When first learning how to play guitar, the hardest thing to do is to just get started. The fear of being judged or feeling as if you are not good enough or will never be good enough seems to come out of nowhere and suddenly paralyzes you with fear. Your guitar just sits there in the case untouched for days, weeks, months or even years in some instances.
What is it that stops you from going ahead with taking guitar lessons? Why do so many potential guitar students stop short of picking up the phone or emailing a local teacher and starting guitar lessons?
There are five main reasons that stop you from taking any action, lets take a look at what those five reasons are.
- There is so much to learn, where do I start?
It might sound strange but many people never even start playing guitar because of this thought. Just the thought of not knowing where to start or what to do first will cause some to put off taking lessons. They will come up with any number of excuses to put off taking lessons. Some will start out trying to teach themselves only to eventually realize that they are getting nowhere and will finally sign up and start taking guitar lessons. Yet, some others will take no action at all and simply give up without ever even trying to live up to their potential.
Get started by looking for a guitar teacher in your area who can help put you on the right path. A great guitar teacher will know exactly where you should start and will help you along the way to make sure that you make progress and enjoy playing guitar. Don’t let this fear get in your way and prevent you from getting started with playing guitar.
2. What if I’m not good enough?
Some people think that they won’t be good enough to play guitar well and never bother to seek out a teacher for lessons. They have given up on playing guitar without any actual proof that they won’t be able to play guitar or be a good guitar player.
If you believe this, you may also believe that you need to have natural talent to be able to play guitar. This is simply not true. The best guitar players in the world all started at the same place. They knew absolutely nothing about playing guitar. They didn’t just pick up the guitar one day and play great, it took years and years of dedication, practice and focus to get to the point they are at right now. At one point though, they were complete beginners that didn’t know where to get started and some might have even thought that they weren’t good enough.
3. Not Right Now, I want to take lessons but I can’t right now.
This is fear talking again. Sometimes the idea of taking lessons and being face to face with a teacher is intimidating. There is no reason to be intimidated at all.
A good teacher is going to be there to help you and give you all of the tools you need to be successful. They will also understand how you feel and relate to you because they were once a beginner, just like you are.
Another thing that happens when you put things off until later is that the excitement that you first had about playing guitar will start to fade. Possibly even fading to the point where your guitar sits for months or even years before you even think about playing it or taking lessons.
You might not ever play it at this point. You will also see the money that you spent on the guitar as wasted money. If you have made the initial investment of buying a guitar, you owe it to yourself to make sure that you get the most out of your investment by learning how to play.
4. Thinking all guitar lessons and teachers are the same
When looking for teachers, beginning students don’t know what qualities to look for in a great teacher. They will ask friends and family for advice but more times than not, they won’t know how to do this either which leaves you even more confused than you were before.
When searching for a teacher the thought many prospective students have is:
All guitar teachers are the same and all guitar lessons are the same and they should simply go with the cheapest teacher they can find.
BIG MISTAKE! What prospective students don’t realize is that most teachers simply
‘Wing it’ when it comes to teaching their students. There is no plan, no organization, no keeping track of student progress and no proven teaching methods for getting big results for their students (and getting them quickly).
Taking lessons with this kind of teacher will ultimately cost you far more money in the long because your skills will consistently be out of balance. You may have a lot of information but you won’t know how and when to use it. Studying with an experienced teacher who uses effective and proven strategies is your best choice because they will avoid putting you in this type of predicament. You will learn the right things, at the right time and in the right way.
There is nothing at all wrong with expecting to be the best guitar player that you can be. The problem is in thinking that it is going to happen right away. Guitar is the coolest instrument that you could possibly play but it is going to take time to get there. You will find guitar to be challenging from the very beginning and that is perfectly normal. Developing the mechanics and the skills that you will need in order to become the musician you have dreamed of being takes time.
There is no definitive amount of time that it will take but it is recommended that you allow yourself at least a year worth of lessons and practicing to be able to make a fair assessment. Many beginners pick up their guitars, see that it isn’t going to be as easy as it seemed and get discouraged. Don’t let this happen to you. Understand that this is a process and it doesn’t happen (for you or for anyone) overnight.
Patience and determination are the keys here. The longer you stick with it, the more results you will see and the more inspired you will become to keep up your positive momentum. In short, don’t give up, don’t quit. Believe in yourself and remember your ultimate goal(s).
If you avoid these pitfalls when first you are first learning to play guitar, you will find the process of learning to play guitar much more enjoyable and easier.
About the Author: Byron Marks gives guitar lessons in Manchester, New Hampshire to students ranging from 9 years old to 65 years old.