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Everyone is a beginner at some point. And when it comes to learning guitar, there are many things to know at the beginning of your journey that will help avoid future roadblocks as you progress. Ayla Tesler-Mabe shares four things she wished she knew when she first started playing the guitar.

1. Practice Minor Pentatonic Scales – ”Practice your scales!” That’s something you’ll often hear. But even with all the information about scales, it’s hard to know where they fit in with the music. One scale worth knowing that you can immediately incorporate in your playing is the minor pentatonic scale. Ayla explains how to play them and how they can be moved around to use in any key.

2. Practice Vibrato – Vibrato isn’t something that you only implement later in your guitar journey. The sooner you practice it, the sooner it feels like you’re actually playing music. Adding vibrato is like adding a layer of expression and overall takes your playing to a whole new level. Practicing this technique helps you find your voice on the instrument!

3. Practice Major Scales – If you want to eventually dive into the world of music theory, knowing your major scales is a great stepping stone. It’s a great exercise for dexterity, but more importantly, it helps you understand how the guitar is laid out. Ayla gives a quick lesson on what intervals are and how they apply to the major scales and the guitar.

4. Play Music – The main reason you picked up the guitar was to play music, right? Ayla’s final tip is to find a song you love that uses a technique you want to learn and learn it! That way you always have the musical context to fall back on and you’ll connect with the music you’re creating. It’s not always about the exercises, it’s about playing!

Ayla’s advice will encourage you to play guitar in a way where you can express yourself, play actual music, and have a deeper understanding of the instrument. And you’ll be avoiding many common beginner mistakes!

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