I know that the going can get pretty tough trying to learn guitar at times, in fact, I remember my own experiences as a beginner quite well. I can still see myself sitting on my bed and trying to get from Em to G or worse still G to F, feeling the frustration as my fingers just wouldn’t co-operate.
The worst feeling was a sensation of standing still despite practicing, at times it seemed my practice actually did nothing to improve me. Fair is fair right? I mean, if I practice I deserve to improve!
The ‘mystery’ of it all was something I also struggled with in the beginning – how is music put together? Why does it work? The theory, keys and complicated chord names were a complete foreign language to me and so called ‘easy books’ did nothing to explain it to me in a way I could genuinely understand.
Well that was just the beginning of it and at that time I still had no idea of all the things which lay ahead of me as I tried to squeeze some music out of that guitar in the coming years. If my recollections are striking a chord (excuse the pun!) with you then I hope it’s starting to demonstrate that your experience of learning guitar to date is common and normal.
Certainly there are easier and more difficult ways to go about learning guitar – as you know, the method you use to learn is a massive factor in deciding how hard or easy your experience will be. Beyond that however, all beginners must earn the right to play guitar through effort and the motivation to succeed.
The first thing I really want to say to you is this – You have lots of time.
I mean that when we first start learning guitar or even re-visit it after many years there can be an explosion of motivation to learn and improve. But this feeling is unsustainable and will fade. Try not to be in a race ‘to get there’. Nothing wholesome such as playing a musical instrument is going to come overnight and you must also take into account your own natural aptitude for learning the instrument. In a sense each one of us has an inbuilt speed limit for learning this thing or that, it’s as natural to us as the colour of our eyes so you can see there’s little point in trying to force it.
It’s not so important if you are overflowing with motivation to learn now, it’s about how you’ll be feeling in 6 months time from now – the same? Pace yourself, it’s a long road.
Secondly – Practice correctly and do a little each and every day.
All things come with time, do your practice and forget about it. Don’t get emotionally attached and let guitar have the power to depress you. Everyone will get there in the end with this universal law of correct practice over time – consistency basically. Even the highest and most impossible walls will fall to that.
Remember that I’m always happy to help you out too, drop me an email and I’ll give my best advice. Part of the reason why Guitar in a Nutshell is so effective with beginners and improvers is because I can remember vividly what my own experience felt like.