Practice Makes Perfect (But Lessons Certainly Help Too)
Some may call the guitar the easiest instrument to learn. We’re not too sure about that, but when compared to the size of an upright piano, a cello, or a drum kit, it’s certainly one of the most convenient instruments to pick up and lug around. Though it’s a lighter and more portable option than these instruments, it still takes a lot of time and dedication in order to master. Like anything else, it will take a lot of practice.
The great ones make it seem simple up there on stage and in their polished music videos. It’s easy to forget that you’re watching a well-oiled machine that was methodically prepared for with hours upon hours of repetition. None of these bands or solo artists played their first gig without carving out time for rehearsals, nor did any of them make a veritable hit without working devotedly towards their craft. Some paid their dues with seemingly countless hours of practice and playing at dive bars before they hit it big. Others, like Alt-J, were a little more fortunate, playing only a few university shows before the Powers That Be catapulted them into the international focus. But even they spent time and effort developing their skills and distinctive sound before booking any show.
You might not have goals as ambitious as your favourite artists, but you still want to learn your way around the notes and chords of the guitar with some competency. You don’t need the fame and accolade of the stage, but you do need some base level of skill before you enjoy your own playing. Conquering your first set of chords will come with enough satisfaction that you’ll want to tackle a full song. And before you know it, you’ll be playing along with your favourite albums.
Finding pleasure in the guitar is the easiest way to make sure practicing comes naturally to you. Without enjoyment, you’ll find it hard to put aside the time to pick up your guitar. And as the hours you devote to your instrument start to dwindle, so too will your talents. Sometimes, it’s not for lack of amusement that you start to lose interest in the guitar, but your overall lack of motivation.
Studies have shown that when you’re beholden to someone else, you’re more likely to meet your goals. Make sure other people know that you’re planning to pick up the guitar, so friends and family can ask after your practice. Search out local musicians to help you learn the craft, and maybe one day you’ll be good enough to jam together. Your best decision would be to enroll in guitar lessons. A professional musician who knows the ins-and-outs of the instrument can help you stay on track. They’ll also know the unique obstacles a new guitarist may encounter, and they’ll offer tried techniques in order to overcome them.
Finding a professional to help you take on the guitar may take a little bit of searching. The market might seem flooded with options, but when you investigate your choices, you’ll find that they aren’t much of an option at all. Flyers attached to community bulletin boards, the neighbourhood light posts, and online message boards are usually made by local amateurs who want to turn a buck on their spare time. Without any classical training or real-world experience (like a touring musician would have), these teachers won’t flesh out your training properly. Sure, they could show you the chords, but you won’t be able to pick their brain for advice.
Luckily, there’s an option that unites every Canadian that wants to learn the guitar.