WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR BEGINNING GUITAR JOURNEY
Have you just got your first guitar and are now excited to begin your new musical journey?
No matter if you are starting to learn with a guitar teacher or alone, there are some things that you should know to expect in the future as you start to learn more and more about your instrument.
I presume you are pretty excited now about the whole new adventure, right?
And you should be, music is all about fun. And learning new stuff and getting better at playing guitar is also fun. Let alone the pride you get when your playing starts to sound good.
That being said, not all the things you should expect are always as positive as we'd want them. Especially if you are learning on your own. Many of them might even become unbearable, and you might be prone to quitting. So, I am writing this to help you deal with them and get the most out of your adventure.
Great guitar teachers usually know how to handle these frustrations and try to keep the process as fun as possible for you. So, imagine the teacher being like a shock absorber for the negative stuff, and the amplifier for the positive stuff.
1. The excitement
Ok, this one is pretty obvious, as we mentioned already in the beginning. But I wanted to put it in here along with the others. The excitement is often one of the reasons you want to play guitar in the first place. And you should really embrace it, and spend as much time with your guitar as possible in the beginning. This will give you a kick-start in your playing, because that initial excitement may vanish after a while. After that, other motivating emotions will have to take over, once your guitar playing starts to take shape.
Eventually, the initial excitement will decline, but don’t let that stop you. You keep working on your skills, and it will come back, maybe in a form of a song, a cool guitar riff, or maybe you’ll learn how to write your own music. And that's what will keep you motivated in the long run.
So, expect the initial excitement, make the best of it, and expect it to decline after a while.
2. Dealing with overwhelm
Overwhelm is very common when learning guitar alone on the internet. There are seas and seas of content to learn, and you just don’t know where to start, and how, when or where to move on. You may also be confused about how to practice certain things you learn.
Overwhelm may also happen if your teacher gives you too much new content or information. And good guitar teachers should be able to control that better.
Here is what you can do about it. First: realize that it’s completely normal to feel that way, and that you are not expected to master everything before moving on. And then you just keep on working on your skills.
If you are overwhelmed by a lot of different items to practice and are tight on your schedule, you can create your own practice schedule. Decide on which item is the priority, and how much time you are going to spend on each. Then start the timer and go. Once the timer beeps, you move on to another practice item.
3. TIME MANAGEMENT
While everyone can be incredibly busy nowadays, squeezing in an hour to practice your guitar can be quite a project. So, you might start to feel like you do not have enough time for guitar, and you can never be a good guitar player because of that. But in most cases, that’s not the truth. In fact, we all sometimes like to waste a lot of time doing nothing. And all we have to do is manage our time a little better. You could schedule every activity and every hour of your day if you want (most successful people do that). But if that's too much, you could at least schedule one block of time without any distractions just for practicing your instrument. And, of course, stick to it.
If you don’t have an hour per day, then make it 30 minutes, or at least 20 minutes. Don’t wait around until you find a whole hour of your time to practice. The key here is consistency. Do a little every day, and you’ll see the improvements along the way.
So, expect to have time issues (and become a lot better at managing your time after you start playing guitar :) ).
4. Overcome the frustrations
You can expect to become frustrated at some point. There simply will be things you won’t be able to get right. There will be challenging new things to practice, and your fingers won’t cooperate with you at all times. But that's all part of growth.
The best thing you can do is to accept that the frustration is completely normal and that it happens to everyone. Then you go on and find the solutions to your problems. If you have a teacher, talk to him/her about it. Great guitar teachers will understand your frustrations, and have probably already helped hundreds of other students overcome the same frustrations you have.
Learning on the internet by yourself usually doesn’t come with that kind of support. That’s why it can be so frustrating. You can still ask people on the forums, but you have to be careful. On the internet, literally anyone can reply to you, even if they have no clue what they are talking about. It would be the best to ask an actual guitar teacher for advice – and yes, we like to help people. ;)
The last but not least, expect to have fun on your rollercoaster ride. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but we are all here for the fun. Even professional musicians play so that their audience can have fun.
The real fun begins, once you really start playing. Imagine being able to play your favorite songs, jam with your friends, or even start a band.
Once you accept that the negatives are going to happen, you take them lightheartedly, and you keep on working on your skills, the fun will follow. Just be patient.
So, expect to have a rollercoaster ride on your new guitar journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janez Janežič is a professional guitar teacher from Slovenia. His lessons are designed for you to have fun and improve, no matter what level you are at. If you are a local looking for help to get started with guitar, you are invited to join his fun beginner guitar lessons in Novo mesto, Slovenia.
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