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Straight Talk to Beginners on Guitar Learning

Sunday, February 05, 2012
Don’t let head-games steal your guitar playing future! Many future guitar players get way out of whack as they start learning and their head games end up forfeiting their guitar playing future. They start learning with great enthusiasm, practice a few times, hit the inevitable first wall of frustration, and immediately give up.

It doesn’t need to be this way! Just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Straight Talk to Beginners on Guitar LearningIn fact, you just might be doing exactly all of the right things! Sure it's boring and difficult at these early stages. If guitar playing were easy, everyone would do it. That’s why there will always be more guitar “wanna-bes” than guitar players.

But you have made the life-changing decision to switch camps and you are going to be the one that will reap the rewards of it.

There's no way to become a guitar player with real skills without walking through the plateaus of the hard, boring work of learning.

If you are currently in the swamp of learning your notes and chords (Sessions 1-6)… here's my gut-wrenching professional advice after walking thousands of people through these waters and turning them into real guitar players.

1) Don't overthink it. Just practice a little bit each day on these early fundamental skills. Swallow your pride and play these simple little songs and exercises until you master them.

2) Don't worry about how you "feel". Your day-to-day feelings at this stage of your development are no indication of how you are doing or how far you will be able to go with guitar playing. It's a sheer game of time, effort, concentration, and skill acquisition. The one who does the work gets the prize – the rest are back in the “wanna-be” camp.

3) Treat guitar practicing like brushing your teeth or going to the gym. Make it a routine – something that you do each day.

PLAYING TIP: Skill doesn't care who you are or how you feel about how it’s going, it's about what you do.

4) Find a set practice time, not a flexible one. Practicing "when you get around to it" is never as effective or fast as establishing a specific time each day to practice. Find a time that works for you, go and practice as best as you can, and punch the time card every day.

5) After practice, put your guitar away and don't analyze how you feel things went or didn't go. You're not allowed to self-analyze for 3 months. Just do the work as best as you can each day and let the system do its work. Do your best and forget the rest.

Here’s the deal. At the early stages of guitar learning, it's just skills. Once you can get your notes down, and the basic chords down - Sessions 1-6 - then you can go into any area of guitar playing with a firm foundation. But without them, you’ll be struggling for the rest of your musical life.

A bit blunt I know, but I don't want you to waste your time and feel hopeless. There's nothing to feel hopeless about. It is just skills - skills that can be acquired by pretty much anyone through a simple means of daily, concentrated practice.

There is a lot of music to play. You'll get there.
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