The Joy of Playing Guitar or NOT
I can remember wanting to be able to play guitar for years before I ever owned a guitar. Hearing sounds coming across the speakers that I knew I wanted to make those sounds too and make my own sounds.
Many of us feel this way. At some point we probably buy a guitar and try to learn how to play. Today, many are trying to learn from books, videos and the internet but the vast majority just create bad habits or can’t play a song all the way through or poor timing, the list goes on and on.
Very few people can actually teach themselves and the ones that do spend many hours a day. I am able to get my guitar students to play well, moving chord to chord, with good timing in just 15 minutes a day.
If you have the right method it takes a lot of the frustration out of learning the guitar. We don’t want to lose the joy and excitement that we had when we first picked the guitar up. We want that excitement and fun factor to increase..
After 30 years of playing I love playing more now than I ever have. I love learning new songs and new ideas. And I still use all of the ideas of how to practice that I teach my students. When learning something new, we have to play slowly and accurately and in small pieces. I can’t play it ripping fast unless it’s something that’s familiar to my hands. That’s how our minds and muscle memory work..
Unless it’s something my hands are somewhat familiar with. It takes a bit of time to build muscle memory to where it’s on auto pilot and we’re not adding tension.
Some ways we lose this joy and it isn’t fun anymore is because we just keep playing all the same things. And we don’t really play it all that well.
Record yourself playing, even if it’s on your phone and you’ll be able to hear your playing as others hear it. Learn a new style, if you only play rhythm, then learn some lead guitar, or learn why you are doing what you are doing with Music theory.
The guitar is unlimited as what you can learn. If you’ve never really learned an efficient practice method of how to continually get better, then find a good guitar teacher and learn it. Maybe writing songs would stoke your desire and increase the fun factor and recording it.
I found over many years that I have to compete with myself and top what I’ve previously done. Going to another level keeps me happy about what I’m doing and not comparing myself to others. Don’t compare your playing to anyone else. Comparison can really take the wind out of your sails to where you think I’ll never be that good so what’s the use.
And then you procrastinate and while others are improving you don’t practice. Just keep finding out what the next step is to get a little better and each year you’ll improve and in a few years you’ll be good and maybe many years later you’ll be great!
I had many students that are playing things they thought were not even achievable for them. That’s why I love to teach guitar.
If you have been playing for a few years and have learned and followed the path I’m talking about here then look back to when some of the things you are playing today didn’t even seem doable a short time ago. I try to assess my guitar playing, vocals and equipment each year and try to improve in each of those areas.
Enjoy the process, each time you learn a song or a new lick stop and admire what you just accomplished. It’s nice to have goals but if we don’t give ourselves credit and are always thinking about the next song or guitar lick we won’t feel like we really can play.
If you were an artist and painted something that took some skill, would you as soon as you finish it throw it in the corner not look at it and then pick up another easel and start on a new picture? No way. You would go back every once in awhile and admire your painting.
We need to admire our playing and any improvements we’re making no matter how small or large. I believe if you really get what I’m saying here you’ll be a lot happier playing guitar and will always continue to grow and improve. There are great rewards waiting for you if you maintain the right attitude!
Keep playing and have fun,