Why do so many people only "wish they could play guitar"?
Playing guitar is a lot of fun. It can help you feel fulfilled as a creative being, it can improve your social life, it can guarantee you that you will never be bored again in your life. However, we often hear people saying they “would love to learn how to play guitar”, but we don’t always see them take action. Why is that? It all starts with excuses and misconceptions, and here are a few of them and how to overcome them...
I’m too old to start learning an instrument.
Do you think learning an instrument, as learning languages or anything in general is for children because “learning comes naturally to them and without much effort”? If this was true, no one would ever learn the guitar as an adult. But thousands of adults learn the guitar every year or become better guitar players by getting help from a great teacher. They are the living proof that any can learn at any age. They don't have any "special natural talent", they have just made the decision to sit down every day with a guitar and learn how to play. Your excuse is a terrible excuse, and you know it. So drop it and start learning!
I'm not musical, talented, creative (you name it...) enough in order to learn an instrument.
Lots of people enjoy listening to music, many dream about playing an instrument, yet very few people actually think they are musically talented enough to be able to pursue this dream. But being good at guitar has much more to do with focused practice than with natural talent. Some styles require a high level of guitar, but other styles are less technical and beautiful music has been made with simple guitar riffs, chord progressions and lines.
I don't have time to practice.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. To this day, no workaround has been found to this. However we all choose to use these 24 hours for different things. Learning an instrument takes time, but there are plenty of ways to practice even with a busy schedule. You can practice the guitar while you commute or when you are waiting for your doctor’s appointment- without your guitar! You can play rhythms on the seam of your jeans, train with you ear with ear training apps, listen to songs you like and analyze how they are structured to be better able to play them later on, etc.
I’m too clumsy and my hands too small.
Well, I am left-handed and play right-handed guitars. Also, I broke my pinky a few years ago and now it is twisted. Also, I am one of the clumsiest people I know: I drop things or stumble on things or burn things or break things pretty much every other day. If you show me a dance move that has more than two steps in it, you can be sure I will ask you to show it again at least five times.
Yet I am a guitar teacher and professional guitar player. Did it take me more time than a “non-clumsy person” to get to the level I am at? I don’t know, and frankly I do not really care. I have been enjoying the process of learning how to play guitar, and keep enjoying it every day, and that is all that really matters.
I don’t know how to find a great teacher.
You may have tried to learn on your own from Youtube videos, but no video will every substitute a teacher who can correct your technique and give a personal advice. One good way of finding the best teacher in town is to see what their students say about them, and to see how their students play. Not all guitar teachers are equal, and getting proof of their students make is a reliable way of knowing how efficient they are as a teacher. The fact that someone has a degree, is a great player or has been teaching for 30 years is irrelevant until you can see the actual results they bring to their students.
So as you can see, what holds many people back is either a set of excuses that have no rational grounds, either just not knowing where to start and how to go about things. People who only “wish they could play guitar” are in fact say they are not prepared to do what it takes to actually learn it. Are you prepared to do what it takes? It is not that hard, it just takes time and focus. If you are, then just go find a great teacher to get you started on your journey and enjoy the ride!
About the Author
Matthieu Delage is the director of the Escuela de Guitarra de Madrid, which is considered as providing some of the best guitar lessons in Madrid. It uses a proven method which has produced significant results for many guitar students.
Matthieu es el director de la Escuela de Guitarra de Madrid, donde se imparten unas de las mejores clases de guitarra en Madrid. Usa un método probado, que ha producido importantes resultados para muchos alumnos.