11 Mistakes Guitar Players Make and How To Avoid Them
(06 Apr 09)
7. Focusing On The Right Things, But in The Wrong Order. This is a common mistake that even many advanced guitar players make which causes a lot of wasted time and frustration. Imagine you want to improve your ability to create your own cool guitar solos. Lets assume that you are advanced enough to truly understand all the primary and secondary elements of composing guitar solos (or you have a guitar teacher to help you). Each of the many elements need to be learned and/or practiced in order to easily create awesome solos that you like. Where should you begin? What should you focus on first, second, third? Which of these things should you practice simultaneously? There is always a specific order in which musical skills should be learned and mastered in order to EXPLODE your musical skills. Unfortunately, that order is totally different for every person, style of music, musical goal, skill set and knowledge, so giving an example here would be pointless. My advice, find the best teacher you can and study with him/her in order to be able to do what you want to do with your guitar much faster and easier.
8. Not Isolating Problem Areas. Few guitar players are aware of the small things that hold them back in big ways. Because these little imperfections seem insignificant to us, we often ignore them. The truth is, small hinges open big doors. In the video mentioned above I explained how allowing your pick to lose its momentum when you are not picking a note on the guitar makes your playing slow and sloppy
. which will make you feel very frustrated. This is why I was sure to make a special point to help you avoid that mistake. Check out the small sample sweep picking video guitar lesson for more details.
9. Learning And Practicing Guitar In A Step By Step Linear Process. Does following a linear step by step approach to learning, practicing and mastering guitar seem like common sense good to you? Yes it does
And that is why guitar players who follow such a path are NOT great guitar players. Im going to let you in an insiders secret
The truth is, following a linear approach to learning, practicing, and mastering is the NUMBER ONE REASON WHY GOOD GUITAR PLAYERS STRUGGLE TO BECOME GREAT GUITAR PLAYERS
I originally thought I would write an article on this one point alone, but I think you will learn this concept better in another short video I recorded while I was doing a recent guitar instructional clinic tour a few months ago. Check out this free sample from my How to Master The Guitar clinic.
10. Practicing Guitar In The Same Way Your Favorite Guitar Players Practice. Have you ever read about how your favorite guitar players practice and then tried to repeat the same practice routine? Yes, Ive made this mistake too! It seems natural to use a similar guitar practice schedule that our favorite players are using. This is a mistake, because your current guitar skill level and knowledge of music is probably very different from your favorite player. His/her challenges and needs are likely not the same as yours.
Professional guitar players practice for different reasons than most amateur players do. For example, before recording a new album I will practice very differently compared to the period before going on tour. Once Im actually on tour my practice routine changes drastically again. The rest of the year my practicing schedule changes yet again. This happens because in each case my challenges and goals are totally different. When my guitar students ask me, Tom, how do you practice guitar? Im careful not to let my students assume that they should practice the same way that I do. Your practice schedule and strategy needs to be built around YOU and you only! If you need help building your own practice schedule, email me directly.
11. Learning From Too Many Different Sources Of Information. There will always be many learning opportunities and various paths to take, but it is critical that you do not get distracted into following a piece of advice from one person, then another piece of advice from another person and then follow more resources from somewhere else and so on and so on... while different people may have some good ideas to offer, the fact is, distraction is a big reason why many guitar players who are actively learning, don't really move forward quickly... these people are always busy following totally different resources, teachers, philosophies, instructional videos, free online guitar lessons, but all of this leads them to take one step forward, then 2 steps to the right, then one step forward, then 3 steps to the left, then one step backward, then two to the right, then 1 step forward and then another step to the left...
An illustration of this is shown below. The first path is obviously the most direct way to arrive to your goals. The second path is the inefficient approach filled with many distractions that come from various pieces of advice from many sources:
Once you have an effective strategy to become the guitar player you want to be, ALWAYS stay focused on it (unless your goals radically change)!! The very best way to do this is to have ONE primary guitar teacher who helps you to become the musician you really want to be.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't take advice from other people too, but you should have one 'primary' source of information, training and coaching, and see the other advice as an additional resource, but do not become distracted by it.
Download this free guide How To Choose A Guitar Teacher to find a guitar teacher with proven teaching strategies, proven training strategies and proven results so that you become the awesome guitar player you want to be and play the guitar the way youve always wanted to play.