Learning to Play the Guitar - 5 Tips to Overcome Frustration When Practicing
Learning to play the guitar can be an enjoyable, but also very frustrating process. Online guitar lessons allow a person to quickly and easily look up how to perform all sorts of techniques, from how to play guitar chords to all manners of more advanced lead techniques. Overcoming frustration can be quite important for many people when practicing.
1) Playing Guitar is Hard
It is really easy to lose sight of the fact that playing guitar is actually a difficult activity that takes years of practice because experienced guitarists do make it look quite easy. All those virtuosic guitarists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Michael Romeo, Eddie Van Halen, etc, spent years and years practicing hours a day before reaching the levels they did. It is important to realize that all these great guitarists didn’t just one day pick up a guitar and play at the level they are known for, it does take a lot of work.
2) Maintain a Consistent Practice Schedule
It is important to try to set out a consistent time to practice, preferably a little bit every day. Practice isn’t something that should be done when felt like, and, particularly for guitarists that want to perform live or in session recordings, it is important to develop the ability to play even when not necessarily in the mood to do so. That isn’t to say the schedule can’t be violated if need be, but there is a difference to every now and then taking a day off to mess around and enjoy playing the guitar by skipping a little practice and practicing maybe a day or two a week for random amounts of time without focus.
3) Playing and Practice Are Not the Same Thing
There are a lot of people that learn to play the guitar which claim to practice for incredible amounts of time. In some cases, this is true, but more often than not, these people are saying how long they play guitar, but they may not actually be practicing. Practice specifically is learning new techniques from sources like online guitar lessons or refining old techniques to perfection, not playing songs.
If a guitarist has refined out how to play guitar chords quite well already, sitting around for hours a day playing songs with those chords isn’t going to improve that guitarist’s abilities. Guitarists like this will often get frustrated because they won’t be able to play more difficult and technical songs no matter how long they play because they don’t spend the time practicing the techniques they need to play those songs. Quantity of playing will never be as important as quality of practice in order to become a better guitarist.
4) Guitar Playing Is a Physical Activity
Outside of improvisation and composition, most everything else about guitar playing boils down to a physical activity. Something too easy or something too difficult won’t do much to improve the technical abilities. Finding the right balance of speed and difficulty that is challenging, but still possible is the best place to improve quickly and accurately. Also another thing to bear in mind is to stop playing if something begins to hurt, otherwise the risk of an injury will increase, just like with weightlifting.
5) Playing Guitar Is Fun
The final thing to remember to avoid frustration when learning to play the guitar, is that you are doing this because you enjoy it. You are spending all this time learning new things from online guitar lessons and spend time developing techniques like how to play guitar chords for personal enjoyment. If playing guitar stops becoming enjoyable, it is a good idea to reevaluate your practice schedule. Don’t lose sight of this.