How to Get Better at Acoustic Guitar

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In order to get the most out of the instrument, it is crucial to learn a few tips to spruce up your acoustic guitar playing. If you’ve hit a plateau or just beginning, you might’ve wondered how to get better at acoustic guitar.

We have listed some of the essential tips that any acoustic guitar player needs to improve their playing. We hope you enjoy practicing these tips!

Memorize the Basic Chords

Every guitar player needs to learn a few basic chords by heart. If you’re still someone who hasn’t memorized all the basic chords (from A to G; major and minor), then that is something you ought to do soon. Without learning all the chords, your creativity and song-playing ability will be lessened dramatically.

If you’ve already learned your ABCs, then you should learn some easy 7th and suspended chords. These chords don’t sound like your typical, run-of-the-mill chords. By adding them to your guitar playing, you can sound substantially fresher and more interesting.

All chord diagrams are easily available online. But if you need a more personal, in-depth touch, you should look into these effective online lessons, which will help transform your guitar playing.

Use a Capo if You’re Having Difficulty

Many people find it very difficult to play open chords on the first 3 or 4 frets. To combat this, put on a capo somewhere after the third fret. This will reduce the distances between frets and make chord playing easier. Gradually you can push the capo back and easily play on even the initial frets.

Start with Slow, Simple Rhythms

The true voice of the acoustic guitar comes out in the rhythm. To get better at rhythm on acoustic guitar, finger your chords adequately. Make sure they are clear and not buzzing. After that, start by playing simple, slow strumming patterns. For instance, 3 downstrokes followed by an upstroke, a downstroke, and an upstroke.

Listen to some easy strumming songs while at it, and gradually, you’ll learn about pauses, mutes, and different patterns. Once you get the 4/4 rhythm down, you can move onto 3 / 4 or even 5 / 8. This is the only road to truly advanced acoustic guitar playing!

Dynamics for Different Parts

Beginners usually start off by strumming their chords in a mechanical, uniform, and loud manner. But this can quickly get tiresome for the ears. This is why you should start adding dynamics to your playing. In music, dynamics means the varying levels of volume in a piece or song.

By strumming a few strokes lightly, you can generate lesser volume on them, and by strumming forcefully, you can increase the volume. Try adding variations by strumming lightly and heavily.

Add Single Notes – Arpeggio!

Arpeggios mean picking notes individually in chords. While playing rhythm on an acoustic guitar, you can throw in a few arpeggios. This means that as you hold the chord, you can play a few of the notes of the chord interspersed while strumming the chords.

These can be any notes of the chord, or you can play whole arpeggios.

Add Walkdowns

While transitioning between chords, fun and interesting way to do it is through walkdowns. Let’s take the example of transitioning from an open C chord to an open A minor chord. You can keep holding the C chord, take off both your middle and ring finger, place the middle finger on the second fret of the A string, then transition to an A minor chord.

What you just did in the middle, with your middle finger on the second fret of the A string, is called a walkaround.

Tip: play the walkdown note with more emphasis to accent the transition.

Add in Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

You can also try adding in hammer-ons and pull-offs since these are great ways of freshening up your acoustic guitar playing. These can be easy; you can finger a C chord, and then, hammer on your ring finger or your middle finger, or both!

Pull-offs can be a bit trickier on an acoustic guitar, but you can add them in as well once you develop sufficient grip and strength in your fingers.

We hope these tips were helpful to you as you learn about how to get better acoustic guitar. Add these in, and you’ll spark up your acoustic guitar playing in no time!

Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.