Strategies to help you keep learning and playing guitar, instead of just having one in your closet.
There are lots of ways for you to try and learn guitar.
Mobile apps, video games, youtube videos, books, online courses, guitar classes, or taking guitar lessons one-on-one with a guitar teacher.
There is no shortage of information, or of ways for you to get that information so you can try to put it to use.
However, most guitar students do not really succeed at learning to play their guitar.
After a few weeks or months, they get frustrated with what they see as a lack of progress or just too much to do and put the guitar down.
In this article, you’ll get an overview of some strategies you can use to help make sure you keep playing your guitar - instead of just having one in your closet.
While there is plenty of information out there about what you should learn, there is very little information available about how you should learn it.
In this article you will learn some strategies that will help keep you playing guitar, having fun with your music, and making progress in your guitar playing skills.
Know what you want to get out of your guitar lessons
Whenever you’re starting something new, it helps to have some sort of goal in mind.
When you start taking guitar lessons, it helps to have something a little more specific than “I want to learn how to play guitar.”
Is there a song you really like? Do you want to start a band with your friends? Do you want to be able to write songs?
Keeping a big goal in mind will help you stay on track with your guitar lessons.
Taking lessons with a good guitar teacher will help you reach your goal faster, while showing you all the little steps along the way that will make your goal into a reality.
Find a great guitar teacher
Any time you try something new, it’s helpful to have someone there to show you the ropes. Learning to play the guitar is the same way.
Having a good guitar teacher will help you make more progress in less time than you could on your own.
Your guitar teacher can help you build the right habits, develop strong fundamental skills, and have more fun as you learn to play your guitar.
A great teacher will make your guitar lessons enjoyable while helping you fine-tune what you already know, develop new skills, and learn to play your favorite music on your guitar.
Click here to find a guitar teacher in Eugene, Oregon.
Make playing guitar into a habit
When it comes down to it, all the best guitar players I’ve ever met are just the ones who play guitar the most.
For your own playing, remember this: the more you play your guitar, the better you will get.
It helps if you can build your habit around something else you do every day. Over time, playing guitar will just become an automatic part of your daily routine.
And it doesn’t all have to be strict practice, either.
Whether you’re actively trying to improve your playing or just messing around with songs - the key is to just play your guitar.
For me, I sit down with my first cup of coffee and practice guitar first thing in the morning.
For you it might be right after you get home from work or school, on your lunch break, or right before bed.
Ask your guitar teacher for ideas on how to make playing guitar into a habit.
Practice Fundamental, Mechanical Skills
The fundamentals of good guitar playing are essential at all levels of your guitar playing.
Anything you will ever really want to play will require good fundamental guitar skills.
Many teachers and students make the mistake of chasing down more information as a way of making progress.
The truth is, it’s one thing to know the theory - and another to be able to make the sound on your guitar.
Over the years I’ve met many young musicians on a variety of instruments who had tons of knowledge in their head, but struggled to get that knowledge to come out of their instruments.
You can avoid this problem by doing one thing - focus your practice on mechanical skills.
Things like getting your fingers comfortable with a new chord shape, playing through a new scale pattern - anything you have to physically do on the guitar.
That is your path to getting better.
Remember - most of the problems guitar players face are mechanical, not musical.
It becomes easier and easier to understand the theory once you have the mechanics under your fingers.
Slow things down to learn them faster
One of the main mistakes that we all make when it comes to playing guitar is that we try to play too fast - even when we’re just learning something for the first time.
On one level, you understand you are a beginner who hasn’t done this before.
But on another level, you are already good at a lot of things - and you expect that skill from other areas to transfer over to your guitar playing.
The number one thing you can do to help you become a better guitar player is to SLOW DOWN when you practice your guitar.
Go slow, develop your motor skills, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to play your guitar.
If you find you have trouble actually slowing yourself down, ask your guitar teacher for some ideas to help.
Do one thing at a time
Everyday we deal with overwhelm. We get buried with work, notifications from your phone, junk email, TV, and more - constantly trying to handle several things at once.
You probably do the same thing with your guitar playing.
And to be fair, it can feel like there are a million things for you to learn - and limited time to learn them in.
In the beginning, it will feel like you are dealing with tons of different skills - chords, scales, arpeggios, strumming, reading music or TAB, picking exercises, and more.
As you improve though, you will start to see that everything you do in guitar lessons is connected.
By focusing in on just one skill, you will get better at everything over time.
Pick just one thing to work on for a week, and you’ll notice a couple of things:
I like to pick one skill for a period of time, and then change to a deep focus on a different skill. Try it in your own practice, and see if it works for you.
Things to think about
Not everything we start to do is easy, but sometimes it just takes some simple steps to keep yourself on the right track.
It’s no different with taking guitar lessons.
It’s easy to fall into a mode of trying to collect knowledge, but never actually putting it to use.
Things that you can do to make sure you actually succeed at learning to play guitar:
As a guitar teacher, I coach my students to work on building a level of skill that will allow them to play songs, understand new concepts and ideas, and make the music that they want to make.
I help them develop the dexterity, skill, and control that will allow them to easily understand how music works.
And more importantly, they will have the ability to play the music they want to play on their guitar.
Whatever you choose to do with your guitar, consistency is the key. Playing a little bit almost every day is always going to beat marathon guitar sessions once a week.
The best way for you to learn is to take guitar lessons with a good guitar teacher.
Click here to learn more.
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