You probably think I’m impatient, impetuous even, because I keep going on about learning guitar fast. Well, I heard a statistic recently that illustrated perfectly why it is important to get results quickly in your guitar playing.
I was amazed to learn that 74 out of every 75 people that take up the guitar never make it past the initial “novelty” phase of being a guitarist. That’s just short of 99% of all would-be guitarists that just give up. Why on earth is this the case?
For the purposes of this article, I’ve decided to leave my natural suspicion of all statistics to one side – did you know that 97% of all quoted statistics are made up on the spot? – and take this figure at face value. Besides, it sounds about right to me. Most of my friends, who started playing guitar at about the same time as me, no longer play their guitars (that’s if they even own one anymore).
Well, as a keen guitarist myself, I have trouble understanding why anyone wouldn’t want to practise for four hours a day five days a week. Ah…if only there were enough hours in the day…
But, if I try really hard, I can just about imagine that some folks might not be quite so obsessed as I am. They might just be having a go at playing the guitar to see whether they like it or not. If they aren’t getting lessons and are finding it difficult to make any real progress, maybe they feel they’re putting in a lot of effort for little in return. As Mick used to say,
I can’t get no… [guitar] satisfaction!
And this is what it all boils down to – satisfaction. If you practise a lot but don’t really get anywhere. If you want to understand guitar theory but never quite “get it”. If your fingers are sore because you’re using poor technique. If any of these things is true, or perhaps all of them, then it’s no wonder you feel like giving up.
If you can’t get no satisfaction, you ain’t gonna play no more. It’s as simple as that. And that’s why I’d like to help those beginners out there by giving them some advice on how to learn guitar fast. And I’m not simply being impatient. If you get better quickly, you notice your progress. If you notice you’re making good progress, you’ll be much more likely to keep learning, to practise harder, study more diligently, and seek out good advice.
And this brings me to the whole point of this article. If you want to become a good guitarist and you don’t want to become one of the 99%, you need to get proper training.
Do you reckon these guys avoided lessons and taught themselves?
I very much doubt it.
The best thing you can do is get face to face lessons with a good guitar teacher. If you can’t afford the time or money to do that (or perhaps you’re a sophophobia sufferer, in which case you’d better turn off your monitor and step away from the computer now), the next best thing is an online guitar course, of which there are many. Some even allow you a free trial period so that you can see whether they are worth it for you.
And when I say, “guitar course”, I mean you should actually get your credit card out and buy some lessons, because you get what you pay for and a good course is worth every penny. What I don’t mean is surfing randomly around YouTube looking for pointers. That’s potentially a huge waste of your valuable practice time – you need to get hold of a proper, well structured course. A proper series of lessons that takes you by the hand and walks you step by step through the basics of playing guitar. With a proper guitar course, each lesson builds on the previous one so your learning process is faster and easier, leaving you with more time to enjoy your other interests.
Play with other musicians, especially guitarists who are better and more knowledgeable than you. You’ll be amazed at how generous people are with their knowledge if you’re willing to learn. This is a fantastic way to learn new tips, riffs and licks and will bring your playing on hugely.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut. Do make sure you learn guitar fast by seeking out the best advice, because that’s the best way to achieve guitar satisfaction and stay in the 1% group of lifelong guitarists.