5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online

5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online


Hi guys, my name’s Andy from AndyGuitar.co.uk and in this video I’m talking you through my top 5 mistakes and bad habits that you want to be sure to avoid if you’re learning guitar through YouTube – especially as a beginner. Now number 1, top of that list is definitely wrist strumming. Or what I call wrist strumming. which is essentially, no matter what chord you’re strumming – moving or tilting or pivoting the wrist. Like this (strums showing example of what not to do) Ok. Rather than strumming from the elbow which is what we want to be doing. So when we’re playing rhythm guitar we’re strumming chords that strumming needs to be a movement pivoting from the elbow with the guitar nice and close into your body not slipping down your leg like this, not leaning over to see your chords Into your body and moving from the elbow. This allows a way more accurate strumming action and also for you not to hurt the little muscles in the wrist and hand by doing a big motion with little muscles. We’re going to use the big muscles of the arm and moving from the elbow in this sort of fashion. (strums showing correct movement) This brings me on to mistake number 2 which is for single string playing. So, as a guitarist we need to treat strumming chords, which is rhythm guitar, and picking single notes, which is essentially lead guitar, we need to treat them as two separate things for now as beginners, okay? Strumming is a movement of your arm from the elbow ok? Gives a nice consistent action and means that we’re always strumming all the strings evenly when we want to When you’re picking a single note what you need to do is rest your wrist of your picking hand above the strings and above the sound hole or above your pick-ups if you’re on an electric guitar and have that contact with the guitar and it is actually a movement from the wrist for single note playing (plays single notes) You want to have that wrist in contact with the guitar at all times when doing single string playing and if you’re playing the thinnest couple of strings you actually want to rest your wrist on the thickest strings themselves. So we want the wrist itself on these thickest strings when we’re picking, for example (repeatedly plays single note) That thinnest string (picks string) Those two techniques are so crucial and they’re the foundation of your rhythm playing, so your strumming and/or your lead playing which is your single string playing The 3rd biggest mistake that people commonly do is concerning the chord hand. We all have to start at some point learning our basic open chord shapes like E, A, and D. What can commonly happen when we start to learn some of the harder chord shapes Like a G and a C is a definite one finger at a time motion happens when we’re changing chords and when we’re placing our chords. So basically what you are possibly doing at the moment and what you want to avoid is placing one finger down at a time. That is how we learn these chords, it is not how you want to be practicing them. What we want to practice is being able to place your fingers in the correct place strum your chord, but then lift off of that chord and have that shape memorized in your fingers. so that your hand memorizes the position it’s in and the position of each chord rather than you memorizing, and this is where the old neck stretch comes in, rather than you memorizing exactly where to put your fingers by placing them one at a time like this So I’ll go through that again, this is particularly evident on the C chord but it can happen with a whole other host of chords as well, it’s just really evident on the C chord. A lot of people play the C (placing fingers) 1-2-3 every time. In a song that’s just not going to happen if you’re changing from G and C and trying to go (placing fingers) 1-2-3, it’s going to take an age. What you need to do is simply have your hand remember that shape so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna strum that C chord, and you can strum along with me now Strum it normally. Have your hand stay as still as possible but it wants to rise from the fretboard by about a centimeter, so half an inch or so and freeze in that position that your fingers are in. Therefore your hand is memorizing this shape and we’re really getting these chords into your muscle memory. The small muscle memory of your fingers. and then we want to place that chord back down and then strum it again as a C chord. It can really help at this point to notice that my hand is on quite an angle rather than being straight like this The C chord in particular is a really nasty stretch. It was the first chord I was taught when I was first learning. and it’s very difficult to do when your fingers are placed in line with the frets. What you want to do is have your fingers on an angle and have them touching at certain points and that can really help to memorize the position that your hand’s in and memorize these chords. You can even extend that towards rising from the chord that you’re on and then going to another chord for example the G, freezing and hovering just above that chord and then placing your hand down and that really makes sure that your hands have memorized these chord shapes. The 4th most common mistake is, what I’ve summarized as not getting the rhythm down. This is basically being too preoccupied with which downs and ups to use rather than getting the underlying beat to it and being able to tap your foot to a song as you’re playing it to really internalize the rhythm and be able to do the correct down and up strumming naturally. So, for example, if you have a strumming pattern which I call the most common strumming pattern ever If we do it on a G chord, for example, so this is gonna be down down up up down. (plays strumming pattern) There’s one of those beats that are underlying from that strumming pattern that we’re not playing on we’re not playing on beat 3 so if you are tapping your foot there’s 1 beat there which you’re tapping on and not strumming on and this basically throws people right off. What can all too commonly happen with this strumming pattern and many others is people just look at the D’s and U’s for example and go down, down, up, up, down and they’ve completely lost the rhythm even though you’re doing the correct downs and ups what you’re following The big concept here is that when you’re doing downs and ups patterns the down strums with 8 strumming patterns always happen on the beat and the up strums always happen off the beat so if you’re doing 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and the downs always happen on the beat. 1, 2 and in between are the and’s – 1 and 2 and and from there it doesn’t matter what combination of downs and ups are happening that is still prevalent so if we demonstrate down, down, up, up, down again (demonstrates pattern) 1, 2, and, and, 4. 1, 2, and, and, 4 (demonstrates pattern) The down strums are always on the beat and the up strums are off the beat and if you miss any strums you need to keep your hand moving and of course move it from the elbow. The 5th and final mistake is a more general comment about what people choose to practice it is simply that people tend not to master the basics before moving on to the harder stuff It sounds obvious but this is mainly to do with the songs that people choose so, all too often, people are drawn to the songs that they know or recognize and that ends up being these classic guitar songs like “Wonderwall” for the last 10 or 20 years has been the song to play on acoustic guitar and before that “House of the Rising Sun” was very popular as a first beginner’s song and it’s just not where you want to start especially if you haven’t ever done anything musical before You may, after many hours of practice be able to play that song to a somewhat recognizable version of it but you’re not going to be training yourself with the right techniques and fundamentals that are gonna see you your many years, hopefully many years of guitar playing So you need a whole bunch, you know 10s and 20s and 30 songs that are dead dead easy for you to spot the pattern in these songs. For you to spot the ingredients and be able to fully master these ingredients such as the basic open chords and strumming patterns and how songs are structured. Get playing real songs as soon as possible but make sure those songs are way easy. Other things I really recommend are having a repertoire of songs that you’re building so that whenever it comes to actually performing for someone, when someone says, “Hey, you’ve been learning guitar for a couple of months now, play us something.” you’ve actually got a couple of songs that you’ve played for that few months that are there ready for you to play in front of people and you’ll do a great job at it. So there are the top 5 mistakes that people learning guitar online commonly make make sure you don’t fall fouls to them but they can take a little while to train yourself after when they’ve become a habit If you want loads of easy songs to play make sure you check out my website andyguitar.co.uk where we’ve got a full free beginner’s course and loads of easy songs to take you from being an absolute beginner up to having a massive repertoire full of songs that you’d be proud to play in front of your friends.

