All tagged urgency

Are you too old to learn guitar?

2012 Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention by Eli Christman, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Okay, it’s time for you to hear a brutal truth: If you think you’re too old to learn guitar, don’t start.

There. I said it. Why?

Life is precious. The time you have left is invaluable. There are so many ways that you can spend your time and your energy. There's no point doing anything that will get in the way of you living your life, especially if you think it'll be a hassle. If you think you're too old to learn guitar, stop right now. Don't read further. Turn off the computer, and do something that you really want to do. Your life is too important to waste...

Process Over Product: The Secret to Learning Guitar

Vintage Guitar by Photos, CC0 Public Domain

Not too many people understand exactly how much fun it is to learn guitar slowly.

There's no rush, no need for urgency. A lot of people are wrapped up in the hope that they will one day experience the magical moment when they can play guitar and can label themselves "good" at it. They rush to experience that feeling, and it doesn't end well.

I've practiced and studied guitar for more than twenty five years, and I've still not experienced a complete enlightenment with it. Moreover, the process of learning guitar is so enjoyable for me that I don't worry about outcomes anymore. I might get a moment or two of elation from time-to-time, but these moments are always fleeting and short-lived...

How long to be good at guitar?

Paris by macadam13, CC0 Public Domain

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you'll know by now that I'm not a fan of the word "good." Why? It's a judgement. Judgements require an immense amount of energy to maintain. I personally feel that judgements get in the way of learning guitar. To me, the process of becoming familiar with how to play guitar is far more important than becoming good. 

That said, I think it's fair to address your question of how long it will take to be good at guitar. There's no point in you doing this unless you have an end point to shoot for. If your end goal isn't defined, if you can't define what "good" is, how will you know when you're there? Let's throw some ideas around.

How long does it take to learn guitar?

Musician by Marianella Foto, CC0 Public Domain

When I am asked the question, "How long does it take to learn guitar?", my out loud answer is, "Anywhere from one day to one year." 

My inside-the-head answer, however, is, "That depends." 

There is one factor that weighs more heavily than all the others when it comes to how fast we learn guitar: How many guitar-playing friends and professionals do you know personally? The higher the number of people you know, the faster you'll learn guitar. How does this work? 

The more people you know, the better the chances that they will start to want to play music with you. That's a pressure that you want. The more guitarists you know, the more likely you'll have support when you need it. The more guitarists that you know, the more you'll want to hang around and play music with them.

Let's say you agree with this idea but don't know where to start finding guitar-playing friends. That's easy: Find a guitar teacher first.

Achievement-Based Guitar Goals

Play Guitar, Guitar, Music by CondesignCC0 Public Domain

When most of us think about setting goals, we think about setting achievement-based goals. These are goals like, "I want to learn how to play five songs."

Achievement-based goals are clearly defined and they can help us measure our success, but it depends on how emotionally attached we are to achieving them: The more we need to complete the goal, the harder a struggle to learn guitar we will have.

This post goes over some very common achievement-based guitar goals that beginners make for themselves, and how to make them stronger. Let's hit it. 

The trouble with urgent top guitar goals

Banjo musician by Public Domain ArchiveCC0 Public Domain

The big reason why you picked up a guitar is important: It's your top guitar goal. I find it very odd that most beginners haven't articulated their top guitar goal, considering the implications.

If this top guitar goal is riddled with the worst infectious disease of learning, if it's completely surrounded with the biggest enemy to practicing guitar, you are in for a world of hurt. 

What is this disease I speak of? Urgency.

This post was written to shine a clarifying light on urgency. I want to help you get rid of it forever. Let's jump in.