I “feel” like I can’t play, maybe this guitar thing is not for me?

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guitar lessons

There are students once in a while that even they are playing fine, they can strum songs, finger pick, even solo a bit and with good timing and still “feel like they can’t really play. You may “feel” this way but don’t know how to change it. This article is the reasoning behind it and how it’s only a hurtful process that actually make you quit guitar out of frustration. We need to change this thinking.

I’ve worked with so many age groups, gender and levels of playing ability and sometimes even when you can give a student evidence they are playing fine they still don’t accept it. Let’s talk about some ideas that will hopefully change how you feel. I make sure that my students practice for part of the lesson in front of me and make sure they can at least do what they need to practice over the next 6 days in slow motion at least. We also video me doing a summary of how to practice it and I see the difference in the consistently successful students that make sure they understand the steps it takes to pull it off. Students that watch the videos first definitely get a better result and learn quicker..You need to have a system when you are practicing on your own to assess if you’re practicing correctly. I use the ideas of Green light, yellow light, and Red light. Green light is when I’ve played it right 5 or 10 times in a row. I might do some more repetition’s and even improve it further. If I play it 10 times and played it 3 times wrong then I need to look at the video again and figure out what am I doing wrong. If it’s just not working for you and you are getting frustrated then leave alone and play something that’s fun for a couple minutes then come back to it. We don’t want to get frustrated with the guitar. Most of my students come in with Green light results and then they learn how to make better in the next lesson. Accomplishment feels really even if it’s a small accomplishment it’s still moving forward. I had an older student who said if he couldn’t play in a year he would quit. For about 10 months he wouldn’t practice like I asked so I challenged him to look at the videos first and do one step at a time. The results were dramatic and he’s playing a lot of the things he always wanted to play. That’s the cool factor of guitar teaching to see someone enjoy playing and having fun and knowing and feeling I can do this.

The vast amount of work done on the guitar is alone and we’re constantly thinking about and assess how we’re doing. If I 4 or 5 sessions a week think to myself I suck then no matter what is really happening I will believe I suck. And it’s useless to compare your playing to anyone else because you don’t know truly how much time they practice or if you watched them practice maybe they nearly always are doing the right things. Give yourself credit. Sometimes as we get better and we want more and more songs and more and more guitar licks and we don’t appreciate what we just taught ourselves. Stop and give yourself credit. You deserve it. Even for the small improvements. Each increment is getting you closer and closer to what you really want to play. Think back 6 months ago and probably what you play now wasn’t even a possibility. It only gets better from there! If you need help with guitar playing problems that frustrate you, please contact me at sidbardfield@gmail.com. I do Skype lessons or if you are local to New Orleans, Metairie, or Kenner, La. I do private lessons. Keep playing, keep moving forward!


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