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online

  1. hey do you have any more tips watched a lot of your vids and trying to teach myself the guitar just by reading up on it myself (and youtube) but another great vid thanks for all the help you have gave me

  2. Great advice I started playing house of the rising sun to start with and still fluff it 50% of the time over twelve months on of playing it every day….boots are made for walking only took a few months

  3. Hlo bro. My guitar sound is so bursting and strings are so vibrating while play it. Can u suggest some gud ideas fa it?? Plzz

  4. Thank you for this video! I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve enjoyed your tips!! I’ll go check out your website!:)

  5. i find it very uncomfortable to redt my palm on thr thicker string when using thr lower string.

    What I do it I rest my pinkies tip on the body near the lower string and kinda let it be a support. Idk how to explain it in word hahaha.

  6. For c chord I found that placing my middle finger first made my finger 1 and 3 fall right into place as soon as I have to switch to c chord try it and you’ll see

  7. Memorizing placement instead of looking… As i'm getting to more difficult chords…G Major is a stretch for me…i'm looking at the strings…..Thanks..gonna stop this and get to memorizing placement. 🙂

  8. Realy? Thees are beginner mistakes? Thought there was a diffrence between beginner mistakes and common sense.. Thees are things i realised within the first 30-40min after i first picked up a guitar 17years ago

  9. A thumbs up from Australia for a really good video mate. I've had guitars for more than 50 years and was keen to see if I was making the 5 mistakes or not. Pride stops me from confessing the results. But never too late to learn and improve.

  10. andy i just wanted to say that you are not only a really cool guy from the look of it but an absout genius when it comes to teaching.

    your style is really unique and it works big time !!

  11. I had real troubles with C and G, so what I did is basically extreme trial by fire… Basically bouncing on the C shape, making each bounce a bit bigger and then switching from C to G and back again over and over until it was so fast, that I could do it in rythm. then jumping from C to D, from C to A and any other combination I could think of. It's all about the muscle memory as said in the video, but that bouncing on the C and G shape really did speed things up.

  12. You’re great at anticipating people’s problems. I’m a swimming instructor and recognize a good instructional lesson no matter what the subject is. And you break it down for students to digest easily. Thank you Andy.

  13. Thank you for these tips. I was a trumpet player for 20 years and have recently picked up the guitar. Wow! What a learning curve and a humbling experience. I need a lot of help and I am grateful for you tutorials.

  14. Oh…I didn't play for years and I checked one video before for something and then this one. I never paid any attention to the first problem. Good video :))

  15. To be honest wonder wall was a perfect beginners song for me I got it within about 2hrs and my brother who already was playing the guitar said it was to a good standard so if patient wonder wall is a perfect beginners song

  16. I seriously had a panic attack when he dropped that pick… I'd NEVER be able to pick it up again with acrylic nails 😟

  17. Thanks, was just struggling going from C to G and back again so I really appreciated the advice on the muscle memory. Trying to learn Free Falling by Tom Petty. Heard it was a good beginner song. Taught me how to use a capo at least.

  18. 3:45 i have that with F and every time i make that mistake it reminds me "kids arent allright" from The Offspring 😛

  19. I have Vienna sausages for fingers so to be able to reach the top string with my even my finger I HAVE to till my guitar out.☹️

  20. I put my fingers on the right chords I make sure my other fingers aren't touching the strings and only the one I put it on however when I play it always sounds stuck if that makes sence

  21. Nobody:
    Me: so I was going to play wonderwall but it's apparently not a beginner friendly song… So anyway, here's "what's it worth" from bufallo springfield

  22. Hey Andy , Thanks a lot for making me identify my mistakes as a bigginer, i had all the mistakes except the last one coz i'm learning guiyar from you.

  23. Are u sure thats right?
    Putting ur wrist on the actual strings when u play?
    I've never heard of that b4, & it seems like it would get in the way of the sound having your hands all over the other strings while u play?
    Makes no sense to me?
    Unless I been doing it wrong?
    Or unless I do that and never noticed

  24. I have on doubt if i keep my finger in the string i started playing it gives a buzzing sound how to get rid of this clarify me pls

  25. I've only been practicing for a week so I'm glad I watched this now before my bad habits were truly formed. I really like your videos, thank you so much for making and sharing them.

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