Why around 90% of guitar students quit and what you can do to avoid it

Pretty blond woman playing the guitar in full length over white background


Why is success on guitar so illusive? Are some people just more talented? It seems that research has revealed what most teachers and coaches have known for years. Talent comes from practice and persistence. Natural ability may exist in certain situations but in most cases any advantage soon fades in comparison to the dedicated practitioner. 

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Why do you want to learn guitar?
To understand why people quit guitar let’s begin with why people start guitar. Every beginner has an image in their mind of themselves being at the very least a reasonable guitarist. This is where it all starts to unravel. They start lessons but soon find the practice is not as much fun as they imagined. Some students enjoy the practice from the very beginning but most do not. 
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This dislike of practice is sometimes subtle.
Rather then just admitting they don’t like practicing they make excuses like “I’m too busy today” or “I’m too tired” or “My lesson is not till next Friday so I can practice later in the week”. The first step is to just admit you don’t enjoy the practice. Once you admit that to yourself you can work on it. 
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For the love of practice 
It took me many years to work this out so you may want to pay close attention if your aim is to succeed on guitar. Let go of the goal. To clarify, you need clear goals. You need to know where you are heading and to brake down the steps. Think in terms of someone building a house. They can’t just start building and hope the end result will be their dream home. They must plan first and then follow the plan but here is the thing. When the building begins they should focus on each step. If they are impatient they will likely miss steps and make mistakes. They are also much more likely to quit. Perhaps after a month they have only laid the foundations. When they step back what they see is no sign of a house. 
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Focus on the task in front of you
When your plan is done you can literally let go of the goal. It’s time to enjoy the process and I do mean enjoy. There is a pleasure in working on one skill or small section of a song. Don’t rush it and don’t be concerned about your overall development. By focusing one thing at a time it actually frees you from the need to worry about the goal. If done right you will get lost in the moment. 
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Simple does not mean easy
While I know it sounds simple it won’t be easy. You will be constantly tempted to go back to your old ways but taking this approach will reduce the chances of you quitting because you are not overwhelming yourself with big goals. You are just working on small tasks and learning to enjoy the process. Do this everyday even for 10 mins you will soon come to enjoy it. Your real goal is to train yourself to enjoy practice because then the guitar will learn itself. Try it and see what happens. 
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