I always check in with students and try to see how they “feel” about their guitar playing. Most of my students get a great result and continue to progress. Once in a while I’ll see a student that’s just not making the progress he should so it’s time to investigate and find out why. Are they frustrated, why? Do they not enjoy the process? Are they playing but not practicing? Are they having fun or does it seem like school? Some are just not picking up the guitar at all and have lost their passion. There could be a lot of reasons why they aren’t improving. I want to put in bold letters a phrase I use personally and helped tons of students get on track with.
MOTIVATION COMES WITH DOING!
Simple but so true. If you pick the guitar for 5 minutes a day you will improve. Sometimes it’s just that very act of physically putting it in your hands and then you “feel” like playing. Keep your instrument out on a stand, we need easy access. What are you going to play when you pick it up?Your guitar instructor needs to lay out a practice routine for you and also adjust if it’s not working. Don’t try to work on too many things at once. If you’re a beginner, you only need 15 to 20 minutes a day. Intermediate students anywhere from 30 minutes on up. Advanced students have a lot they have to maintain besides new material. Minimum of an hour a day. When I really started to get good is when I was practicing 3 to 5 hours a day, that got me good enough to get in some of the best bands. Try to stay on track with your teacher’s plan. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
I used to use a notebook and would write Mon-Sun at the top and make columns for each day. I listed what I practiced and how much time. Let’s say I’m working on Finger picking and the first couple days I just practice on one chord. Then add a second chord. Then start trying to switch them in time. So maybe by the end of the week I can play a chord progression with the picking pattern.. That will definitely motivate you to practice. I could really see week by week, month by month and year by year getting better. Always carve out time to have fun and jam but make sure you do the things that will make you a better guitar player.
Just make up your mind to stay in it for life. Know what a good guitar teacher consists of and seek him out. I have many students that’s been with me for years, they won’t give up and I continue to motivate them to reach new levels of playing they never thought possible when they first started. It’s a journey, plain and simple, sometimes moving in a straight line and sometimes has detours. It really is an elite club, the people that can play and continue to work on this gift we call music. Be intentional, let’s persevere and just keep at it!