“The guitar is the easiest instrument to learn but the hardest to master.”
Well if learning to play guitar is supposed to be easy, why do so many people seem to struggle with it?
Before I give you some of the main reasons along with what you can do to fix it, let’s first address that opening statement.
Is it even true?
Yes indeed. Learning the basics on the guitar really is very simple, and I truly believe that anyone can get up and running relatively fast and play some easy songs.
The flip side of the coin relates to mastery and we all know that to really master something takes time. A lot of time. However, that’s not what we’re talking about here right?
Instead, this article is focused on the easy part of learning the guitar and what to do if you’re struggling.
The good news is that there’s really no reason you should be struggling at all with the basics. Sure it will take a bit of an effort, but if you do it right, then it won’t feel like work at all.
So what are the mistakes beginners make when learning guitar that leads to frustration and discouragement?
Learning to play guitar is fun.
Loads of fun and people are usually super excited when they first get going which can lead to wanting to do too much too soon.
“I wanna learn blues and rock and rhythm guitar and lead guitar and the modes and this song and that song and…”
Well, you get the picture.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn all that, but you need to look at the time you have available during the week and make sure that you allocate enough time to what it is that you want to learn.
Remember that it’s better to focus on fewer things and get some results because focusing on too much will leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged which usually leads to giving up.
When you play guitar, you’re using your motor skills and muscle memory. The only way to properly program your hands and fingers is through repetition.
So make sure you’re putting in consistent practice time to take care of that.
It doesn’t have to be long, practice sessions. Instead, aim for short but consistent sessions. When you do that, you’ll start to notice considerable progress.
Most people only play what they know when they sit down to practice. Nothing wrong with that, but make sure it’s not the only thing you do.
Leave some time for learning and developing some new skills because if you don’t how do you expect to get better?
(NOTE: Want our 5 Step System to Learning Easy Strum Along Songs? Learn what to do with your hands for fast learning, how to choose the right song for your level and a few more cool tips & tricks! Get it here)
I already mentioned repetition, which is crucial to getting your hands and fingers trained up properly.
However, repetition can also work against you…
If you’re going too fast when learning new material, you end up making repeated mistakes which then becomes part of your muscle memory. Getting rid of those mistakes will take way more effort than it would have if you took the time to learn something the right way, the first time.
It’s a good idea to follow the “So slow it hurts” practice method.
All that means is you go really slow when learning new material, which will ensure those pesky mistakes don’t get programmed into your muscle memory…
It turns out that slow practicing leads to fast learning!
This is a big one.
You’ve got to take the time to learn some complete songs because learning the guitar is all about making music right?
So be sure to learn some songs so you can go out and jam with other musos or perform for your friends and family.
That leads to accelerated learning because when you’re making music, it won’t feel like work at all.
Kinda like when I go surfing… All the paddling and pop-ups are harisork, but I don’t notice because I’m having such a great time catching super fun waves.
Hope you enjoyed this article and if you’d like to grab access to my
“5 Step System For Learning Easy Guitar Tunes In A Flash”
then make sure you enter your name & email on this page then I can get that sent right over!
Hi, my name is Charl Coetzee and playing guitar was never second nature for me. I’ve had to work hard to get to where I’m at today and I’ve learned some incredible things along the way that I’d love to share with you. I’ve never had a proper job and I’ve been playing guitar for a living since I’ve left school. I have a Bmus Hons Degree in music, and I’ve interviewed and learned from the world’s greatest guitar players like Joe Satriani, Buddy Whittington, Joe Bonamassa and loads more.