Simple Tips to Stay on Course

February 11th, 2010

Taking up a new hobby is easy. Something has led you to want to try and explore something new. However, the excitement of a new-found joy, such as learning to play the guitar, can only fuel you for so long. Over time, you need something wholesome to stay par for the course.

Make no mistake about it; learning to play the guitar at an intermediate or advanced skill level takes a lot of consistency. One who desires to play the guitar well must remain disciplined to a demanding schedule. If you are not taking private lessons with an instructor, the time spent practicing  is 100% dependent on you. Fortunately, there are some very minor and subtle ways to stay dedicated to learning the guitar.

1. Learn with a Friend

A lot of people will seek a friend to teach them the guitar, but very few will seek someone to help learn the guitar with. There are several benefits to learning a new musical instrument with a friend, namely the issue of accountability. When you learn to play guitar alone, the only person who will challenge or hold you accountable is yours truly. However, when you learn with a friend, you both should (and will) push each other.

2. Reference You Tube

You Tube is filled with plenty of garbage that will never advance your brain cells, however the site also offers a nice selection of informative and instructional footage. This is especially the case when in regards to learning to play the guitar. You Tube is absolutely filled with home-made videos (some better than others) which show you everything from how to play the G chord to nailing the solo in “Free Bird”, like this one for example:

YouTube Preview Image

Whenever you are having a frustrating day with the guitar, reference one of your favorite video lessons on the site. Something made you appreciate or enjoy this particular video and you’ll likely rekindle that desire to play again after you watch it.

3. Follow a Guitar Blog

As is the case with You Tube, the internet is riddled with blogs. And just like You Tube, some are much better than others. Regardless, you should subscribe to at least one or two informative guitar blogs. The content is often added weekly (if not daily) and is filled with plenty of useful material relevant to learning to play the guitar in today’s world.

4. Join a Forum

Guitar forums bring together individuals of similar interest from all over the world. Forums are very resourceful for a variety of reasons. Exhibit A, forums are terrific for questions and concerns you encounter during the learning phase. If you are stuck on a particular lesson in the book, it’s very difficult to ask the book for any other advice not included in the contents. However, a forum can help solve your dilemma. Please keep in mind that forums are not bulletproof, meaning that not everyone’s advice for the solution is plausible or even true. Make sure you also do your own research, as everyone can pretend to be an expert online.

5. Make a Financial Commitment

The guitar is an investment in itself, but you should take it a step further. In today’s day and age, not everyone needs a private instructor. However, you should invest in some type of course to help direct your efforts. This could range from a standard book on learning the guitar to something as detailed and complex as an actual online course. If you are interested in something like this, check out JamPlay or Learn & Master Guitar. Both of these courses are highly recommended by guitarists.

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