Did You Started Playing Guitar During Lockdown? Here's What To Do Next!
With Covid-19 restrictions easing in my home city of Melbourne (and all across Australia) people are finally able to get some sense of normality in their lives and return to their regular routines.
While lockdown took away many of the normal hobbies and activities we normally participate in, it did create opportunities for many of us to take up new hobbies of which learning to play guitar (and many other instruments) was very popular.
If you found yourself learning guitar for the first time, or dusting off your old friend after several years hidden away in the wardrobe, then you hopefully had a taste of the joy and music that this wonderful hobby can bring to your life.
Although learning online from YouTube and Phone Apps is becoming increasingly popular, they offer only a limited exposure to the many facets of playing and learning instruments. In this article we’ll talk about 5 things you can do with your guitar playing post covid-19 and the next steps you can take on your guitar playing journey.
Visit A Local Music Shop.
One of the coolest things about starting any new hobby is that sense of wonder and discovery that goes with it. A key part of nurturing your hobby is going to an actual music shop and trying out some of the guitars that they have on display. For many of you who ordered an entry level guitar during lockdown you missed out on the awesome experience of going into a music store and trying out a few guitars before eventually deciding on ’the one’. You can liken it to the scene from the first Harry Potter movie where he goes to the wand shop and the store owner claims “the wand chooses the wizard”. Buying your first guitar (and many subsequent guitars) can be just as magical, not to mention exploring different effects pedals, amplifiers, accessories, music books and the awesome vibes of your local music shop really ads to the whole experience.
If you’ve been teaching yourself on a $90 Valencia beginner guitar during lockdown and you think you’re going to stick with it, perhaps heading down to your local music shop and upgrading to a new instrument is just what you need. If you’re in Melbourne’s inner city and western suburbs I’d highly recommend visiting Macron Music (formerly GH Music) as they are hands down the best guitar store in Australia. If you’re on the eastern side of Melbourne then check out the new Billy Hydes Superstore which has a very impressive selection of guitars and accessories.
Whether it’s one of these two stores we’ve recommended, or your local store which you’ve walked past a hundred times but have never gone into, go out and support your local music shops and discover one of the wealth of knowledge and wonder contained within.
Get Guitar Lessons With A Real Teacher
The world is changing and Covid-19 has shown us that learning guitar online through Zoom, Skype and online learning platforms can be very effective and is a great means of introducing people to guitar playing. Speaking from experience we were able to teach all of our students over Zoom 95% as effectively as we would in a face to face lesson. While we’re personally big advocates of online learning there is no substitute for being in a room with a person who can give instant feedback on your playing, analyse what is going on from any angle (or without a lag or computer noise cancellation) and most importantly, can jam along with you in real time and really make it feel special.
If you’ve been learning guitar online from a course or platform, we highly recommend contacting a quality guitar teacher for in person lessons. A good teacher and their expert guidance will cut years off the time it takes to learn guitar and will make the whole journey a whole lot easier. If you’ve been learning from a real teacher online and the distance allows, definitely reach out for an in person lesson. (I’m looking forward to meeting over 50 students whom I’ve been teaching for the last 8 months but haven’t met in real life once our studio finally opens up).
If you find yourself looking for a new guitar teacher post covid-19 then consider booking a guitar lesson with us at either our Essendon or Wantirna South locations. We offer a free Introduction Session so that we can evaluate your current progress and then recommend a plan of attack moving forward. If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Melbourne head to our main page to book a free lesson. (we do Piano , Keyboard and Voice Lessons too)
Have A Jam Session
Music has the magical ability to bring people together and jamming with another person is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience you can have as a musician. Jamming can take many forms from strumming chords with a friend while they sing over the top, to finding another guitar buddy to play songs with, or even rocking out in a band and jamming over your favourite tunes. Each of these experiences will be very different to playing by yourself in your bedroom and will help you develop your timing, performance skills and confidence in playing in front of others.
Now some of you reading this might be terrified of the idea of playing with or in front of other people which is a perfectly valid feeling, but if you can push past the fear and give it a go (even if you don’t think you’re ready yet) you’ll find that playing with other people is one of the most important elements of playing with others. If you don’t know where to go to find people to jam with you could always register for an open mic night. Musicland in Fawkner runs terrific open mic nights where you can perform as a solo artist, a group or even put your name down to jam with other musicians and is a great place to network and meet other players.
Check Out Some Live Music
One of the best things about learning guitar is the more you learn and the better you get, the more you can appreciate guitar playing and music in general. Seeing live bands and musical artists is a great way to learn new things about the instrument and to find inspiration to improve your playing. This includes the aforementioned open mic nights, seeing local bands and artists right up to international level music acts. Your local venues definitely need the support right now and considering there will still be limitations on the number of people who attend shows, it will be a great time to see many of your favourite artists in more intimate gigs.
Don’t Stop Playing
With things returning to normal many of us will be going back to old routines and old hobbies ( I personally can’t wait to hit the gym and start using real weights instead of these stretchy band gimmicks I’ve been using for 6 months) you may be faced with making decisions about which hobbies to keep and which hobbies to drop. If you’ve picked up guitar during lockdown and found yourself enjoying it, don’t give up! Learning music is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have and is something that you will learn about, grow and develop for the rest of your life.
Keep the momentum you built up during the lockdown rolling and try everything we’ve mentioned. It’s an exciting time to be a guitar player and for anyone who has started this journey in the last few months, you now have the opportunity to take it to the next level and discover even more about the guitar without the restrictions covid-19 has placed on us.
If you’ve started learning guitar (or any other instrument) during lockdown, or have picked it up again after a period of absence, keep the momentum going. You’ve only experienced a tiny piece of what it’s like to learn and play guitar and with the world coming back to life, there has never been a better time to learn guitar.
If you need help taking your next steps don’t hesitate to reach out on social media (@michaelgumley or @melbourne.guitar.academy) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also book a free 30 Introduction & Evaluation sessions with myself or one of our expert teachers at Melbourne Guitar Academy so that we can assess what you’ve taught yourself during lockdown and what skills, techniques and concepts you should work on next. Click Here to book a Free Guitar Lesson!
PS. If guitar isn’t your instrument of choice we also offer Piano, Keyboard and Voice lessons for students of all ages.