Hi! My name is Tony G and in this blog I’m going to help show you how to skip the learning slump that so many guitar players of any level will experience. Let’s face it, you’ve been playing guitar for a little bit but you’ve hit a wall and you’re not progressing as fast as you want. This can easily lead to disinterest in the guitar and leave you with a lack of motivation when you try to practice.
In this blog, I’m going to give you the best advice out there to help you skip or get out of this slump and really dig into becoming a better guitar player faster. Now before we get to that advice, I want to tell you a little bit about my own journey which not only taught me a lot about my own playing, but it taught me a lot about teaching guitar. I have been teaching guitar for over 10 years now and I’m very happy to say that I’ve been making a living solely from teaching guitar for the past 4 years. Helping others become the guitar player that they want to be is a huge passion of mine and I absolutely love when I see that a-ha moment from a student when things just click.
Putting All the Pieces Together
I had a new student come to me a couple of years ago that told me they had been playing guitar for about 10 years but couldn’t quite put all of the pieces together. I had him come in for a free lesson to see it first hand so I could analyze his playing and give him some tips to help make things click. After an hour, we had addressed several things including his thumb positioning, strumming technique, chord transitions, alternate picking and more! When he left, he thanked me and told me he was so excited to go home and practice.
The very next day, I received a phone call from him and he told me he was sorry but he didn’t need any more lessons from me. I was a little taken aback and I asked him why that was. He told me that after just one session with me, everything came together and he could finally play the guitar the way he wanted to. He told me that he was no longer frustrated with having all of the pieces and not being able to put them together. Everything for him just clicked and he said he couldn’t put the guitar down!
My Loss Was My Crowning Achievement
Now, I was quite sad to be losing such a driven student after just the first lesson but I felt a sense of pride that I helped someone achieve their goals on guitar. It’s not likely that I can take any student and make everything click for them in just one lesson. But, I have seen so many struggles over the years and I know I can teach you the best ways to approach them so that you can overcome them.
I wish I could go back and give myself my own advice when I first started playing guitar over 16 years ago. I remember the struggle to make clean chord transitions and I even found myself saying, “that chord transition is impossible! No one can do that.” I was obviously wrong but I didn’t yet know the secrets to making smooth and clean chord transitions!
Taking the Hard Way
After several painfully slow years of guitar practice, I had finally found many shortcuts to learning things that it made me wish I had started with lessons and advice from the very beginning. I also found different strategies and tactics to help overcome obstacles without just practicing guitar like a mad person for hours on end without making any progress. Once I started teaching guitar, it was so much easier to see things from an outside perspective. This gave me the advantage of showing my students how to adjust their techniques.
Now I’m the kind of driven person that will slog through the work no matter how difficult or boring it is. Because of that, I had the advantage of working through my slump and finally getting over it. However, there are so many guitar players out there that get frustrated with their progress. When they do, they tend to practice less and eventually give up or they decide that they’ll just continue to play the same easy material over and over again without wanting to learn anything more difficult. If this applies to you, those days are numbered because I’m just about to give you some of the best advice you’ll ever hear as a guitar player.
Don’t Fret! You Can Get Great Results!
I know what it’s like to be frustrated with your guitar playing. Even after playing for 16 years I still have those moments when I see someone else play really, really well and I say to myself, “oh crap, I have to go home and practice!” The reality is that we can always be a better player but if you follow my tips and strategies, you will not only become a better guitar player faster, but you will have the motivation to pick up that guitar every time you lay eyes on it! You’ll be thinking about the guitar while you’re doing other tasks and you’ll be excited to pick it up as soon as you get a chance.
Here is my best advice on how to get over the learning slump on guitar:
Don’t Just Practice Guitar For the Sake of Practice! Practice with Intent!
I know it’s a lot of fun to pick up the guitar and noodle around. And I definitely know it’s a lot of fun to pick up the guitar and play that same song you’ve played a million times… even though you still always make that same mistake in that one spot. It’s fun to pick up the guitar and try to create something new, but if you truly want to get better at guitar, you need to do more! Please understand, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun – that’s why I play guitar every day! What we need to do is combine fun practice with intentional practice. Let’s check out how we can do that.
First of all, It’s very important to know HOW to practice instead of just WHY to practice. We know that we should practice because it makes us better, right? While I agree more practice time is better, what happens if we’re practicing the wrong way? If we are putting in practice time but we are forming bad habits and muscle memory, is it helping us? Forming good habits and muscle memory is our #1 priority!
Guitar Practice Routine and Learning to Focus
Focusing on our practice methodology is absolutely paramount to becoming good at ANYTHING. Whether you want to be a great guitar player, a great cook or a great athlete, you need to know how to practice the most efficiently. You wouldn’t learn how to be a great sprinter by just running a 100m dash every day. You need interval training, stamina training, training to get off the blocks the quickest, etc. This same theory applies to guitar! If you want to become a good guitar player, you can’t just pick up the guitar and run over the same routine every day. We need to explore different practice techniques that will help us improve in many areas.
Get Better in Less Time
To that end, I’ve made a fantastic guide on how to maximize your practice which includes walk-through videos on the two most effective practice tips all the pros use. Check it out in my shop right here. Once you’ve figured out how to make your practice time more efficient, you will see progress faster and find that motivation to pick up that guitar!
Learning how to do something well is not just about putting in the time, but it’s also about seeing patterns and shortcuts that will improve our progress faster. I’ve written several free lessons on some of the most overlooked shortcuts to become a better guitar player. I would encourage you to check them out as they all contain shortcuts and tips that will blow your mind. The best part is, they’re all completely free!
- A Secret Method to Clean Chords
- The #1 Mistake All Guitar Players Make with Their Picking Hand
- The Simplest Solution to Clean Chord Transitions
- Figuring Out Strumming Patterns in Three Simple Phrases
- The Easiest Shortcuts to Learning the Fretboard
I’ve also creating a Step-by-Step 5 Day lesson program that teaches guitar players of any level how to learn good habits and form great muscle memory by giving you weekly lessons with walkthrough videos and diagrams for FREE!
Go grab that guitar and let’s get rockn’!