Is learning the guitar boring for you and not quite what you expected it to be? Do you take guitar lessons but don’t feel that they are paying off? Does the process of learning guitar seem too tedious and repetitive? I know all too well the feeling of boring guitar lessons that just make you want to give up. After reading this article, you will likely gain some insight as to why you may not be having as much fun as you should be, and some possible remedies for your situation.
Here are 6 reasons why you may not be having fun learning the guitar, and what you can do about it.
Reason #1: Your progress is not steadily increasing
This is a big one. Of course, if you are taking lessons from a teacher but you are not receiving the desired results, it is time to make a change! However, I know of many guitar students who did not realize that their lack of progress was due to ineffective teaching strategies. Obviously, as a student, you may not know what kind of progress to expect. Just know that I have met guitar players who have learned for years (yes, years!) from teachers and I was astounded at their lack of knowledge and progress. The truth is, they always thought it was their own fault and they just did not have it in themselves to reach their desired skill level. Guitar lessons should enable you to independently do all the things you want to on guitar.
Reason #2: You do not apply what you learn
If you learn something, a technique, music theory concept, a scale, lick, arpeggio etc, you need to implement it. See, knowing something is totally different from being able to execute it in a real life musical context. If you don’t practice implementing it, you eventually lose the skill or knowledge because it wasn’t relevant to you. Even if you retain the knowledge, what good is it if you don’t use it?
Reason #3: You lack of good instruction and direction
Before I got good guitar coaching, I didn’t realize that I was getting poor guitar coaching. I innocently thought that all guitar lessons were the same, so it didn’t matter whether I went to one music school or another. It didn’t matter to me whether I was taking lessons from one teacher or another. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I didn’t really enjoy the lessons that much and eventually quit lessons because of it. I then decided to teach myself and was having a lot of fun doing so, but sacrificed years of progress by trying to learn on my own.
Of course, now I know that there is no real substitute for a good guitar teacher – imagine guitar lessons that are so fun that you look forward to them every week and can’t wait to get back home to practice what you learned. Imagine knowing that you WILL reach your guitar playing dreams and can see it happening. Why would you take lessons from anyone else!
Reason #4: Your practice lacks variety
If you keep doing the same old things day in, day out, it will get boring! There are many different elements that go into the process of learning guitar, so there’s lots of things to work on. Of course, you don’t want to go about it in a random fashion, so your practice routines should incorporate different categories of exercises, and also different exercises within each category. Even if you are working towards overcoming a specific element in your guitar playing, there are loads of ways of varying just one exercise so that it does not become stale. A good guitar teacher can help you out in this area if you are unsure of what you can do.
Reason #5: You keep getting distracted
If you are a student of the guitar, learning ‘new things’ is usually fun, but it is usually on the surface level. Here’s what I mean. Before I had a good teacher, I used to browse the internet for all kinds of information in pursuit of becoming a better guitar player and to increase my music knowledge. While it was interesting and exciting to read and learn new things, I realized that I didn’t really ‘learn’ anything. I couldn’t do anything with the information I learned, and even worse, once the novelty of the new idea wore off, I didn’t bother with the piece of information anymore. I was ‘seduced’ by learning new things all the time that it distracted me from pursuing what I needed to focus on. Over time, I found that I was not having fun learning anymore because it didn’t really help me get better. In short, don’t get distracted by shiny objects!
Reason #6: You do not have goals
I have met many aspiring guitar players who simply do not know what they want to do on guitar. They haven’t set any targets to aim for, and end up not really achieving anything. Think about this – if you do not have goals, how would you even create a practice routine that ensures you are focused on any outcome of any kind?
Set short, mid and long-term goals for yourself so that you don’t get distracted and you can keep progressing in the direction that will ultimately lead you to your goals. About the author: Vishaal Kapoor is a professional guitar teacher in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia who teaches guitar players how to have fun learning and playing the guitar. Do you need help with your guitar playing skills? Get the best guitar training in Kuala Lumpur at GuitarKL.com.