Many people start on the road to learning how to play guitar every single year.
They start with excitement, with great hopes and dreams of playing guitar.
The problem is that the majority of them run into problems very quickly and get stuck and then do not know what to do next.
This leads to frustration and unfortunately many quit believing they are not good enough or talented enough to learn.
Here are 3 ways beginner guitar students get stuck and what you can do to avoid them.
1. They try to learn online for free
This is definitely the most popular way to start learning how to play guitar. With YouTube videos and other websites advertising free guitar lessons it makes sense to go that way. This works for very few people though. Most of us do not do well with free online lessons.
The main reason is because there is no interaction. There is no way for those people on the video to assess how you are doing and help you correct any problems. There is also no way for you to ask for clarification. So, if you do not understand something, or if you can’t quite see what they are doing properly, you have to try to figure it out.
This part is where you get stuck and frustrated because most guitar problems are not intuitive to us.
If you are one of these people do not feel bad, do not beat yourself up. You are definitely not alone. If you seek out and find a trained guitar teacher in your area you will be able to overcome this and learn how to play guitar.
2. They learn bad habits or techniques that are not obvious to them
This is a big factor in your success in learning how to play guitar.
When you do not learn how to do things on guitar the right way, you develop poor technique and bad habits. Those in turn will make it much more difficult to learn.
This is where most people get frustrated and stop. They can’t understand why their fingers are not doing what they need to do. Why can’t you strum along with the guy on YouTube?
I get many people coming to me with pain whenever they play and are afraid they will never be able to learn how to play because of it.
The problem, 99% of the time, is poor technique and bad habits. Once they are eliminated everything goes better.
However, you need to find the right teacher who understands this so they can help you overcome it.
3. They try to learn on the most difficult guitar
What’s the typical advice given to new guitar players who are just starting to learn how to play when they ask someone what the best guitar is for them?
They are told that to start on an acoustic guitar is the best way to learn. Even though it is more difficult. Their reasoning is that once you learn how to play on an acoustic guitar you can then play anything.
Ok, sure. But what happens when you get so frustrated learning to play the acoustic guitar that you decide it is not worth it and quit? The unfortunate reality is most people who follow that advice end up there.
Instead, start on a guitar that is much easier to hold, handle and play. A guitar that will sound better much sooner and that will reduce the physical challenges required to learn to play guitar.
Starting on an electric guitar is the best way to start. The interesting thing is if you learn on the electric guitar you will be able to play anything anyway. That’s because all of the skills you learn will be transferrable to the acoustic.
The key to your succsess when learning to play guitar
The most important thing you can do to help you succeed when learning how to play guitar is to find a guitar teacher.
But even there you can make some mistakes. You can decide to learn from the teacher who charges the least, or who is closest to you or who will come to your home.
The problem is that not all teachers are the same. If you are really committed to learning how to play guitar and want to get the best results, then you need to find the best teacher in your area.
When it comes to guitar lessons you definitely get what you pay for. Find a professionally trained guitar teacher in your area. They may charge a bit more but they are worth every penny.
About the author:
Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to get unstuck on guitar.