So, you’ve decided you want to learn how to play guitar. Maybe you’ve found some online guitar lessons to follow or a Nashville guitar teacher to help you along the way. You’re excited to get going and have big dreams of becoming the next Jimi Hendrix or Joni Mitchell. You may think learning to play guitar will be a piece of cake, but unfortunately, it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows in the beginning. Here are the top four things to expect when as a beginner guitar student:
- You won’t be able to play your favorite song or sound exactly like your favorite guitar player right away. If you want to be able to play exactly like Eric Clapton, then you’ll need to put in plenty of practice time because that’s the only way to improve. These great guitar players didn’t come out of the womb playing guitar; they spent tens of thousands of hours practicing. Don’t give up on yourself because you can’t remember which finger goes where or are having a hard time with timing. There isn’t a shortcut to becoming a guitarist. You may find yourself feeling frustrated with how slow your progress is but stick with it.
- Expect your fingers to be in some pain or discomfort in the beginning stages of your guitar playing. This is a whole new feeling for your fingers and it will take some time to get used to it. Over time, your fingers will start to build calluses and you won’t be bothered by it anymore. Just remember that if playing guitar was easy and simple, everyone would do it.
- Guitar playing is more than just purchasing a guitar and practicing a few times a month. It’s a serious investment. In addition to a quality guitar, you’ll also need amplifiers, pedals, capos, accessories, lessons, etc. But don’t let that deter you from getting started. You can buy the accessories as you go and gradually upgrade the quality of your guitar/accessories as you become more serious. Even Jack White, from the White Stripes, started his guitar playing on a hand-me-down guitar from one of his nine siblings.
- The way you listen to music may change. You won’t be able to listen to a song and just bop along to the beat or belt out the lyrics. You’ll start to examine the guitarist’s techniques and critique/praise the equipment they chose. You’ll listen to music for the details instead of just listening to pass the time.
The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. – B.B. King
Learning guitar is hard but it’s so rewarding. You’ll start to build confidence in your playing and will acquire a priceless skill along the way. Don’t become discouraged the first time you mess up. Practice makes perfect and that’s especially true when it comes to learning how to play guitar.