28 August 2009

Learn Guitar: 5 Ways to Deal With Stuck Progress

Are you struggling to get your guitar progress into gear? If you're frustrated by the feeling you are stuck in neutral then here are five tips to help you shift up to a new level of playing. Fasten your seatbelt, and let's go for a ride...

From time to time as you learn guitar you will be frustrated as your playing gets stuck on a plateau. Worse, this plateau will sometimes feel lower than previous playing levels. But don't despair, here are five tips to help you get to grips with your learning plateau and grow to reach new levels of guitar playing.

Get Mad

Give vent to your feelings. If your lack of progress makes you feel mad, then yell. Sad? Then cry. Whatever the bad feelings you have about your progress give them an expression.

If you keep the bad feelings and frustration inside they'll grow and undermine your confidence. Of course, don't do anything to anybody you'd regret later. No road rage, yell and cry with yourself only.

Find a comfortable space and give your feelings full course for ten or fifteen minutes. That should be enough to empty all or most of the bad feeling. Then sit down and calmly work out what you will do to work through your progress plateau.


After getting mad and letting go of your frustration it's a good idea to wind down and relax. Do some breathing exercises, stretch, take a walk and get some fresh air. Or maybe just enjoy a film or some other relaxing activity.

Immerse yourself completely in pleasurable activities and forget about guitar practice. When you feel the urge to play again your relaxed mood will let your playing flow more easily.

Let Yourself Play

When you do pick up and play again don't start with high expectations. Swap Formula 1 racing for a quiet Sunday afternoon drive. Let yourself simply PLAY with the guitar and enjoy what you know already. Go back and have fun as you play through songs you've learned well already.

When you've had enough of playing them all, go back to your practice schedule and pick up again.

A Change Is Gonna Come

Often a plateau is a sign that some kind of change is going on, only you can't see it yet. Keep on with your practice and you will discover a new level of playing on the other side of the plateau. When you look back you'll probably wonder what you made all the fuss about.

Don't Give Up

However you deal with your plateau don't let it cheat you into giving up. Challenges to your confidence and persistence are a part of the learning process. The only way you can fail to get better at playing guitar is when you give up.

Now, signal, check your mirror, engage first gear, and cruise on to a better guitar future...


Guitar article writing: Gary Fletcher writes quality, original guitar content for your web sites. Discover guitar writing services for guitar web sites, blogs and newsletters. Visit http://www.writescribe.com/guitar to learn more.

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Photo by ChrisDownUK.


Sarge said...

Good advice....as usual

Angele Martin said...

Often people find it difficult to play the guitar simply because they're holding it incorrectly, and forming a habit that's difficult to break later on. If you're standing, the guitar should be in a comfortable position, but secure enough that it won't fall. If you're sitting, you should be in an area large enough so that the guitar doesn't knock into anything.

Gary Fletcher said...

Angele, You're right - if you're stuck because of a technical problem then you need to fix it. Thanks for your comment.

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