A few important pointers for getting back to playing guitar after a long break.
A guitar is an instrument that mesmerizes everyone right from childhood. Only a few cross over the barrier of air guitars and pick up the real thing. The overall journey of picking up that beaten down acoustic (which rightfully belongs to your friend’s second cousin’s neighbor or something like that) for the first time, to going to the store, playing some meaty riffs/shreds, and picking up that dream electric along with the amps or stomps for that “Mega” amateur gig is absolutely magical.
As years pass by, that same guitar finds its way to the storeroom, garage, or under the bed. As the yesteryear, High school guitar hero is now a seasoned professional, or business tycoon, or someone whose time constraints and commitments got priority over his former six-stringed friend. But there are times when they do feel like taking it out, dusting it, and start strumming a thing or two. This article is for pointers to get that “punch” back when you start over. So without fuerther ado, here are 11 pointers for getting back to playing guitar after a long break
Take it easy and follow along:
- First steps first- Change the strings to avoid nasty cuts/infections and tune the guitar.
- Try to recollect your basics – Just try out all the chord shapes and scales you can remember as a muscle-brain warm up.
- Don’t worry if you sound out of shape, it takes time for your muscles to get used to the motions and get coordinated.
- We are in the internet stage; there are so many great materials out there. Go to some websites and catch up on some basics or smoothen out the missing links.
A great option to start in my opinion is Fender Play. Their classes are put together very nicely and offer a free 14 days trial.
- Download to your phone some additional “toys” like the metronome, tuners, drum patterns, etcetera, to keep you in shape and entertained.
My favorite metronome is Soundbrenner, you can get it for Android and iOS.
My favorite tuner is Guitar Tuna, which is also available for Android and iOS.
- Be realistic about your progress as you are technically reinventing the wheel. The biggest motivation is, this time around, you are going to just relearn and practice what you already know.
- Start out with some of your favorite songs. Try out some of the easier stuff or stick just to the chords or lead lines. In short, keep it simple.
- If you are an electric player, when starting out again, try to play clean as much as possible for some time so that you get to work on precision and clarity of notes or chords.
- See some amateur videos online to motivate yourself and for ideas to incorporate into your playing.
- As you have been a player in the past, you know your strengths and weaknesses. Patiently work on things you wanted to improve and impulsively ignored when you learned them when you were young.
- Most importantly, try not to alienate yourself again from your six-stringed buddy. Make it a part of your life, play for at least 10 minutes a day if you can. Having a hobby like this de-stresses, keeps you motivated, focused, and is quality entertainment!
Getting back to playing the guitar after a long break is not an easy thing to accomplish. Fortunately, we are living in a great era, where you can get advice from great players online, and be a part of great community of guitar players from all around the world.