I suppose everyone has heard about the term, ’Writer’s Block.’ It is a popular notion where a writer goes through a phase when they can’t write anything and derails themselves’ from the path. It so happens because of the lack of proper motivation and the ability to focus on their passion.
It might happen for an amateur guitarist during his guitar learning course and as an experienced guitarist, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to stay focused and motivated in your guitar playing journey.
In this article, I’ll share some tried-and-true tips and strategies that have helped me stay on track and continue to grow as a guitarist.
From setting achievable goals to finding a supportive community, these tips will help you stay focused and motivated to learn guitars with more attention and appropriateness.
Premium Tips For Guitarists To Stay Focused And Self-Motivated
Likewise, in every new learning process, the first few weeks are thrilling for amateur guitarists. The new cords, original tunes, and a new instrument dazzle every guitarist. This dazzling picture puts a curtain in front of their eyes. It prevents them from looking through the appearance of the harsh and crude reality.
However, things start getting complicated when a few days pass away. It becomes tough for them to keep the right focus. As the learning and practice session becomes hard, most guitarists begin to leave their passion for guitar and music. How pathetic!
Accordingly, it is at this point you will need to check my premium tips for beginning guitarists and beyond listed below for motivation to stay focused on the right track.
1. Play your favorite tune
In my long expanding career, I have seen guitarist losing their interest in guitar due to their lack of passion.
As a newbie, almost all the guitarists are asked by their teachers to practice some previously popular tunes. It helps them learn the necessary skills. Nonetheless, it becomes monotonous sometimes.
So, in between learning the basics with the best acoustic guitar for beginners, try to play your favorite music. It will refresh your mind and help you be focused.
As you play along with your much-loved music with your guitar, it helps you to achieve some sort of gratification. It helps you to motivate yourself.
2. Find a passionate teacher
I admit that one might learn guitar on his own directly through proper practice even at home. In addition to this, YouTube videos and online courses have made the learning process more comfortable.
But beginners should know the answers about how to practice guitar consistently, how to enjoy playing the guitar, and how to get motivated to play guitar again.
Finding the correct answer to all those queries will be easier through a true guide. So, the influence of a passionate teacher to learn guitar is undeniable.
A good teacher will help you learn smoothly yet at a satisfying speed. He will also help you know your limitations and how to overcome them. Thus, finding a good teacher will pave the path for your guitar career. Furthermore, he will calm down your initial excitement, assisting you to stay focused.
Therefore, finding an enthusiastic teacher will help you throughout the course of guitar learning. A teacher will assist you in finding out your faults and rectifying them too. Isn’t it an added advantage?
3. Set short-term goals
The easiest way to keep oneself motivated is to experience the sweet taste of achievement. The only way you can taste such sweetness is to achieve new goals. To do so, set short-term goals. It might be a day-long or even a week-long goal.
Here’s a trick you might apply to set your short-term goal:
- Proficiency: Focus on learning new techniques, new guitar tricks, and achieve proficiency in them.
- New song: Always try learning new songs and play them on your guitar.
- Learn theory: Don’t fool yourself to refrain from learning musical methods. Always learn the theories and incorporate them with your playing.
As you focus on these three short-term goals, your guitar learning process will be a smooth one. Additionally, short-term goals will help you realize your development.
4. Establish a practice routine to stay organized and disciplined
Many guitarists fall short while learning too many things at a time. Instead, focus on a particular item at a time; learn them sequentially rather than simultaneously.
For instance, it is not better to learn how to play the famous ‘Titanic tune’ and ‘Elvis Presley’ simultaneously, learn them one after another. Set specific goals for each practice session and minimize distractions to maintain focus.
Organize your short-term goals and guitar practice routine according to your level and limitations. A consistent practice schedule in a dedicated space without distractions is crucial for honing your guitar skills and achieving long-term objectives. Consider attending regular guitar lessons or utilizing online resources for added structure and guidance.
By staying organized and disciplined, you’ll see increased progress and motivation. With a well-structured routine, you’ll find everything falling into place and experience a significant boost in motivation. Remember that staying organized and maintaining discipline during practice sessions is key to continual improvement as a guitarist.
6. Embrace Variety
One way to keep your guitar practice sessions interesting and stay motivated is to incorporate a variety of styles, genres, and techniques into your routine. This can help you avoid getting stuck in a rut and keep your playing fresh and exciting.
For example, if you primarily play rock music, try learning some jazz or classical pieces to broaden your musical horizons. Experiment with different techniques such as fingerpicking or alternate tunings to add new dimensions to your playing.
By embracing variety in your practice sessions, you can keep things interesting and stay motivated to continue improving as a guitarist.
6. Setting limits and taking a break
While learning and mastering guitar require much hard work and practicing, overdoing so will result negatively. It will help if you make a balance between your hard work and relaxation. I guess you know the proverb, ‘Too many works make Jack a dull boy.’
Never become Jack instead become the one you want. Set your limits for each practice session to 10, 20, or 30 minutes. For instance, allot 5 minutes for warming up, 10 minutes for a basic cord session, 30 minutes for transcribing new songs, and so on.
More importantly, take a proper break after each session. It will refresh your mind and generate new ideas to play with your instrument. Some guitarist denies taking any break during their practice sessions which is detrimental.
If you take short breaks, it will regenerate energies in you while allowing you to judge yourself during the jamming session.
7. Remember why you started learning guitar
Always keep in your mind and think about why you wanted to learn guitar in the first place. What inspired you most to make this decision? Was it a beautiful song you heard? Did your favorite band make you want to learn and play guitar? What is your goal to accomplish by learning the guitar?
