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Staying Motivated with Guitar

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"(Sigh) This is much harder than I thought..."
This is the reaction I get all too often from new guitar players.  If this is how you're feeling at the moment it might help you to first of all realise that you're not the only one who has felt like this. 

I suppose that every single guitar player reaches a point in his/her learning stage where discouragement kicks in and the feeling of giving up lingers on the horizon.  This is a crucial point since it's here where many (or many even MOST) guitar players decide to give it up because it's "just too difficult!".

Need some help staying motivated with guitar?  This page will give you some insight into what you can become and help you on your way.

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Why do people give up?
I've found that most people who never get past the first couple of lessons before giving up, usually had wrong expectations.  Maybe you saw a cool MTV video of some guitarist jamming away at a lightning pace and decided that you want to be able to do the same... 

So you run down to the music store, get an electric guitar, then start your first lessons.  But the lessons start out with strumming, chords and scales - not at all what you're REALLY interested in.  And besides it's sooo difficult!  Just fretting and strumming a basic chord is proving to be a real problem, never mind playing solo's!
In the end, you never get very far, you give up after a day or two and your guitar gathers dust in the closet until you sell it on Ebay for half the price you paid. Sad story huh?  Well it happens often - and it happens because people have wrong expectations!

Learning the guitar WILL take effort and, especially in the beginning phases, lots of it!  People who approach guitar learning knowing that it will take dedication and motivation on their part, usually fare much better than the person who jumps headlong into the process thinking he'll be able to play like a hero after a couple of lessons.

The Hardest stage in Learning
The hardest stage of the learning process is the beginning.  That's why staying motivated with guitar is more of a problem for beginners - the longer you've played the easier things become.  Therefore you'll need more motivation in the beginning then you will once you've mastered the basics.

My advice is that you be gracious to yourself when you're just starting out.  If you really struggle with even the most basic chord and can't seem to strum and fret at the same time, go easy on yourself and refuse to dwell on negative thoughts.  It will get better, everyone struggles in the beginning, but it doesn't last.  It does get better, it just takes time...

Staying Motivated with Guitar
- Envision yourself as a pro player.  Seriously, forget for a moment the fact that you nearly died strumming the D chord and imagine yourself playing like an expert.

- It also helps to set yourself some goals.  But start small.  Tell yourself you want to be able to switch between the basic chords after a month and be able to play the major scale without looking at your fingers after 3 months.  If you set realistic goals, and then achieve them, you've just earned yourself a massive dose of motivation!

- Have realistic expectations: Remember that it IS hard in the beginning and it does take a lot of effort.  Don't expect that anything worthwhile can be learned easily.

- Don't make excuses:  Don't say "It's too hard" or "I'm just not cut out for guitar".  Those aren't reasons, they're excuses and what they actually mean is "I'm not willing to put in the effort". 

Hang in there, it gets better and easier quicker than you realise.

Screw this!  I never wanted to play in the first place!
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