Appropriate Challenges: Understand Them And Kill It On Guitar

Occidente, Photographer Unknown, Public Domain

What are appropriate challenges?

Let's say someone said to you, 

"Whether you like it or not, this is a 600 page book on (insert subject here). You have to master everything in it, or else I am going to execute you for your failure. Good luck, and oh, did I mention you have two weeks to do it?"

Sounds tough right? That's an inappropriate challenge. Now lets say someone said to you,

"As requested, I am going to teach you (insert subject here). There's no time limit on your studies. Your only job is to develop an appreciation for each topic, one at a time, and at your own pace. Let's start with the very most basic topic and just worry about appreciating that, first. Ready?"

This is an example of an appropriate challenge. It has just the right amount of pressure, and it starts with the most basic lesson that is easiest to appreciate.

Knowing what challenges are appropriate and inappropriate is essential to successfully taking online guitar lessons, and teaching them too. Let's get into the details of why appropriate challenges are so important to your progress on guitar.

Why are having appropriate challenges so important?

When you are only faced with appropriate challenges, you will receive a huge rush of momentum with each victory that you have. It's like playing a video game that starts off easy and slowly gets more challenging. When you are only faced with inappropriate challenges, each battle will seem  impossible to win. This is like playing a video game that starts off super hard, you can't progress, and eventually you give up because the game offers you no small, satisfying victories.

Satisfying victories in guitar are so important, and they lead to bigger ones. For example, learning to play an E minor chord is a small victory for a beginner. Sooner or later, the A minor and E major chords become easier to play as a result of knowing the E minor chord in the first place. Then, the same beginner adds more chords to their repertoire. One victory can easily turn into many if there are appropriate challenges.

The more small victories you get, the more momentum you receive. The more momentum, the more fun your experience of playing guitar. If you're faced with inappropriate challenges only, say goodbye to enjoying guitar, your momentum, and your dream to learn. You'll think it's just too hard. 

How hard is guitar for you?

Would you like to figure out if you are being faced with appropriate or inappropriate challenges in your face-to-face guitar lessons or online guitar lessons? Ask yourself one very important question, and consider it deeply:

Is learning guitar from (my teacher/online lesson website) like playing a very well-designed and satisfying video game?

If you can't answer yes, it's time to find a new place to learn from. Your enjoyment of the guitar is far too important to leave in the hands of people who don't take care to smooth out the path for you, ahead of time. Finding people who do present you with appropriate challenges however is well-worth the effort.