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7 Reasons Most Of You Will Never Learn The Guitar

7 Reasons Why Most Of You Will Never Learn The Guitar

Some typical questions many beginner guitarists ask when they first start:

“What chords should I learn?”

“How do you play metallica songs?”

“What’s a good guitar book?”

“How do I get good at guitar?”

“What songs should I learn first?”

And I believe these are good questions that have mostly very bad answers.

You see, many beginner guitar lessons focus on very specific topics like chord strumming and holding a pick. Of course, those are vitally important but……

Many methods don’t have a clear system in place!

What I mean is, your goal when you start learning is to be able to analyze a tab correctly, choose the right techniques, and apply the right fingerings from the get go.

This is the basic skills you need to have. It’s the foundation that every other skill will be built upon.

Without these skills and a few others, no amounts of chords or tabs will help you learn to play the guitar.

All the free videos on YouTube won’t help you until you have this foundation locked down, and you avoid a lot of mistakes beginners like you will usually make.

So here’s the biggest mistakes I’ve seen and made myself, as well as how to avoid them………

Mistake #1: You’re Paying A Lot For Lessons And Making Very Little Progress

Lessons in some way or form is certainly necessary, but not in the way you’re thinking……..

At $25 bucks per in-person lesson on average, for 30 minutes a week…….

You better hope it’s effective and you’re loving the songs/riffs you’re learning.

Because if not, it’s going to be a waste of time, and for 80% of you it will be!

Lots of great guitar players are self-taught, and lots of great guitar players have taken lessons.

Look at Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett learning from Joe Satriani as the most famous example!

But here’s the truth……..

You need the right information, and the right method. Not the right teacher.

Most of your improvement is going to lie in the struggle you’ll making learning, playing, and practicing songs and exercises as well as the hours you may spend noodling and improvising with scales.

You will not have access to a teacher throughout most of this process and that’s something you need to accept right away…….

Mistake #2: You’re Not Learning Music You Like Or Can’t Figure Out How To Play It

Lots of beginner books like the Mel Bay or Hal Leonard books focus on nursery rhymes and folksy chord progressions.

However most people start learning to play the guitar because they like Metallica, Black Sabbath, Robert Johnson, or Nirvana.

Lots of guitar methods are unfortunately not built around helping you learn the foundational skills to play these songs!

They will show you the notes maybe, but they won’t tell you the peculiar techniques necessary to play them.

Let’s go back to Joe Satriani for a second. His first teacher taught him “Jingle Bells” when he wanted to play Hendrix.

This is a reason a lot of players don’t stick with learning the guitar…….

They aren’t into what their teacher has given them to play……

They don’t know how to go about learning the songs they like……..

Or no one is teaching them how to play songs they like to play, like Rap music riffs, which yes they do exist and can be played!

Mistake #3: You Have No Process To Determine Finger Positioning

This is the biggest struggle most beginners will have because they just have no reference point for this, and fingering everything the right way can be quite tedious. 

It can be overwhelming to keep together all the information of where your fingers should and should not go. 

It’s even harder to do this by yourself with few guiding principles. 

Plus, many songs and riffs will require at least some slightly different fingerings to make! 

It’s hard to make these decisions as a newcomer to the instrument…….

But you have to, and you have to rely on yourself to figure out the best ways to play the chords and licks you’re given. 

Mistake #4: You’re Not Learning The Right Techniques

Most books and methods start and stop at chord strumming. They’ll also teach you how to hold a pick…..

The most important thing that I hope you get from this article is this…….

Becoming a proficient guitar player requires having some familiarity with the most common right hand and left hand playing techniques.

Metal guitar for instance requires knowing when to use different combinations of right hand playing techniques. Country guitar will require a lot more fingerpicking.

Rock guitar requires a little bit of everything depending on what subgenre you’re playing whether it’s Punk, Rockabilly, Folk, or Alternative.

The first few months will require you to get acquainted with these techniques, and another crucial skill…….

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Mistake #5: You Can’t Match The Guitar Tabs To The Music

You will spend or probably already have spent a lot of time looking over guitar tabs.

It’s not really hard to learn, but what is hard is learning how to match everything you’re hearing to what you’re seeing.

Again, you just have no reference to these sounds!

One of my favorite bands is Guns n’ Roses, and I wanted to learn “Welcome To The Jungle” but couldn’t match the tabs to what I heard. I kept confusing the intro to the verse!

It just took time to match what I was playing to what I was hearing on the record.

Mistake #6: You Think The Solution Is More Chords Or Scales

A chord book and scale book is a great asset when you first start on the instrument.

However most players will not use most of the information in those books.

You ever heard of the Guitar Grimoire books? You’ll never use about 95% of the info in that book.

It wouldn’t help you anyway.

What will help you though, is knowing some basic shapes and basic scales and knowing how to use them in a variety of scenarios.

Once you get familiar with a few scale patterns, they will help you learn and remember lots of riffs.

Once you learn a few basic chord shapes, you will more quickly learn songs and implement new shapes.

So don’t waste your time learning Maj7b5 chords for now, unless you’re dying to learn Jazz.

Theory will come later when you want to understand how songs are written, and how great guitar players choose the notes that make their riffs and solos.

Mistake #7: You Don’t Have The Right Learning Method

This is the last mistake I swear!

Determining finger positioning, analyzing tabs, learning basic shapes, and applying the right left and right hand techniques…….

Are skills most methods do not teach.

They will teach you strumming patterns, rhythm notation, and boring songs instead.

I’ve known this for a long time and struggled to put these concepts into a system myself.

But in the past two years I’ve thought long and hard about the process I use every single time I learn a new riff or solo.

The basics never change, and it’s repeatable for anyone whether they’re an absolute beginner or a super advanced lead guitarist.

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It’s super simple and practical advice from an experienced guitar player.

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