Being able to answer all these questions will help you to be more focused and in tune with who you are trying to be & why you want to be it. Because learning to play the guitar will transform your life for the better. So make sure you have your goals set and remember what you want to attain.
8. Recognize and reward your achievements
Always be keen to achieve new goals and stay attentive to recognize your accomplishments. Moreover, it is a good idea to reward yourself with something to celebrate your achievement.
I may recall my own experience here when I paid myself with a concert ticket for my favorite band, Band Wolves. It filled me with great joy and enthusiasm.
Therefore, always award yourself with small gifts whenever you unlock a new achievement while you learn the guitar. It helps you keep yourself highly motivated. And what’s better than self-motivation?
9. Build a connection
It is better to build a relationship with other guitarists and build a community among yourselves. Please share your own experience with them and try to learn from them.
Learning the guitar takes a lot of toil and time, so creating a community with people having a similar mindset will help you stay focused.
Moreover, as you build your own guitarist community, their experience will come in handy to realize your faults and take tips from them.
Therefore, engage yourself with one or two guitarists community to seek help whenever you feel it is essential. I guarantee that this would bring a new dimension to your learning procedures.
10. Watch the great guitarists playing
I once watched live the two brothers, Justin and Dan Hawkins. I swear by the Christ upon, I was mesmerized. I was so inspired that for the next few days, I sweated to play two of their famous tunes. You can do it too. With concerts aired live and online, it’s even more comfortable to watch your favorite guitarist live and be inspired by them.
For instance, you might see how BB King, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, and even John Mayer played their guitar. It will help you to learn how they coordinated their hands with the instrument.
Moreover, it will inspire you to discover their tricks which will make you a better guitarist. And finally, as you see the great guitarist playing live, your hearing will become more apparent.
The clearer your ears get, the more you will understand your music resulting in identifying your faults and correcting them.
11. Listen more and more
Never stop listening to new music and try to play it on your guitar. Whenever you feel a lack of motivation, start listening to your favorite songs. It will automatically stretch your hands to pick the guitar and play the music.
You can’t get inspired if you never listen to the music that inspires you! After all, listening to Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and not playing it on the guitar is unimaginable!
The more you will listen to different guitars, the more you will understand the differences among different tunes. It will surely help you to make your individual and distinctive style. Once you can build your style, you will start getting recognition from fellow mates. It will surely help you to motivate yourself.
But keep in mind that you should avoid songs that demand advanced skills to master it. If you fail to learn those songs properly it will demoralize you and you will lose your focus.
12. Record Your Progress
Recording yourself playing the guitar can be a powerful tool for tracking your progress over time, identifying areas for improvement, and boosting motivation. By regularly recording your practice sessions, you can see how far you’ve come and set new goals for yourself.
One advantage of recording yourself is that it allows you to objectively evaluate your playing. You can listen back to your recordings and identify areas where you need to improve. This can help you focus your practice sessions and make the most of your time.
It also allows you to share your progress with others on social media. This can provide a sense of accountability and encouragement from others.
Another advantage is that recording your progress can provide a motivational boost. Seeing how far you’ve come and hearing the improvements in your playing can be a powerful source of inspiration. By regularly recording your progress, you can stay motivated to continue improving as a guitarist.
13. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness techniques, a type of meditation, can be a powerful tool for staying present, focused, and engaged while playing the guitar. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to stay in the moment and fully immerse yourself in the music.
One way to practice mindfulness while playing the guitar is to focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths and pay attention to the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. This can help you stay grounded and focused on the present moment.
Another technique is to pay attention to the physical sensations of playing the guitar. Notice the feeling of the strings under your fingers, the sound of the notes ringing out, and the vibrations of the instrument.
By staying present and focused on these sensations, you can deepen your connection to the music and stay motivated to continue improving as a guitarist.
14. Place the guitar in front of your eyes
Is there anybody who hasn’t heard that out of sight often takes it out of mind too? So, be careful that this doesn’t happen to you. Therefore, place your guitars in such a way that they are always in front of your eyes. It will help you stay focused on your guitars and play them whenever you get free time.
If you put your guitar in such a place from where you might see it during most of the daytime, it will inspire you to take the guitar and play a song with it. And as you play the guitar, your intensity and accuracy will increase accordingly.
15. Buy a guitar that you want to play
Do you think that some guitars look the coolest things in the world and looking at one or seeing some other guy play that guitar makes you wanna play that too? If so then try not to choose a guitar only for its specifications or endorsements.
Since you won’t play guitar you don’t like so listen to your heart and go for the guitar that makes you want to play it! Always worth investing a bit more in guitars if it means you’ll actually want to get it out of the guitar case and practice!
Some guitar enthusiasts claim that they feel heavenly when they visit a brick-and-mortar guitar store like ‘Guitar Center’ which motivates them to get back to playing. Also, you can try out this kind of guitar player’s inspiration.
It is quite evident that at some point, it will be tough for you to stay focused and motivated to continue learning your guitar. It is so natural that none of us can escape from the harsh reality.
During such tough times look back to your past that how far you have come from being an amateur guitarist to an expert one.
Your passion and love are, in fact, the last thing that will help you be inspired, and the above tips for guitar players will act like companions with your emotions.
About the Author
Gustavo is a music teacher and classical guitar player from Brazil, currently residing in Dublin, Ireland. He holds a graduate degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Federal University of Pelotas. In 2020, Gustavo successfully completed a Master's degree in Sound Engineering from the Academy of Sound in Ireland.