December 22, 2012

Elite Music Academy in Toronto

What to Expect When Learning Guitar

Elite Music Academy is a music school and guitar shop in Toronto providing guitar lessons with several distinguished and unique guitar teachers.

Taking guitar lessons with a qualified teacher is the best approach for anyone interested in learning how to play the guitar. Learning to play the guitar can be fun and rewarding. It can also be very challenging as well. It is not uncommon for an aspiring guitarist to throw in the towel after a few guitar lessons because learning the guitar seems like a hopeless endeavor. Knowing what to expect ahead of time helps to prepare the student and provide some comfort when the going gets tough. Find out more about Elite Music’s guitar program, or read on for a few things every beginner should expect when they decide to start learning.

Tuning the Guitar

This may seem like a simple or obvious point now that electronic guitar tuners have made tuning a guitar as easy as pushing a button. One of the first mistakes a beginning guitar student can make, however, is relying exclusively on electronic guitar tuners. It is important to learn how to tune your guitar by ear for a couple of reasons. It helps to develop your ear and this is an essential skill for every musician. Tuning the guitar by ear helps you to understand how the strings relate to one another. It also gives you a better appreciation for the guitar as a whole. There are a few different methods for tuning the guitar by ear. A guitar teacher will be able to demonstrate and guide the student through the different methods.

Becoming Comfortable

A guitar looks cool but it can feel uncomfortable for someone who tries to play it for the first time. Learning how to hold the guitar, learning where to place your hands, and learning how to move your fingers takes some getting used to for the beginner. One reason for this is the guitar itself. Guitars come in different shapes and sizes and so do guitar students. The primary reason, however, is that it takes time for your fingers and muscles to become accustomed to the guitar. Students typically find that the guitar begins to feel natural and comfortable after the first few guitar lessons.

Practicing Tips

Guitar lessons won’t accomplish much if a student isn’t willing to devote a certain amount of time to practicing. A mistake that guitar students typically make is failing to practice efficiently. A second common mistake is procrastinating. Guitar students often wait till a day or two before the guitar lesson to practice the things they should been practicing all week. Progress on the guitar occurs in incremental stages. The best strategy is to practice four or five days a week for at least 30 to 60 minutes rather than cramming everything in the night before the guitar lesson. The latter approach is a dead end. The other key element to keep in mind, when practicing a lesson or a piece of music, is to not rush. Guitar students have a tendency to play too fast. This leads to all sorts of problems, not the least of which is bad timing. It is important to take your time and practice everything with a metronome.

The “Aha” Moment

One of the joys and pleasures of learning to play the guitar is when things “click.” Keep in mind that the technical stuff is just that, technical stuff. At the minimal level this involves learning where to place your fingers, learning how to coordinate the right and left hands, and learning how to play in time. The more advanced player focuses on technical stuff such as scales, music theory, and improvisation ideas. It is easy to get bogged down and stuck anywhere along the way because something doesn’t make sense or you simply can’t make your fingers do what you want. The trick is to keep practicing. At a certain point a light will go on and everything will fall into place. A student struggling with a specific technical aspect of playing the guitar will suddenly say, “Oh I see,” or, “I get it.” This is the “aha” moment.

There’s Always Room For Improvement

The first hurdle involved in learning the guitar is learning the basics.Once the basics are mastered, your guitar playing will begin to grow in leaps and bounds like a train picking up speed. The speed at which you develop depends on commitment and dedication. At the same time, as most players will tell you, there is always room for improvement. A case in point is the great jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Rollins is in his mid eighties and he still maintains a rigorous practice regimen.

In you are interested in taking guitar lessons in Toronto contact Elite Music Academy at 416 406 5355 or book a trial music lesson.  Guitars lessons are offered for the beginner to the advanced student in a number of styles and genres.

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