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Playing the Guitar

Make no mistake, learning to play the guitar is hard. Very hard. Especially if you don’t have practice with other instruments, as you need to learn how certain notes and chords sound as you go along. The first time you fumble through a beloved song you’ll probably want to quit then and there, as it’ll almost always sound brutal.

Don’t give up. Whether you’re battling your own lack of confidence or the potential onset of boredom with your guitar, don’t give up. The ability to play a guitar is one that requires a lot of hard work, but one that will serve you well for your entire life. Here are some tips to help stay motivated when learning to play the guitar.

– The prime method of staying motivated is to have a teacher. Instructors have dealt with students lacking motivation before, especially if they have many years under their belt, and will know how to deal with your problems. They’ll also help you realize that your difficulties are far from insurmountable, and can show you exactly what you need to do to overcome the biggest among them.

– If you lack the money for an instructor, however, you’ll need to motivate yourself – and one of the easiest ways to do that is to vow to learn a particular song. No matter how complex or tricky it may seem, push yourself to learn it. It may take months to get the timing and the notes down, but you’ll get it in the end – and make the learning of additional songs later on that much easier.

– Set daily goals. Make sure you practice at least for a little while each day, no matter how minor your practice may be. Take the example of the song from the previous tip: rather than looking at the whole thing in a given session, look at small segments and try to master them. A few steps at a time will help you string together the whole with a few weeks of practice. Don’t fail to miss practice each day, as it’s easy to lose your edge – not to mention your interest.

– Meet with musically-inclined friends and jam. Who cares if you stink? You’re probably not playing for a crowd. And, for that matter, play for your friends and family – in order to avoid embarrassing yourself by fumbling with the guitar you’ll apply yourself all the more rigorously.

– And, especially in the beginning, don’t be too hard on your hands. It will take a while to develop a tough callous on your fingers, and until you do you may find the pain discouraging. Don’t go overboard one day and regret it the next. Again, baby steps work best, at least until you can play without a care for blistered fingertips.