Plain and simple – practicing the guitar should be fun. No matter what your goal as a musician, from playing your favourite songs in your bedroom to improvising and jamming with friends, recording to performing live on stage for fans, you cannot escape practice.
I have always loved practicing my guitar because I find ways to make every single thing fun. What happens if you don’t have fun practicing guitar? One of 2 things: Either you continue to stay at your current playing skill level, or, even worse, you quit playing guitar altogether.
I know of many piano players, who invested many years of their lives learning and playing it, only to end up quitting because it was not fun for them.
I also know of guitar players who were so disappointed in their lack of ability on guitar they even stopped the guitar altogether, stopped watching live bands, stopped going to concerts etc., because the pain of seeing others play the guitar was too much of a reminder of their own failings as a guitar player.
Suffice to say – if you are not having fun practicing the guitar, we need to address the root causes of the problem. In this article, we will explore reasons that may hold you back from having fun practicing.
6 Reasons why you may not have fun practicing guitar
Reason #1- You lack motivation
Your motivation to practice is obviously not in peak state at every minute of the day. No one’s is! Find ways of motivating yourself to pick up your guitar and practice and do them just before you practice. Look for the reasons why you wanted to pick up the guitar in the first place, and visualise yourself achieving them – get your mind in a peak state. Having strong and juicy reasons why you want to do something and constantly bringing them to the forefront of your mind is a powerful technique used by pro musicians.
Reason #2 – You lack progress
This is one of the biggest frustrations for guitar players and all musicians. Practicing but not getting anywhere and feeling lost is a very painful experience. Many musicians set themselves up for failure. They try to teach themselves things, and have no way of accounting for that progress except for ‘how they feel’ about their playing. Learn how to track your progress and get a good teacher to help you out with this.
Reason #3 – You lack understanding
Are you a guitar player who just seeks guitar tabs of your favourite solos and just learn how to play them note for note? Do you just learn where to put your fingers physically on the guitar so you can just repeat what someone else does?
Understanding music and what happens on the guitar, how everything relates is a big mystery for many guitar players. This especially happens when they learn things in bits and pieces from the internet in a random order.
Eventually, all guitar players realise they actually can’t get away from the fact that they will require some basic understanding of music to enable them to do what they ultimately want to do.
Reason #4 – You do not know what to do to have fun
Whether you just started learning guitar today or have been playing for 30 years, there is ALWAYS a way of making your guitar practice FUN! Even if you need to practice the most mundane or seemingly boring exercises, there is a way of making those exercises dynamic, interesting, variable, usable and applicable in real music. If you don’t know how to use your existing knowledge to have fun playing guitar, you need to seek out some help!
Reason #5 – You lack a good practice routine
Having a good practice routine is the cornerstone of good practice and an essential road map that will lead you directly to reaching your guitar playing goals. This is really tied to the point above – knowing what to do will allow you to create a dynamic, interesting and fun practice routine.
Once you have a practice routine, you have a plan to achieve. You are setting yourself up for success. Make sure you schedule it and execute it according to plan.
Reason #6 – You lack goals
This is the most important one of all! Are you a lost guitar player? Do you know what you want to accomplish on the guitar? Do you want to play specific styles/genres? Do you want to play your favourite songs? Do you want to write songs?
Get crystal clear on what you want to do on guitar and you will increase the chances of achieving them.
What should you do now?
Now, see if you identify with some of the reasons holding you back from enjoying practicing your guitar.
What can you do to overcome these problems and how can you start to enjoy your practice session?
Can you also identify other things that are holding you back? If so, what are they?
About the author: Vishaal Kapoor is a professional guitar teacher in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He coaches guitar players to achieve their dreams. Do you need help reaching your guitar playing goals? Get the best guitar lessons in Kuala Lumpur at GuitarKL.com.