3 Things I Did Not Do That Made Learning Guitar Harder And Take Much Longer
I remember when I first started to learn to play guitar. I did not even own a guitar yet so I used my girlfriend's.
She taught me a few chords she knew and that she had figured out easily but things did not go so well for me! I struggled with them.
That's ok. I tried other ways. I found some books at the local music stores and started to use them to learn. Boring!!! So, I stopped that pretty quickly.
The Internet did not exist like it does today and Google was not even conceived yet, but since I was going to University I had access to sites that had guitar materials.
They were written by musicians and went straight over my head. Way too complicated and totally overwhelming.
You do not want to make the same mistakes that I did.
Here are 3 things I did not do that I would do differently if I could go back to my early days of learning to play guitar.
1. I Did Not Stay Committed
When things got boring or difficult I just stopped.
That's not a very high commitment level. I could use the "I was young and stupid" argument here but in the end had I plowed through and stayed committed to learning I would have learned sooner.
I kept getting frustrated and stopping. Then weeks, months and sometimes years would pass by before I would try again and then stop and repeat the process.
When I look back it amazes me how much I could have improved even by doing the silly boring stuff and keeping my skills at least at the same level instead of constantly falling back.
So even if you are not making huge progress right now, or if some of the things you are learning are boring, do your best to keep going and not stop. Stay committed but look for better ways at the same time.
2. I Did Not Buy Myself A Quality Guitar
I just used my girlfriend's guitar and as it turns out, it was not a very good one.
To my defense, I was totally clueless about different quality guitars. I thought they were all pretty much the same so I never even thought to go look at better ones.
My girlfriend's guitar was a cheap one. The strings were very far from the frets which made it nearly impossible to push down and even hear a bad note or chord without a large amount of pressure.
This slowed me down tremendously and because I was using so much pressure it slowed my progress and caused really bad habits to creep into my playing which I had to fix later in life.
Because of that I experienced a huge amount of frustration when learning to play and it nearly caused me to quit guitar altogether.
Don't make the same mistake. Go find a quality guitar that is easy to play.
Even better, start with an electric instead of an acoustic! That's what I would do if I started again today!
3. I Did Not Look For A Teacher To Help Me
The funny thing is that for many years I had no clue you could get someone to teach you guitar.
I thought you had to learn it all on your own. I did not know anyone who had learned to play any other way.
Until I visited my wife's aunt one day and her daughter had to go - for guitar lessons? I was amazed and felt pretty silly that I had never known this was possible.
I would like to say that I immediately went to look for a guitar teacher after that experience but I did not do that. I did not make it a priority and let it slip.
So, the frustration of trying to lean on my own continued. I did finally start to improve over time but it was not quick at all and it was still not that good.
The Key For Me Was Finding A Guitar Teacher
I came to a point in my playing where I was stuck.
I was not good at it, I was not getting better and I did not know what to do to move beyond it. I was becoming very frustrated.
I started to think that I was not made for this, that I was not born with the talent, and that I was never going to get better. I was getting closer to quitting guitar forever.
But then I remembered my wife's cousin. So, I decided to try one more thing. I decided to look for a guitar teacher to help me.
Once I found this person my playing finally started to improve and I started to like it. I'm still with this teacher and I am enjoying the journey to more advanced skills!
About The Author:
Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught hundreds of people learn how to play guitar the easier way.
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