Fret No More: Your Comprehensive Guide to Guitar Expertise

Think you have what it takes to be the next 'Guitar Hero'? Scroll down and discover practical tips to help you level up!

March 18, 2024



The guitar is a popular instrument to learn in Singapore, and being able to play it well takes dedication and patience. But how do you improve? Just attend guitar lessons and practice, right? There is no correct answer to getting better at playing the guitar, and while lessons and practice do play an essential part in helping you improve your skill, proper care and maintenance of your instrument and mastering different techniques also play a part!      

In this blog post, we will cover some benefits of playing the guitar and expand on some of the tips we mentioned in our guide to help you master your guitar.    

A music school studio with a number of guitars and ukuleles ranging from electric, to classical and even a hot pink edition!
Why Play the Guitar?    

It is not uncommon to see or hear a busker happily singing while playing the guitar as you walk through the bustling streets of Singapore. The guitar is a delightful way to connect with people while expressing yourself through music. It can also help boost confidence levels with each public performance and aid in developing social skills when participating in jam sessions, for example.      

Research has shown that playing the guitar improves overall mental well-being by enhancing cognitive abilities through brain “exercises” (e.g. remembering chords while coordinating hand movements) and reducing stress by lowering cortisol levels.    

In short, the guitar is the perfect companion for your musical journey. It is a creative outlet with significant benefits whether you are a hobbyist or a professional player.    


How to Maintain & Care for Your Guitar    

Properly maintaining and caring for your guitar will reward you in the long run as you get to be in tune with your guitar long term and save yourself some money (or heartbreak) in the future.    

Washing your hands before playing your guitar reduces the chances of sweat coming into contact with the guitar strings, as it could contribute to your strings rusting quicker. If your strings get rusty anyway, fret not! You can always purchase new strings and have them replaced.      

Clean your guitar with a microfiber cloth. Include 1-2 drops of lemon oil for every 4-5 frets to rehydrate the fingerboard and “lower the chances of the neck drying out and cracking”.    

Store your guitar in its case in the proper way when not in use to ensure your guitar is dust-free and does not get affected by the humidity in Singapore, as “humidity can cause the wood of the guitar to expand", which can affect the intonation and the string action of the guitar.


Master Different Techniques    

Once you have built a solid foundation, challenge yourself by mastering techniques ranging from strumming patterns to fingerpicking, hammer-ons and pull-offs.        

Strumming patterns generally consist of either strumming up or strumming down. The key is getting the rhythm right to complement the melody of the tune you are playing. It could be hard to play it right off the bat, so try practising the pattern on a single chord and saying it out loud before practising with a song.    


Master fingerpicking by building dexterity in your fingers. Avoid rushing since you might pick up mistakes that could be hard to undo in the future. Trust the process and slowly but meticulously learn the movements to develop agility in your fingers naturally. Lastly, use any additional time you have to review the techniques and increase your speed from there.      

A hammer-on is when you play one note and hammer the identical string at a higher fret, and a pull-off is pulling your second finger off the fret. Learning these techniques enables you to “tie your notes together smoothly, cleanly and quickly with no silence between them.”    

A music teacher holding an electric guitar is seated across from his student who is also holding an electric guitar. They are both smiling.


Ear Training Exercises    

Aside from exercising your brain and fingers, try exercising your ears to aid your guitar mastery! It can help you sharpen your ability to recognise musical elements and be able to reproduce them just by hearing them.      

Various ear training methods focus on other aspects like identifying intervals, improving timing and beat creation and analysing melodies. It aids musicians in improvising and replicating musical passages. Even if you are a beginner, practising daily for 20 minutes makes a huge difference.      

Start with interval practice – which is the distance between two notes. Work on your ability to pick out intervals to improve your musical memory. Next, practice playing around with the scales to understand the differences. Major scales have a happy and bright sound, while minor scales are more solemn and blue.  


In addition, chord progressions, which determine the order of chords in a piece of music, have a vital role in moulding the shape of the sound and mood of a song. As you practice chord progressions, you understand the “harmonic context of music” and improve your ability to pick out and predict chord changes.”    


Ready to Level Up?    

Becoming a skilled guitarist takes dedication, practice and a lifelong commitment to learning. This guide has provided you with the advice needed to succeed. So, sayang your guitar, master the different techniques, and train your ears to develop more skills and confidence to continue expressing yourself through music in no time!      

Consider enrolling for guitar lessons with Aureus Academy, Singapore’s leading music school, and level up your guitar skills with our experienced teachers, tailored lessons and opportunities to perform! Click here to book a free trial lesson with us!    



Guitar Maintenance | Guitar Care | Мusic Gateway (musicgateway.com)  

7 Essential Strumming Patterns for Guitar (from Easy to Advanced) | StringKick  

How to Build Finger Dexterity - 3 Tips | Fender Guitars  

Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs | How to Play Guitar | Fender  

10 Essential Musical Ear Training Tips for Beginners (anthemtuition.co.uk)

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