During the covid lockdowns, thousands of people decided to pick up a new hobby. For many, that hobby was music. The huge spike in guitar sales has leveled back out now that things are opening back up, many new guitarists are asking themselves, "now that I have a guitar, what do I do with it?" "What are the next steps on the path of my music journey." For some that new car smell might be wearing off and they might be looking for some more excitement. Others maybe discouraged once they figured out how hard playing the guitar really is. If this describes you and you're not sure what to do next, here is a list of a few helpful things to keep going on your guitar journey, but whatever you do DON'T GIVE UP!
If you purchased your new guitar at the beginning of this pandemic, then it is probably overdue for a little TLC. A new set of strings will breath new life into your instrument. As strings age, they become dirty and corroded. This causes a dull lifeless tone and unpleasant feel against the fingers.
Choosing the right strings can be a daunting task as there is plethora of options to choose from. Read our Guitar String Buying Guide to get started.
Just because you bought a new guitar doesn't mean it was ready rock right away. Now would be a great time to have your guitar "set-up". A guitar set-up is a general term that encompasses any number of adjustments to make the guitar play and sound as good as possible. A new guitar straight off the shelf often needs to be adjusted properly before it's truly ready to play, and can be the difference between a beginner's success or failure. A Set-Up doesn't need to be done every time you change the strings but it is a good idea to periodically have a tech take a look at it. A guitar set-up is and art all to itself. Best to leave this to the professionals. Take you guitar to a guitar tech, and let them work their magic.
If's normal for players to hit a plateau with their playing. It happens to the best of us. Don't be frustrated, this is a normal part of the process. If you can take private lesson, do it. However, most of us don't have time for in-person lessons and in some parts of the world it may not even be possible. Not to worry, we live in the information age! YouTube has loads of great lessons and content for every level of player. A couple ways to search is to pick a song and add "lesson" or "tutorial" to the end of the title. There are professional guitar players that have libraries of videos or teach one-on-one lessons that you can pay for. Some good ones to look at are Tim Peirce , Brett Papa, Pete Thorn, and David Wallimann
Grabbing some new accessories can be both an easy and inexpensive way to get some more excitement out of this journey. New picks, a strap to match your guitar, a case or Gig-Bag to take it along to a buddies house since things are starting to open up again. *Shameless plug alert* - Buy Guitar Accessories Here!
A New Amp
Many "starter" amps sold in stores or as part of a guitar pack are... not great. Whether you got yourself an acoustic or an electric guitar, a new amp can be a game changer. I mean, guitars are more fun when they're louder right?!?! Not to state the obvious but, look into Acoustic amps if you have an acoustic guitar, and Electric amps if you have an electric guitar, and bass amps if you have a bass guitar (yes, this article applies to you 4 stringers as well). Don't try and plug a bass into an electric guitar amp, you wont be happy. An upgrade in the amplifier department can inject an instant boost of motivation. Not to mention that many modern amplifiers come with built in effects which can open up a new world of creativity.
The correct number of guitars to own equals the number of guitars you currently have plus one!
Ok I know what you are thinking you just bought a guitar... Right. But you really can't have too many guitars. In all seriousness, if you're playing has really taken off and your skill has grown beyond the instrument you started with it might be time for an upgrade. You may have started on an acoustic and want try out an electric or vice versa. Maybe the guitar you have just isn't giving you the tone you want, or doesn't feel right in your hands, or just isn't the right tool for the type of music you want to play. Now that you have a little bit of experience under your belt, you know a lot more about what to look for in a guitar.
Whatever your situation, just keep playing! Setup a practice schedule to keep you on track. Find some buddies to jam with. One easy trick is leave your guitar out in plain site, set up and ready play. If your guitar is easily accessible, you will play more often. As silly at seems, having to pull your guitar out of the closet, finding the cable, plugging in the amp, can be a deterrent when all you want to play a few chords. Remove this barrier by having your guitar ready to go at all times. The main thing, just keep playing! When the real world starts getting busy again, keep playing! When this pandemic is just a memory, keep playing! I've never heard anyone say "I really wish I didn't learn how to play guitar" or "man, I really wish i didn't spend time practicing and getting really good at my craft." Keep at it and something good will come out of it!
| About The Author
Miles Margritz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Miles is a certified guitar pedal junkie who also serves as our online customer service representative. He loves talk to shop so give him a call!