- I’m too old to learn guitar
- My fingers aren’t big enough or are too fat too fit on the guitar.
- I’m tone deaf and don’t have a musical bone in my body.
- I can’t read music or that music theory is confusing
- I have no natural talent and will never be a good player.
Unless you set yourself goals to achieve then you have nothing to work towards and will go through lessons aimlessly and acquire a lot of information that you can’t use, or too much information for you to possibly use. You need to be setting goals that will help define what it is you want to get from the guitar which will in turn determine what it is you should be learning and what areas of learning the guitar that you need to focus on.
If you were looking for buried pirate treasure on an island you could simply take a shovel and dig in random places all over the island until you found treasure. Depending on the size of the island and how much determination you have to keep looking, you would probably take a long time to stumble upon the treasure during which you would become increasingly demotivated and unhappy with the process. Now imagine if you had a map that told you where the treasure was hidden and provided a direct guide through all the obstacles and dangers of the island. If you take this same principle and apply it to learning guitar you will find that by planning out your journey you can get to the destination much quicker, avoid any obstacles that will delay your arrival and even stop off at important landmarks that will make you journey far more pleasant along the way.
Another common problem is that too many guitarists don’t know what to practice and that too many teachers simply give students more content in an effort to keep students busy. If a student does not have clearly defined goals then they are likely to learn a whole bunch of unnecessary techniques or playing styles that don’t have any direct relationship with the player that they want to become which takes away valuable practice time from the content which does correlate to their goals. At best if you are a hard working determined and student this will result with you being an all round average player in many areas of the guitar . The most likely outcome however is that you will focus on one aspect of your playing to the detriment of all other areas, then you will get distracted by a new idea and practice that while you continue to forget all of the other information that you had previously learned until you are in a cycle of constantly trying to relearn too much information and never actually get good at anything. This is an absolute killer of your confidence and poisonous for your guitars playing career.
Another all too common problem is that students don’t know how to practice effectily or even plan out their practice session in order to maximise their results. If you struggle to find time to practice, find practice boring, feel overwhelmed by how many different items you have to divide your attention between, or can’t focus and only ever play stuff that you are already good at, then you are not getting the maximum results possible for the time that you are putting in. You need to address the problem immediately or else are doomed to improve at a snails pace assuming you don’t just quit anyway.
If you are teaching yourself from Youtube, Smartphone/Tablet Apps, Free Online Lessons or Traditional Book Methods then you are doing yourself a great disservice not only because much of the information in these methods is blatantly wrong and taught poorly but because it focuses only on what you should be learning (which again is often wrong) and not on what you should be avoiding, which leaves you open to learning a lot of bad habits and incorrect information.
Having a bad teacher is even worse for your playing as you will be taught the wrong information at the wrong time and pick up many bad habits that will be hard to break further down the track. There are many things to look out for that will help you identify a bad teacher, some of them are; teaching guitar using a one sized fits all approach out of a traditional method book, not getting to know the students goals and planning a timeline and lesson plan to help students achieve them, focusing on giving you new material and information all of the time instead of teaching you effective learning and practice techniques, not teaching you how to apply any of the information that you learn to a variety of musical contexts. If you can spot any of these traits in your current guitar teacher then I advise you to seek lessons with a new teacher immediately. It is not to say that these teachers are bad people, It is often a case that they just don’t know how to teach properly but as a result YOU suffer. You wouldn’t risk potential death by taking swimming lessons from somebody that didn’t know what they were doing so why would you leave your guitar playing in the hands of somebody who is incapable of delivering you results and getting the most out of your lesson time.
Taking lessons from a professional, highly motivated, goal orientated, organised teacher who is going to get to know you and create an individual lesson program based on your own goals and needs and then provide you with guidance along the way until you have achieved your goals should be your number one priority. If you would like to get the most out of guitar lessons and your practice time, head to www.MelbourneGuitarAcademy.com and book in for your FREE ‘Introduction & Evaluation’ Session so that you can re-access your current guitar program and begin moving forward towards becoming the player you have always dreamed of