If you’ve been playing guitar for a few months or even years you may be stuck in a rut where no matter how much effort you put in, you just don’t seem to be making any progress.
Maybe your chord changes still aren’t smooth…
Maybe you struggle to play a certain technique and can’t nail that solo you’ve been working on for months now…
Maybe you’ve learned hundreds of licks, dozens of solos and all of your theory but can’t connect the dots and improvise with confidence…
whether you face these or one of countless problems and roadblocks which are leading to you feeling like quitting the guitar, then consider yourself lucky that you’ve found this article.
Today we’ll be talking about something called The Dip.
Too many guitarists quit at the first sign of adversity and lack the discipline and determination needed to push through to the point where the real results come. Hopefully after reading this article you won’t be one of these quitters who give up way too soon without every giving themselves the proper amount of time needed to play guitar.
Instead you’ll be one of the lucky ones who knows that the dip is coming, that the dip can be overcome, and that the best rewards for your effort are to be found immediately after experiencing The Dip.
So What Is The Dip?
Things You Can Do To Push Through The Dip
- Focussing on working towards your long term goals
- Get Guitar Lessons from a Great Guitar Teacher
- Communicate to your teacher that you’re stuck, feeling frustrated and in need of help.
- Being aware of the dip and what comes after it.
- Watching videos of your playing from earlier on to see how much you’ve developed.
- Asking other experienced players about their dips and how they got through them.
The Dip Is The Point Where Most People Quit Right Before Obtaining The Breakthrough That Would Otherwise Have Made Them An Expert
No-one is immune to dips in their playing and even the pros can be caught off guard. It’s how you are able to identify when you’re in a dip and push through that determines whether you will continue on the path to greatness. I want to take a moment to share with you my own dip and how it effected me for years.
I remember being at University learning jazz guitar and really struggling for the whole time I was there.
I practiced guitar 4-6 hours most days and still couldn’t improvise or play jazz to a standard I thought was good (this was also confirmed by the examiners because I was scraping by with P’s for my jazz improvisation and guitar exams).
It wasn’t that I didn’t put in the time or effort, because I practiced my ass off, it just seemed that nothing came out.
I graduated from uni and promptly proceeded to avoid playing and practicing jazz for almost 6 years before I came back to it.
But when I came back to it, I had all these amazing technical skills, and I had learned my fretboard a lot better, and I understood the theory concepts and how they related much better.
And without having played jazz for around 6 years I started working through some of my exam pieces and played them better than I ever did when I was working on them for hours and hours daily.
Now as excited as I was that jazz improvisation had just clicked for me, I was also really pissed…
Pissed that I had wasted 6 years of progress in my jazz guitar playing simply because I avoided working on it that entire time.
Had I just pushed with it for a few more months, or even a year, I would have had the same breakthrough and pushed beyond that even further.
I can only imagine how shitty it feels being someone who gave up guitar altogether right before overcoming their own dip simply to live a life of regret not know how wonderful life is when you can play guitar or have some other creative outlet.
Learn from my fail, and push through your dip!
This Too Shall Pass
Remember, this too shall pass, and whatever frustrations and doubts you’re having right now will be but a distant memory a decade from now when you have the epic guitar skills you can only dream of having right now.
Michael Gumley is a guitar teacher from Melbourne, Australia. He is the founder of Melbourne Guitar Academy, Guitar Ninjas and Guitar Dojo Online and has the personal mission of raising the standard of guitar education worldwide.
If you’re finding yourself stuck in the dip and need help breaking through then look no further than Online Guitar Lessons with Michael so that he can help you overcome whatever obstacles are currently holding you back.
Visit the Melbourne Guitar Academy homepage to book a FREE trial lesson with Michael or a member for the MGA team either in person or via zoom.