Learning guitar could be compared to taking a long difficult yet rewarding journey. Knowing exactly where you are going and then having a plan will help you to reduce time going around in circles or ending up lost and frustrated. As with any difficult journey there are constant challenges both physically and mentally. The drop out rate on guitar is extremely high because students become frustrated due to their perceived lack of progress. I prefer to see this problem as a lack of CLARITY. When you are clear about where you are heading and have a plan and a timetable of how long it will take you will naturally become more patient. Impatience for the most part is just a lack of knowledge. The ‘Are we there yet?’ scenario. Think about when you wait for a train. If it you know you have 20 minutes to wait you accept it and perhaps read a book or catch up on phone messages. On the other hand if the train is running late with no idea of when it will actually arrive every minute feels like an hour.
Your Ultimate Song List
Some guitar students will often procrastinate about what kind of guitarist they want to be while at the same time being frustrated because they feel they are going nowhere. If this is you my suggestion is to just pick something. Anything. Pick a goal and starting moving in that direction Choose a style of guitar or a particular guitarist, band or even particular songs. Any goal is better than no goal at all. When students enroll we give them a blank sheet with 25 lines called the Ultimate Song List. (You can get a free copy from our Student Website) We then ask students to write out 25 songs they would ultimately like to play. The idea is to create a real sense of purpose to their practice. The list is not set in stone and can be updated at anytime. I know when a student has trouble filling in this list that we have a problem that must be addressed before we go any further. In some cases I will even suggest to students to take a break and come back to me when they have 25 songs on their list. In most cases they are back the next week with list in hand.
The role of any good teacher or method is to help you firstly to set clear goals and then to map out a plan. The G4 GUITAR METHOD gives students a clear direction that takes into consideration that students will eventually find their own direction. For this reason we focus heavily on the essential skills because these skills will prepare you for almost any style. Rarely are you going to regret learning essential picking techniques, chords, arpeggios, scales, rhythm, reading and aural (ear training).
It was once said that 50% of learning music is listening as this provides the inspiration you need. If you want some ideas search the internet for all time great guitar players or start by asking family and friends who they like. In no time at all you will discover something new and inspiring and your list will quickly grow. There has never been a better time in history to find inspiration because the Internet has more inspiration than anyone person could ever need.
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