All of us have struggled with improving something in our guitar playing and the frustration that can come from feeling like our guitar practice is doing very little to help with our problem.
When we reach the crossroads - there are two choices - abandon trying to learn the guitar issue at hand, or keep trying to get better but, “accept” that reaching success may take awhile...
The decision you make when you reach this "frustration crossroad" will affect how the following weeks unfold for you.
Making the best call for how you'll internalize and ultimately treat the learning situation ahead will determine not only your feelings, but also your rate and your speed of success as well.
Obviously, it is not realistic to suggest that there is some magical guitar practice routine that will work for every person who is trying to learn guitar. However, there are several critical steps that all great guitarists will tend to use when they are solving their guitar challenges.
Learning these strategies will make a huge impact on how quickly any guitar player reaches their success.
In order to consistently make progress with our musical skills, we need to have a system. In this post, I've created a short list of these steps along with an explanation of how to best apply them to your guitar practicing every time you face a difficult problem in your musical development.
1). ORGANIZE AND PRIORITIZE
What specifically is the challenge that you find difficult to overcome? What are your restrictions? Are there specific limitations that are holding you back?
It is important to force yourself to pay attention to the most effective ways of solving each of your guitar playing issues. Most importantly the original problem needs to be well defined. You must be clear on what it is that is causing you to have the difficulty in the first place.
Doing this involves being creative and thinking about how to place well defined parameters and restrictions on your study time in order to "zero in" on problems. Or, possibly even clarify what the added difficulties may be upon the guitar improvements that you are trying to make.
By isolating all of the main problems that you face, and then prioritizing how each problem can be stretched into other directions, (then solved on various levels), you will begin learning more specific details about how to solve each of your personal guitar playing issues.
Study my practice and training video on the, "Top 5 Guitar Practicing Habits." That video will work well to help you understand many of your foundational guitar "practice habit" issues.
2). REALIZE THAT - WITH WORK - IT CAN BE DONE:
The greatest guitar players on Earth always managed to successfully solve their guitar challenges because of their habit to consistently apply a ton of work to the mastery of polishing their skills, their theoretical knowledge and their technique.
If guitar playing seems to improve very slowly for you, just keep in mind that your next powerful burst of progress may only be one or two practice sessions away from where you are right now.
All it takes is never giving up, and having the perseverance to take one more step on the practice path while applying the most effective guitar practicing approach available.
If you study with a guitar teacher or use another very effective and proven resource for learning guitar, (such as the proven systems in the Creative Guitar Studio course), your rate of progress will become faster and more predictable.
When you consistently follow an orderly step-by-step approach you will find yourself feeling a lot more confident about your potential to become the guitarist that you want to be. Plus, along the way, you will enjoy the process of reaching your goal.
Putting in the time and using a "work-flow" method that connects one relevant idea into another (a chapter by chapter method) will consistently produce results.
However, wasted time (that's time spent on material that doesn't help contribute to expanding your skills), combined with having a poor learning system and learning methodology will leave you spinning your wheels for a long time.
With work, (good work, well planned work) you can improve far more rapidly. If you have a study plan that you can follow daily, along with an orderly working method - progress will be swift and it will come to you more immediate.
3). ISOLATE YOUR WEAK AREAS:
To successfully overcome any guitar playing challenge in front of you, it is important to isolate exactly what the problem is.
Although this seems simple, you would be surprised how many guitar players are not able to accurately define what it is that is giving them trouble in their guitar playing.
A guitarist needs to go beyond highly vague descriptions similar to: “I can’t play rhythm guitar,” or, “my speed is too slow,” or “I can’t write songs very well.”
The fact is, such generalized statements will do little or nothing at all to help you find the solutions you need to take your guitar playing to the next level.
In contrast, the best guitar players observe what is happening in their playing every time they have trouble and they will then define their challenges by completing some variation of the following process:
Problem = ________________
Solution = ________________
Pass / Fail
Start Again / Move on
Isolate any issue that is causing you problems. Focus on what needs to be done to solve it and create a plan set out over a defined amount of time to solve it.
Once that "Testing and Operating" period is finished, regroup and determine if you have achieved a decent level of success. If not, extend the practice period and time frame. then, re-assess your skills down the road.
Watch my discussion on "Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Practicing Guitar" for more info on how to polish-up your practice time.
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