't know what you are looking for yet and it can be tough to pick out the right guitar. You can also take someone with you if you're not a beginner. I think it's always nice to have another opinion. It also allows you to listen to the guitar when someone else is playing it so you can focus entirely on how the guitar sounds.

  • Decide for yourself what type of guitar and style you want to play. I don't believe that you always have to start on a classical as some people suggest, because the guitar you start on has a major influence on the way you learn to play. If you want to play metal for instance I think it's best to start on an electric because that's the style and type of guitar that you really want to learn and turned you on to the instrument in the first place.

  • I think that feel, sound and looks are almost equally important for your first guitar. If an instrument plays great and sound awesome but looks awful, you probably won't feel like picking it up and play it. So make sure you pick a guitar that makes you want to play. This also goes for the feel and sound. If the guitar plays or sounds terrible it's not appealing to play. So make sure that you get a good combination of all three aspects and pick an instrument that feels good.

  • If you have found your dream guitar in a shop and you can afford it, just buy it. Don't look for other shops where you can get the guitar for 5% less because chances are that the other instrument won't feel the same as the one you fell in love with.

  • Get a variety of picks with your first guitar. Try out different thicknesses from 0,5mm up to 1,5mm or even 2mm to see which picks you like best. If you have some more money to spend you can also try different materials like celluloid, nylon and Tortex.

  • You don't have to buy the guitar the very first time you go to the store, especially not if you're buying an expensive instrument. Play it at the store, go home, think about your options, go back to the store, play the guitar some more, compare it to other guitars and if you're certain about which guitar you want, buy it. Don't let the sales(wo)man intimidate you and push you into making a purchase that you are not 100% sure of.