Why You May be Struggling with Online Guitar Lessons
There are constantly more and more resources to help you learn guitar online, whether they be apps, books, DVDs, or games. On top of these resources is a fountain of YouTube videos with numerous people teaching a variety of topics about the guitar. This vast amount of information often leaves people overwhelmed and struggling to make any real progress on their own. We have had many students come to us with these problems. So we thought it would be useful to address some of the common reasons for why you may be struggling to learn guitar from YouTube or books.
One of the most common problems with learning guitar from YouTube, books, or DVDs is that you do not get any immediate feedback or even no feedback at all. This lack of feedback is a problem. Even though you think you understand what the lesson or app is telling you to do exactly, you cannot see certain things that you are doing wrong. It is difficult for you to know whether what you are doing is correct or not. Technique is an important element when it comes to learning guitar. If a student learns the wrong techniques early on, it is much more difficult to correct that later. There is often only one way to do something correctly, and without feedback, it is difficult to know if you are doing it right. This problem is why you are often left wondering why you do not “feel” right when you play or why it does not sound right.
Is the Person a Good Teacher or Is the Material Appropriate For You?
Because of the easy access to the internet, it is very easy for people to start teaching guitar. However, they are not always good teachers even if they are good players themselves. Of course, we are not saying that all YouTubers are bad teachers. However, there are a lot of bad teachers out there.
The second issue is that the material they are presenting may not be appropriate or right for you. Even if the presenter is a good teacher, how do you know the information she is providing is what you need to progress in your playing? Often, students who come to us who have been learning online—especially with less competent teachers, have many blind spots. Areas that they did not even know they had to learn to transform their playing. Once we work on those areas, their understanding and playing of the guitar accelerates.
Lack of Accountability
YouTube and books do not keep you accountable. It is easy to do something one day and give it up the next. Having a real teacher that you have to see person helps to ensure that you practise. When there is something hard to do, you can push through those challenges. If you do not understand something, a teacher is there to help you whereas it is much easier to give up if you are struggling by yourself.
The Information Provided is Very General
Most of the videos online and even books are very general, even if they state they are for beginner, intermediate, or advanced guitarists. The information provided is still for the general guitarist looking to advance. You are a specific person with your own goals and desires. What you want to play, your level of understanding, your level of motivation, and your challenges are very specific to you, which is why you need specific information to learn the guitar. Generalised information may get you somewhere, but it may not be where you want to be, and it will not get you the fast progress and results that you can get from specific information provided specifically for you.
Getting Answers to Your Questions
During different points of your learning, you will definitely have questions regarding your playing, and you may not even be able to describe your problems. Being unable to articulate a problem is an issue that we commonly see with our students; they have to SHOW us their problems through playing, which is often very difficult to do with online resources. It is hard to get those specific questions answered, which then hinders your progress by ignoring problems that you may be having with your playing.
Online Guitar Lessons are Often Very Good at Producing Bedroom Guitar Players
When you practise your playing with a system/videos/apps, you do this most often in your bedroom or at home by yourself. That is understandable. However, if you have any long-term goals of wanting to enjoy music. Whether it is being able to play freely, like a musician. Whether that is by yourself or with other people. You want to understand the language of music to these things. Jamming and playing with other people requires musical interactions with other people. There are many benefits from social interaction, such as gaining confidence, improving your rhythm, and understanding how communication works between guitarists. YouTube guitar lessons, books, or DVDs for learning guitar tend to leave players struggling to experience these aspects. They can become shy and unconfident when it comes to playing in front of other people or playing at parties or gigs.
Finding A Good Guitar Teacher
Now that you know a few common problems with learning guitar from these various resources, we hope you can resolve these problems quickly. No matter where you are, we always suggest finding a good guitar teacher that can help you resolve these problems.
