Skip to main content

Fender PlayThe #1 guitar learning platformTRY FOR FREE


There's a lot to learn as a beginner guitarist, and it's important not to get overwhelmed or develop bad habits that could slow your progress. But if you keep your eyes open and take it slow, you'll avoid many pitfalls that trap other players.

Here are three common beginner mistakes to watch out for:

Not Tuning Before Practicing

Your first job as a guitarist should be playing in tune because an out of tune guitar will never sound good. Developing your ear and being able to differentiate between the right and wrongs sounds is a critical skill that will be hard to correct if you're learning the wrong pitches or chords. Every time you play, tune your guitar. It only takes a few seconds and saves plenty of earache.

The good thing is that there are several ways to do so, including simple clip-on tuners and the Fender Tune app.

Not Using a Metronome

One of the foundations of music is rhythm. It's what gets you nodding your head and tapping your toes. What many beginners don't know is that we all speed up and slow down while practicing. Besides a tuner, a metronome is the most critical tool in your practice routine because it builds your inner sense of rhythm, gives you an indication of progress, and keeps all your playing at the right speed. If you can't keep time, you can't make music.

Not Playing for Others

Would you ever bake a cake and not let anyone eat it? The purpose of making sound with your guitar is so it can be heard. Once you get a song or two under your fingers, it's time to let someone hear it. Why? Because it gives a little rush of adrenalin and makes you feel awesome. Playing live also provides healthy feedback for improving. It's completely natural to feel nervous about playing for others, so ease into it by playing for some friends or family.

No matter what your skill level, it's always a good idea to take a step back from time to time and analyze your playing. You'll be able to check your progress and correct any bad habits. So stay vigilant and make sure you're not making these common mistakes.

Do you want to sharpen your skills and learn hundreds of songs in the process? Click here for a free 30-day trial of Fender Play.

Don’t miss out!

Be the first to know about new products, featured content, exclusive offers and giveaways.