It’s all too common to be stuck in a rut when it comes to achieving your goals. The worst thing is that you can’t figure out why you aren’t achieving those goals. This can come down to a few different reasons.
Know that it is completely normal to experience a stop in your progress, sometimes you will just hit a wall. The easiest way to fix any problem you have relating to guitar playing is to get a teacher, as they will be able to see your blind spots immediately.
If you can’t afford a guitar teacher, then there are a few things that you can try so you are well on your way to making amazing progress.
You’re Doing The Same Thing And Expect A Different Result
This is very common when it comes to learning improvisation. If you are trying to improvise over a backing track or even changing up a solo, you might find that your ideas are always the same.
Doing the same thing will give you the same result, so you simply need to change what you’re doing. In the problem of sounding the same, you can try to listen to different guitar players so you can incorporate new ideas.
You can even take this a step further by stopping what you originally did for a while and only implement the new ideas that you’ve learned. By forcing yourself to only use new ideas, over time you will find a way to make it work.
There is something else that you need to do in addition to this, and that’s consistency. You won’t get the results you want by just learning some new licks. You will need to keep experimenting and playing around with them until you get results.
Seeing no results for an extended period is normal and nothing to worry about.
You’re Not Practicing In Isolation
One common mistake that guitarists make when trying to accomplish a goal is attempting to play every element at once. What does this mean? If you have the goal of wanting to improvise over a backing track, then you will try to do everything at once, such as:
Making sure you hit the right notes
Keeping up with the chord changes on the backing track
Playing what comes to your mind
Come up with a great melody
It’s a much better idea if you can focus on one element and become comfortable with it before moving on. Trying to do everything at once is difficult because you don’t have any experience in any of the areas, and you have to multi-task.
You can learn all these elements in one practice session; providing that you isolate it. If you want to learn the notes of your fretboard, then treat it as a separate exercise and so on.
If you are trying to play what comes to your mind, don’t worry about hitting the right notes just worry about trying to get what’s in your mind to your fretboard. As you become more experienced you can start joining the pieces of the puzzle.
Check out this cool gadget, with Chord Pal you can practice anywhere you want!
You Just Practice Too Much!
Yep, you heard it. Over practicing can be counter-intuitive and can lead to a decrease in progress. It’s like going to the gym. If you don’t give time for your body to rest and heal then you will just cause more pain, not making any progress in the end. Give yourself a few days of rest and you will come back refreshed.
Being consistent of course is very important but you don’t want to reach a point of burnout. Perhaps you feel as if you need to practice 10 hours every day for the next 10 years as you have been told that’s what all the great guitar players did. They definitely did extensive practice, but with regular breaks.
You Are Trying To Progress Way To Fast
We all know how tempting it can be to take shortcuts and take the easy way out, but this ultimately just leads to a long road. A guitar player who is learning to play arpeggios will try to start at a really high speed but this is wrong.
If you start fast, then you will sound sloppy and all over the place. By starting slow and building your progress slowly, you will eventually get to a stage where you can play fast and clean.
Remember if you can’t play clean at 50bpm, there is no way on earth that you will be able to play clean at 100bpm. Remember to be patient and start slow. You need to start from the bottom to get to the top as the old saying goes.
A common problem that you will run into if you are learning to play fast is that you will see that one day that you can play at 100bpm and then suddenly you can’t play at that speed. It’s a weird problem, but the best thing to do in this scenario is to stick to one speed and play it for a few days until you know that you’re ready to bring up the tempo.
You Are Still In Your Comfort Zone
One of the biggest causes of not making progress in any area of your life (including play the guitar) is simply staying inside your comfort zone. Progress always happens outside of your comfort zone.
If you play the same 10 songs that you know over and over, then that’s as good as you will ever be. But if you decide to learn something completely new and above your skill level, you will bring your ability to another level.
Are you the guitar player to always play the same licks? Then there is a good chance that your playing will never expand and will always sound the same. If something scares you or makes you nervous then that’s a good thing, you should head in that direction.
You Haven’t Asked For Any Feedback
Nobody can see their blind spots, that’s why it’s important to find someone who can reveal what you’re doing wrong. If you don’t ask for feedback, it’s quite common to get stuck in a rut.
You will ask yourself constantly, “Why am I not progressing?” and it will be difficult to figure out on your own. Of course, you can try to figure it out, but the amount of time you will waste is just not worth it in the end.
You can get feedback from guitar teachers or you can even hire an online teacher through a Skype session to try and figure out what the issue is.
Hopefully, this guide has been helpful in how to make great progress. Remember to keep taking consistent and daily action. Above all else, be patient.
There is a strong chance that you will get stuck in the vicious cycle of trying one solution quickly and then moving to the next. This is an issue because results take time.
After trying every solution without giving it enough time, you will be back to square one because you haven't stuck with it long enough. So just remember to stick with an idea for a while to see if it’s going to get you anywhere.
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