If you are situated in East London, we would love to hear from you and see how we can help you with your playing. If you have been learning online and have experienced any of these problems, we can definitely help you progress much quicker and faster on the guitar. Click the button below, which will take you through to our contact form so we can find out a little more about you and how we can help you through a free introductory guitar lesson.
“They can because they think they can” – Virgil
What do you think is the greatest component to you succeeding as a guitarist?
Is it your good looks and charm?
Could it be how long your fingers are?
Is it genetics?
We are going to go through how your mind is the most powerful tool you have and how to use it to ensure you achieve massive results on the guitar. It involves four simple steps that work in a cycle:
1. It all starts with believing you can achieve great results on the guitar.
What is a belief?
A belief is a guiding principle or faith that provides direction in your life. Beliefs can come from different things including:
- Your environment: Encouraging parents and teachers who tell you that you can achieve something, a positive surrounding, or even a negative surrounding that drives you to achieve better so you can get out of there!
- An event: Something inspirational such as a concert you have been to where you saw a badass guitarist, and you thought, “If they can do that, so can I!”
- Knowledge: Reading how other people who came from backgrounds similar to your have achieved the same goals that you have.
- Seeing results: Seeing how you could not do something six months ago and now you can. You know you can apply the same principles to achieve things that you want in the future.
An example of a belief is knowing that by practising the guitar properly for an hour a day doing what your teacher has told you to do exactly, you will improve and achieve your goals much quicker.
2. Your belief drives your potential.
The more belief you have, the more of your potential you will use.
For example, when you go to your guitar lessons and think, “Oh, this is too hard. I cannot do this”, you probably will not try very hard. However, if you are super pumped and positive, you will believe you can do it if you just do what your teacher says and practice. You will try harder and use more potential.
3. When you use more potential, you subsequently have more action.
The harder you want to try, the more of your potential you use. For example, the more of your potential you use, the more hours you allow in your schedule for practising and the more motivation you have for it. The more hours you practise, the more focus you will apply when practising, and you will take it more seriously.
4. The more action you take the bigger results you get
The more you practice, the more you improve—assuming that you are practising the right thing. However, even if you are not, you are more likely to find out that you are making mistakes quicker and correct them than if you did not put the hours in. The quicker you correct mistakes, the quicker you will achieve the results you are after!
These steps go round in a circle like the following diagram:
Once you have seen that you can achieve something that you could not before, the more belief you will have in yourself. Therefore, you will use more potential, causing you to take more action and, consequently, achieve more results!
This principle can be applied to many aspects in life. And is very relevant to guitar playing.
How The Cycle Turns Ugly
The circle can also turn ugly and this is how. And it often happens in either two ways:
- It is often easy to get disheartened when you are learning guitar, especially when you get frustrated and do not practise as much as you should. You may start to think that you are not good enough, which then affects your belief system and causes you to use less of your potential, so you take less action. You start skipping lessons and not practising as hard. The cycle turns vicious.
- You go into the whole thing with a negative mindset to start with. When you do not believe you can learn to play; you think it is too difficult. Therefore, you do not apply yourself, do not take as much action as you should, and get fewer results. Your lack of results reinforces your negative belief system, turning the whole thing bad.
Are You Stuck In a Rut?
Whenever you are stuck in a rut, think, “Do I have the right belief system?” If you do not, think “How can I get myself to believe in my ability to achieve my guitar goals?” Maybe you need to read some inspirational stories, or maybe your teacher is not encouraging you enough. When this happens, maybe you need to change teachers. Alternatively, another way to turn this around is to put in a tonne of action! Commit to yourself that you will try your best, do everything your teacher says, and practice as best as you can. You will then see the improvement. Massive action = Massive result! Seeing improvement will give you a sense of motivation, which will improve your belief in yourself.
Now you know the essential steps to achieving results and how to turn things around if you feel like you are progressing slowly or are stuck with your playing. Your mind is a powerful tool. The more you actively choose to think the right beliefs and take the right actions, the more you cement in your mind how to motivate and discipline yourself to become a great guitar player.
