29 August 2008

The Art of Staying Motivated

The Rock House blog recently posted some good advice on Rock House Blog: The Art of Staying Motivated! that I think you will enjoy.

Here are a few highlights...

"Learning to play any musical instrument, especially if it’s your first, is about as easy as learning a foreign language. Within the first day, you’ll probably be able to say, "Que pasa, amigo," (the musical equivalent of this would be playing an open E string) but to communicate fluently will most likely take years of study and practice."
As an eternal beginner myself, I can relate to that. Maybe I'm just slow, but I know it's taken me a lot of years to get to the modest level of playing I'm at now.
"Don’t let frustration be your enemy. Frustration might cause a few people to try even harder and practice longer, but for most people it’s just depressing and distracting. If you’ve been working hard on that exercise or new technique and you can’t quite get it perfected, you might be getting ahead of yourself."
I can relate to this experience. I've managed to learn to play some pieces in the past at the cost of many hours diligently practicing each chord change with a metronome. After a few songs I realized that what I was attempting was really just too hard for me. Sure, I could have kept learning more songs like that, but each one took so much time I'd just get no sense of progress.

"Another important thing that can help bring your confidence back up and motivate you to stay on track is to get positive feedback. Play for your friends and family and jam with other musicians who can give you some tips and new ideas. If you only practice on your own and never show anyone your progress, the personal enjoyment might not be enough for you. If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Getting up to play guitar in front of other people is hard for many people. And when you feel that you're only a beginner it's even harder. But don't compare yourself to the pros you see playing live or on TV. They've worked long and hard to build their skills.

Your friends, family and others won't expect you as a beginner to set the stage on fire with your blazing guitar solos. Just play what you know and they'll be happy, so get up and play. The first few times are the hardest but keep at it and you'll soon forget your difficulty. You might even start to enjoy it.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

As a Rock House Method member, I have to say that their products and techniques are great. Their DVDs and written material, plus the free on-line Help and support from its community is great. I have met some great guitarists from this site and all of the above has help me maintain my guitar learning process.


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