by Maurice Richard
Senior Instructor at Halifax Guitar Lessons
Learning to play guitar is not easy for most of us. It’s not something that comes naturally.
It can seem painfully slow to some people and for most of us things never seem to progress as fast as we would like.
You have to contort one hand around the neck of the guitar and somehow press down on a bunch of strings and hopefully make it sound right.
Then you have to hold a tiny little piece of plastic with the other hand and carefully make sure you strike all the right strings. And to make it even worse, you have to do all of it at the same time!!!
All of this takes time and effort to get it down so if you can find a way to reduce that time that would be awesome wouldn’t it?
Here are 3 ways to increase the rate of progress that you can make while learning how to play the guitar.
1. Find The Right Teacher And Take Lessons
This is by far the best way to speed up your progress when learning to play guitar.
What do I mean by the right teacher? I mean someone who has been trained how to teach. Not only that but they also have specific training on how to teach guitar.
Many guitar teachers are really good players, some have gone to university, some are in bands and have toured, etc. However, those do not make them a good guitar teacher.
A professionally trained guitar teacher will know the correct order to teach you guitar and will know the right timing to introduce new ideas and concepts.
Even more important though they will create a specific plan just for you so you can reach all of your guitar playing goals!
2. Practice The Right Things The Right Way Every Day
Practice makes perfect. Everyone knows that. But what we forget is this is only half of the equation.
If you practice something the wrong way you will not get it perfect. You will get better at doing it wrong.
Learning how to practice properly is crucial to learning how to play the guitar and progressing as fast as possible. Doing something the wrong way for any period of time is a waste.
The absolute best way to make sure you always practice the right things, the right way, is to always be in front of your teacher when you practice.
That’s not usually feasible but you can get closer to that reality by taking more lessons with your teacher.
3. Take As Many Lessons As You Can
Assuming you have found a really good teacher that knows how to teach and is properly trained, the next best thing you can do is to take as many lessons as you can with them.
This will multiply your rate of progress for many reasons. The main one being that you are going to be getting more instruction and feedback on your playing more often.
However, there are other reasons you will progress faster this way. After you have a lesson with your teacher you go home and you practice. If you nail down the exercise the first couple of practice sessions you are not going to be able to move forward until the next lesson.
But if you take extra lessons with your teacher you will see them sooner, they can assess your skill and move you to the next level right way instead of waiting.
On top of that if you practice something incorrectly when you are at home you have to wait longer to have it corrected. This means you waste time doing things the wrong way and slow your progress.
If you add just those two things together you can see why even one extra class a week can help you progress at a much faster rate.
What Else Can You Do To Increase The Rate Of Progress On Guitar?
If you follow the 3 steps above you will progress very quickly. Faster than you likely ever thought possible.
But there is more you can do if you are determined to learn as quickly as possible.
One very important technique you can use to speed up your progress is isolating problem areas in your playing.
When you learn something new and try to apply it, there will always be a part of the song or exercise that will be more challenging than the rest.
Instead of playing the entire piece, focus only on the challenging part until you improve it. Then add it to the bigger piece again and watch how much better the whole thing is.
Finding a good teacher in your area is still going to help you more than anything else so make that a priority!