Here are the simple things you need to be aware of and understand before you begin to learn the guitar, and these understandings must be applied the first time you sit down to practice, and forever after. If this is done, anybody, including you, can learn to play the guitar, and play it well.
The awareness of the physical body and especially all the muscles needed to play the guitar, must be much greater for the guitar player than it is for the average person. In normal life, we never need the same kind of fine motor control that we need in playing the guitar. Everyone has a different amount of natural awareness of their body, some have a lot, some have a little. The important things is: everyone can increase the awareness they do have, by using certain techniques.
All the muscles in your body are connected. The movement of one muscle affects the condition of other muscles. The movement of one finger tenses the finger next to it. In the beginning, every time you move a finger, you will be tensing up other fingers. Every time you move your arm, you will be unknowingly tensing other parts of your body. This is called Sympathetic Tension. It is your greatest enemy in learning guitar.
Excess tension in the muscles, especially the muscles of the arms and hands, is deadly to playing the guitar. It will either severely limit your playing ability, or it will prevent you from developing any playing ability. Why?
Your muscles remember everything they do, even the tension they feel. Because of this fact, the tension you unknowingly create during practice will be locked in to the muscles. Right from the beginning, this tension will make all finger movements feel difficult, or impossible. You will begin to develop habits of tension as part of how you play the guitar. You will think these uncomfortable feelings are normal, the way it is supposed to be.
As time goes by, you will start to become unaware of feelings of tension, as you pay less and less attention to them. The longer this goes on, the worse shape you will be in, and the more work will be required to become aware of, and undo these knots of tension.
Body Tension Destroys Finger Control
These knots of tension will make you lose control of your fingers while playing, especially playing fast, and especially in front of other people. When you have trouble playing well, and when you see other people do things you can't do, you will think they have more talent than you do. You won't know that if you did not have the physical tensions locked in to the muscles needed to play, you would be able to do what they are doing.
I hope I have convinced you that the best thing you can do for yourself is to have "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" as the foundation of your efforts to learn the most wonderful instrument ever invented! I have dedicated my life to enabling people to learn to play the guitar, and my teaching will enable you to play too!
To learn more about how "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" will enable you to successfully learn the guitar, read...