3 Tips for Making Real Progress with Playing Acoustic Guitar Blues

The problem with learning a new instrument, as with learning just about anything in life, is that evolution comes slow and is a strenuous process. If you feel you’re not making any real progress with playing acoustic guitar blues, it might just be that you’re making some common beginner mistakes. It’s not that these mistakes are too serious to correct, or that they mean you’ll never be able to play properly. It’s just a matter of mind frame, as well as of learning strategies. Since playing blues on the acoustic guitar is a manual skill, but also a creative one, there are certain things you need to bear in mind while learning – especially if you feel you’re not progressing in any sensible way. Read on for our three hands-on tips and tricks for beginner players.

  • Challenge yourself to learn new licksprogress-with-playing-acoustic-guitar-blues02

The first mistake that beginner acoustic guitar blues players make is that they perfect several licks and then still keep practicing those same ones over and over again. There is nothing essentially wrong with making sure you’re very good at playing those licks – the trouble with this attitude is that it will keep you from evolving to the next level of proficiency. In other words, you can only become as good a blues player as you’re willing to. There are several ways to approach this issue. For starters, you can apply some improvisation techniques to your playing. Start rehearsing the licks you already know, but change a couple of notes here and there. Do you hear anything interesting that you might use later on? Any new tones that resonate with you? If you don’t, keep improvising until you do – you’ll see that, with time, new licks will be finding their way to your guitar strings.

  • Add some structure to your rehearsal time

All right, so you’ve gone through all the scales, all the licks, and all the practice exercises in your handbook of choice. Yet you still feel you’re not making any real progress with playing acoustic guitar blues. The reason behind that might be that you’re not really making an effort to understand and work through those licks, exercises, and scales. In other words, you’re just rushing right through them, without taking the proper time to let them sink in. The first thing you need to do in this case is slow down, play each note as slowly as you need to and make sure you’re getting them all right. Another cause behind sloppy practicing, which is not going to help you make any progress with playing acoustic guitar blues, is that you get easily distracted from it. Turn off the TV, PC, and smartphone, find a quiet space and make time for your practicing. Just running through the motions of a half hour’s practice time per day isn’t going to help you improve, it’s just going to waste your time. You’re better off taking a walk in the park than ‘learning acoustic guitar’ like this.

  • Focus on each lesson individually

progress-with-playing-acoustic-guitar-blues01Now that the Internet is at everyone’s finger tips, you, like many other beginner players, might think that it’s a good idea to hop from one acoustic blues lesson to the next, from one learning style to the other. The truth is that such an approach will only prevent you from making any actual progress with playing acoustic guitar blues. As such, if you find yourself clicking furiously from one lesson to the other, without actually letting any of them sink in – stop doing it. Focus on one exercise at a time, make sure you can actually apply what it teaches you and then continue in the same style. With time, you’ll start seeing actual progress in your style of choice.

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