29 March 2010

Learn Guitar - How to Recover From Mistakes

Do you get frustrated when you make mistakes playing guitar? Mistakes are inevitable as you learn and play, they happen to all of us, no matter how well we play. So, if making mistakes is something we have no chance of escaping from can we turn them into something positive to help us play better guitar instead of just getting frustrated by them?

I recently came across two good tips from Cameron Mizell - a Brooklyn based guitarist - on living and dealing with mistakes (part of 10 tips for beginning guitarists). Applying these should go a long way to removing frustrations about your mistakes and turn them into positive learning experiences.

First, up Cameron advises us not to afraid of our mistakes,

Don’t be Afraid of Mistakes

"When you learn something new, you will make a lot of mistakes. I always tell myself those mistakes are bound to happen, so I might as well get them out of the way now. What’s more important is that you identify the trouble spots, and then break the passage down to fix the trouble spots. This is where a good teacher can really come in handy."

Now, wouldn't you make much better use of your time if you calmly break down those troublesome passages and fix them instead of getting all steamed up about the mistake?

Another common guitar beginner problem that arises from mistakes is the syndrome of the never finished song. You might have experienced this yourself - I know I have. You can never finish a song or a piece of music because you interrupt yourself at every mistake to go back and get it right or start again.

Now, as we've just seen there are times when it's appropriate to spend time fixing mistakes, but you also need to get into the habit of just keeping on. As Cameron puts it,

Practice Recovering from Mistakes
"Since mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, learn how to get through it and keep playing. A metronome is a great tool for this exercise. The beat keeps moving and so should the music, whether you hit the chord or not. Don’t stop every time you mess up, just catch up at the next downbeat. Imagine the music happening on it’s own, your job is to simply play along not sabotage it."

No matter how good you get at playing guitar you will still make mistakes. They happen to the best players and even when you're playing a piece you know inside out. How you deal with them can make the difference between becoming a good player and one that just can't get beyond their mistakes is the way you deal with them. Heed this good advice and mistakes can become friends that help to guide you to better guitar playing.

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