Why You're NOT Getting Better at Guitar (4 Tips /Solutions)

As guitar players /musicians we base a lot of our success upon the internal judgments we make within ourselves. In doing so, we tend to focus too much energy upon how we're doing compared to others... By making these comparisons, between how we "feel" that we're doing (at playing the guitar) compared to what we "think" of the talent of someone else, it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress...

Doing this to ourselves often leaves us feeling like we're not achieving as much or not doing as well as, other musicians. The mental game being played is entirely in our head, and is based upon our expectations of where we are at a given point in time, and where we hope to get to one day.



In this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider we're going to not only discuss, "Why You're NOT getting Better at Guitar." But, I'll be offering four day to day solutions as well.

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STEP (1). Begin by clearing your work area of everything that isn't related to what you're studying. If that means dragging in a garbage can into your practice room and throwing away a bunch of junk that's cluttering your space, than do that.

If you don't have a music stand to put your work-sheets on, get one. If your room needs anything like a new guitar foot stool, new lighting, a new window blind, if your guitar needs new strings - get that stuff done. Make your first step, be the creation of a clean, orderly, organized well-balanced area where you can start getting some constructive work done.



STEP (2). The cleaner more tidy and more organized that you make your work space will help you generate a higher degree of focus upon what you need to study. When you sit down to work, you want there to be a focus on getting into playing, studying and practicing - not on having to locate some item (like patch-cord, or a mike stand), that's become lost.

Practice delayed because you need to do another job, like fix something, is practice lost. Doing "patch-job" repairs to something in your practice room, your studio, or office, is taking time away from playing, so get that stuff done first.

Most importantly you don't want to be distracted away from WHY you came to your practice room in the first place. It's so easy to become distracted - you need a high sense of focus placed upon your study material to get faster more long lasting results.

Distractions not only waste time, they pull you off course. And, because all of us are so busy, being pulled off-course it can really become an issue as the days and weeks go by.

STEP (3). The next idea that is a really big one, is the battle that we all go through as musicians of how we judge our progress. And, what we feel is success.

Years back before the internet, it wasn't as big of an issue. We didn't have judgements that were based upon how many YouTube subscribers someone had, or how many Instagram followers a guitarist had.

Today is different. These days the only way to deal with this, is to do your best to ignore it all. Likes don't matter, subscribers don't matter. Look to others for their ideas, and for "taking away" something of value. Not as comparisons.

To do this effectively, you need to focus on yourself - keep a log, focus on your own progress and ignore everything else aside from what you can take in and use.

Preferably, keep a simple hand-written log of how you feel you've done on each day you're studying a piece, or a topic. Maybe it's a scale, or a song. Maybe it's an arpeggio, or a pentatonic lick. Whatever you're working on, give yourself a chance to understand how you thought about that particular idea on a day to day basis.

You'll look back and be able to realistically understand where you were, what tempo you were at and how things have been evolving with your studies over those past few days during a week. Judge your progress to you, and not associated to anyone else.



STEP (4). Last but not least, I need to mention how important it is to understand how you learn. We're human beings first and guitar players second. We're not machines and we can't control how we naturally feel about ourselves at every second of every day.

Our minds are always operating as a natural, internal system that's designed to regulate feelings of how we judge ourselves based upon our own beliefs and our own value systems.

And, while we can work very hard at controlling these, over a period of time life experience catches up with us all. That's why, to be the best musicians we can, (a musician who is always growing and expanding), we need to study the pshycological stuff.

If you study learning, if you study the practice methods and techniques of the greats, if you make it a point to research creativity, and all the psychology that goes along with that, you'll reach a new level of understanding within yourself. And, that level of thinking will help you when everything you're doing on guitar feels like you're pulling a train uphill.

The greatest musicians and performers in the world, the ones that we all look up to, are not just great because of their natural talent. At some point they studied how to better control themselves and their systems of thinking, to help them reach those levels.

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Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at creativeguitarstudio.com and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."

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