How You Can Make Massive Progress With Your Guitar Playing
Do you think someone can learn to play the guitar if they are not talented?
How would you define talent?
Where do you think it comes from?
Where Do Brilliant Musicians Come From?
You will never find a brilliant guitarist who has not put in thousands of hours of playing and practising to get to where they are. Playing the guitar is a learnable skill that anyone can achieve. What people perceive as talent has always come from hours of hard work, which has produced that brilliance. Often, people who brush off trying new things by stating that they are not talented enough are subconsciously making excuses for not wanting to put in the time to achieve things themselves.
There are three components that come together to create brilliance and massive results with any skill. These are practise, ignition, and a master coach. In this article, we are going to focus on what practising guitar truly is and how it contributes to achieving massive results on the guitar.
Are you “Playing” guitar or “Practising” guitar?
What is the difference?
Let us imagine for a second that you are a professional tightrope walker. You are pretty good, and you perform every night for a small circus in front of half-terrified, half-excited audience members. To keep your job at the circus, you must not make any big mistakes while performing. You have big dreams about being a world-renowned circus performer, but you know deep down that you are not good enough yet.
Playing Guitar Without A Safety Net
You know that you have to get better at your tightrope act. And you need to perform more daring stunts to further your career, but how can you do this?
You start putting in more time, going to the circus early and practising on your tightrope walk with just the net to catch you if you fall. However, you have a problem; whenever you try anything too difficult, you fall off the 50-foot high tightrope and land in the netting. You are not making enough progress fast enough because every time you fall off. It takes you a long time to climb back up to the 50-foot ladder to try the same stunt again.
You do not know what to do, so you seek out expert advice. Then you find out that the fastest way for you to make progress is to go back to basics. You are told to set up a tightrope in your garden, two feet above the ground and start focusing intensely on your weaknesses to make improvements. With the rope being so close to the ground. Every time you fall, you just jump right back on the rope to try the same stunt again! No time wasted, and more repetition of the same stunt until you perfect it.
What is it like practising properly?
As a guitarist, performing, recording, or jamming is like the performance of the tightrope walker in front of an audience. You sound good when you are playing things with which you are comfortable. To keep looking good and sounding good, you do not want to make any big mistakes while performing. Instead, you want to ignore your weaknesses and focus on your strengths to look and sound good. This experience is called “playing the guitar”.
“Practising the guitar” is when you need to identify what challenges you need to work on. Then focusing on those challenges intensely and in minute detail. When you are practising the guitar, you have a different mindset. Just like the work of the tightrope walker, you are going to focus on your weaknesses and eliminate them.
Weakness in your playing are the biggest things holding you back. You should be looking at very short passages and bursts of music to increase repetition of practising these challenges. This strategy is like setting your tightrope very close to the ground so that you get lots of repeated practise at the same stunt over and over again until you get it right.
Are You Playing Guitar At The Right Level?
To judge if you are working at the right level of complexity, you should look at how many mistakes you are making. You will know that you are working on the right things if you are playing it correctly two out of five times. That means that three out of five times you are making mistakes! This moment is a sweet spot where you are striving to grow and failing as you go.
How can you identify which challenges you should be working on?
The following exercise will blow out all of the cobwebs that were previously making you unsure of what to do when you practice.
- What do you want to achieve in guitar playing over the next 90 days?
- Write down your answer.
- What are the top three things holding you back from achieving that goal right now?
- Write down your answers.
- What is the solution for these three things?
- Write down your answers.
- Put this piece of paper on the wall in front of where you practice and get to work on it right away.
Start working towards your goal every day.
Contact Us For Guitar Lessons in East London
If you would like help reaching these goals or if you are struggling to work out what the solutions should be for your challenges, we can help you by diagnosing your problems and putting a plan together along with the appropriate exercises to solve them. Contact us today for your free introductory lesson.