by Maurice Richard
You see someone playing the guitar and you want to be able to do that. Who doesn’t? It looks fun and cool.
Learning how to play guitar is probably one of the things most people would like to do. But not everyone attempts it.
Then there are some that try to learn but do not get very far and quit. Others make it further but get stuck and don’t know how to move forward.
How can you be the one who makes it through and learns how to play the guitar successfully and become a good guitar player?
1. You Need A Strong Desire To Learn
Of course you need a desire to learn to play the guitar in order to achieve that end. That’s absolutely the essential starting point. However a desire is not enough.
The key word in this case is strong. Most people in the world probably have a desire to learn to play the guitar. And probably want to be able to play it well.
However, not many people attain that level. Why? That’s because it is not a very strong desire for those people. It’s more like a wish. Something they would like to do. Someday.
Don’t fall into that trap. A strong desire to learn guitar is something that will help you overcome the frustrations that will come. It will help you carve out the time each night to practice.
Without a strong desire you simply will not commit to the long-term process required to learn to play the guitar.
You can cultivate this by seeing yourself playing the guitar as often as you can. See yourself successful already.
2. You Must Have Perseverance To Overcome Obstacles
Once you have the strong desire you need to learn to stick with it. Learning how to play the guitar is not the easiest thing to do in the world. If it were everyone would do it.
There are physical limitations to overcome. There are mental barriers to climb over. You have to commit your time, energy and money to accomplish all of this too.
So when things go south at some point, and they usually do, you need to be prepared to stick with it. You need to push through and not give up.
That may require you to go into maintenance mode or slow down your progress at some point as you learn, but you need to do everything you can to keep moving and not stop learning, playing and practicing. Do not give up.
Perseverance goes hand in hand with desire of course. Without a strong desire you will not likely persevere. However just because you do have a strong desire does not mean you won’t quit at some point.
I have many students come to me that have a strong desire to learn the guitar who quit when they were younger. Then, 20 years later, they are finally getting back into it.
They always regret stopping because they can see very quickly how much further they would be now had they simply kept going, even if it was minimal.
Even if you can only carve out 5 or 10 minutes on busy days, it is much better to do this than doing nothing. It will help you keep the habit going.
3. Without Consistent Discipline You Will Not Get Very Far
One of the biggest culprits that sidetrack people and make it much more difficult to learn to play the guitar successfully is a lack of discipline and consistency. For most it makes it impossible to be honest.
If you do not have the discipline to consistently practice every day, it will be very difficult to learn and progress quickly enough for you to maintain the proper motivation to keep going.
For one thing callouses will not develop properly which cause you to press harder to make a decent sound. That means more strain on muscles on tendons too.
This leads fatigue and the possibility of injury. But it also means your ability to form chords and change them regresses every day you do not practice them.
It’s like taking one step forward by practicing today, then taking 2 steps back by missing 2 days and so on.
If you have the desire and the perseverance already, you should be able to carve out a daily practice time. It does not have to be a huge block of time either.
In actual fact it is perfectly fine and sometimes better for people starting out to break their practice times into smaller chunks.
And if you have a crazy day you can probably squeeze in at least a small session to maintain your callouses and muscle strength as mentioned in the previous section.
This is critically important on a mental level because as you discipline yourself to practice daily you see more progress, you enjoy the process more and are more likely to continue until you reach your goals.
4. Confidence Is Imperative
Confidence is needed in different areas when it comes to learning to play the guitar. The first and most important is for you to believe you can do it. Many beginner guitar players struggle with this and you may relate.
This confidence is difficult to get at first if you try to learn on your own because things do not always go well and seem harder than you expected. So the doubts quickly creep in and can overcome your initial confidence.
I assure you however that unless you have severe physical limitations you can successfully learn to play the guitar. Give yourself a chance.
The next level of confidence is in the method of learning you are using. A lot of methods come with big promises including many teachers who are available in your area.
You start eager and trusting that not only does this method work but that it will work for you. But soon after you begin you start to feel this is not for you or that you are not able to learn.
It is hard and overwhelming. It seems like you overestimated your ability. So your confidence in the method dissipates.
This is where you may mistakenly start blaming yourself for the lack of success. Maybe you don’t have what it takes, maybe you are not meant for it, etc. It’s probably not you; the method you chose likely does not work for you.
The secret to overcoming this and being confident in your ability to learn to play every step of the way is to know what you need to learn and what the proper order you need to learn it in.
But how do you get this? How do you know what you should learn at every stage? You don’t. That’s why most methods out there do not work for you because they do not know you or take you into consideration. They just give you stuff to learn in whatever order they think you should learn.
What you need instead is someone that will look at where you are and then get you where you want to be and personalize to you!
5. The Key For You Is to Find A Good Teacher
This is one of the most important keys for you to successfully learn to play the guitar. Why? Because a good teacher will help develop and foster all of the other key elements already mentioned above.
Of course you have to have the initial desire to learn but a good teacher will help increase this desire by creating a plan for you that builds from one success to another.
And when you are successful it’s pretty easy to believe you can accomplish something and persevere. But if you do get stuck, a good teacher will know it and they will know how to help you push through too.
Not everyone is disciplined in his or her life and a good teacher will know this. They will find ways to help you progress in class and at home based on how disciplined you are or aren’t. They will have different strategies to help you.
Finally, confidence is what you need more than anything else. If you do not believe you can achieve your goal to learn to play the guitar, if you do not believe the method or the teacher can get you the result you desire, you will not do it. Period.
A good guitar teacher will guide you every step of the way. They will know what the right things are for you to learn and the right order for you to learn them in. This way you avoid most if not all of the problems and frustrations that come with learning to play the guitar. You will experience success every step of the way and this will boost your confidence continuously.
You Can Learn To Play The Guitar
Learning to play the guitar can be difficult. It does take time. If you have the 5 key elements of desire, perseverance, discipline, confidence and a good teacher, you will be a lot more likely to succeed.
You may think that you lack in some of the areas above. Most of us do. That’s why the most important of the 5 keys is to find a good teacher.
When you find a really good teacher that is properly trained on how to teach the guitar they will help you find or cultivate your weak areas. They will inspire you and show you the way you need to go. They will literally hold your hand and walk you all the way to the result you want.
So go out there and start looking for the right teacher and you will be successful! You will learn how to play the guitar!
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 many people how to learn to play the guitar. Visit his website now to find out how you can learn to apply the five elements you need to learn to play guitar.