It is slightly ironic that most musicians quit playing music within the first year of them learning to play. During this time, the fundamentals and building blocks of playing music are learned, which are then expanded upon in later years.
When all of the basic stuff is out of the way, then the real fun of not only playing, but also CREATING on the guitar starts to happen.
Most beginners want to be able to pick up a guitar and play lightening fast cool riffs right away. We know that this of course is not the case, leading a lot of beginners to become frustrated when playing an instrument isn’t as easy as their favorite players make it look.
You would be surprised how many kids come to me and complain about how they don’t sound like Slash after only three months of playing.
This initial learning phase is something that EVERY SINGLE ONE of your favourite guitar players went through when they started playing.
Many music teachers (especially guitar teachers) are clueless about their own students’ learning habits. This usually occurs because of improper training, or because that teacher has no training at all on the subject of HOW to teach music properly. So what usually happens is either the student is taught in a very linear way (like the way we teach math) hindering his/her potential as a musician, or the student is forced to learn to read musical notation.
Music notation is a great tool in a musician’s arsenal, letting them read and write songs, sight read for a performance, and discuss music in depth with other musicians. But most (and I mean 99%) beginner musicians are not ready to learn notation in the first year of their musical growth simply because it DOES NOT APPLY to their current musical goals.
Think of it like this, when you start playing music, do you want to learn how to create your own solos and play the songs of your favorite guitarists/musicians, or do you want to sit week after week with your teacher to try (through trial and error) to learn how to just read what your favorite musicians are playing, and still not be able to actually PLAY those songs? I hope you are leaning more towards the former in that situation.
So between linear lesson plans that in no way actually help the student reach his/her own musical goals and being forced to read musical notation, it becomes clear as to why so many (90%??) Guitar players downright quit within the first two years of their playing.
“Alright, I get it, people quit playing guitar, so how does this help me?”
By showing you the major pitfalls that end many careers before they begin, you can start your search for a guitar teacher in your area that is experienced and trained with helping beginners like you get off on the RIGHT foot and won’t hold you back from reaching your potential with outdated teaching methods and irrelevant lesson materials.
For a more in depth look into finding the right guitar teacher for you, read my article on the subject.
You want a teacher that knows what you’re going through, and more importantly, can help you POWER through those obstacles and plateaus.
You have questions, thoughts, problems, and goals that you need to overcome and reach. The internet can give you some of the answers, but it cannot answer a specific question about your guitar technique.
You cannot ask a computer, “Am I playing this right?” or, “Is this how I am supposed to pick this?” or any other kind of question that directly involves your technique.
More importantly, a computer cannot assess where you are in your guitar playing, it cannot assess what motivates you, it cannot assess your strengths, weaknesses, habits, challenges, goals, and the result that you want.
This is why you need a PERSONAL GUITAR COACH! Only he/she will be able to answer your questions directly, tell you what you need to do next, tell you how to fix a certain problem in your technique, and most importantly, COACH YOU THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS!
Most beginners never find (or bother looking for) the teacher in their area that will benefit them the most. Most beginners simply try to learn on their own, or even worse, turn towards the internet; and when this doesn’t work, they quit altogether.
What you need to do to make sure that you don’t fall into these same traps RIGHT NOW is by finding the right guitar teacher for you!