Being frustrated about your guitar playing progress is awesome. In fact, it is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to you.
Why so? Well, there are a few reasons which we are going to explore in this article. Also, in order not to just leave you hanging there, I’ll throw in a good tip on how to overcome your frustration.
1. It means you really care about getting better at guitar
If you think about it, the worst thing that could actually happen to your guitar playing would be for you to stop caring about how much progress you make. Indifference is the worst possible killer of progress. Why would you put any effort into something you don’t care about?
You care about become a great guitar player, and that is why you are frustrated when you do not progress the way you want to. This is very positive because it means there is a lot of energy that we can channel to turn you into a great guitar player. The best guitar players are often the ones that have encountered the most frustration along their journey, and who have found ways to eliminate that frustration.
2. It means you will be much more receptive when presented with efficient ways to overcome your guitar playing problems
Since you have already banged your head against walls with solutions that do not work, you are likely to be very attentive when someone shows you solutions that have actually been proven to work and can work for you too.
A great teacher will be able to find customized ways to help you with each specific problem. The reasons why guitar players get stuck at a certain level vary from person to person, and so does the way each person is going to overcome each problem. This is why generic advice from the Internet often does not work.
Many people who have tried to teach themselves or to learn from the cheapest teacher possible in order to “save money” build a lot of frustration and this gets them to choose to learn from a truly competent, expert teacher who has brought proven results to many students. So frustration is a positive, since it fuels your desire to make the necessary time and money investment to truly become a great guitar player.
3. How to relieve some of your frustration right now
Although on the long term, the best way to eliminate your frustration and feel great about your playing will be to learn from a competent teacher, there is something you can do right now and that will already help you feel better about your playing.
Break down what you want to achieve into tiny, very achievable mini-goals that are specific and measurable. Then track your progress in a notebook and observe the tiny improvements you make every day.
For example, stop saying “this chord change is impossible to play” and start calculating how many times per minute you can perform the chord change. You will get a very specific measurement of how fast you perform it. Then repeat the exercise many times and write down the result. You will see that after doing it enough time, your score will improve by 10, 20, 30% or more. You will see tangible proof of your progress, which you wouldn’t have been able to observe without measuring it (often we start playing 200% as fast as what we were doing a minute before, and we don’t even realize it).
If you are still not seeing any improvement, then it might well mean that you are performing the movement or practicing it the wrong way. This is where getting help from a qualified expert can help you.
Start making these realizations and applying this simple tip every day in your guitar practice and you will start feeling much better about your guitar playing!
About the author
Matthieu Delage is the director of the Escuela de Guitarra de Madrid, which is considered as providing some of the best guitar lessons in Madrid. It uses a proven method which has produced significant results for many guitar students.
Matthieu es el director de la Escuela de Guitarra de Madrid, donde se imparten unas de las mejores clases de guitarra en Madrid. Usa un método probado, que ha producido importantes resultados para muchos alumnos.