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5 Ways People Prevent Themselves From Learning To Play Guitar - And How To Avoid Them

Being a guitar teacher gives me the advantage of being able to talk to people from many backgrounds. These people have different likes, dislikes and dreams. One thing that many people have in common are the reasons they have for not doing things. In this case that thing would learning how to play guitar. This article is going to look at 5 barriers people put up to stop themselves from learning to play guitar. 

As you read through the article ask yourself if you have had any of these same thoughts? If you have, you aren't alone. One thing that you will see is that you don't have to continue feeling this way. 

#1 - Time - I'm too busy right now

It doesn't matter who you are, we all have the exact same amount of time in each day- 24 hours. Another thing to consider is that we all make time for the things that are important to us, no matter what it is. We also will make excuses to justify putting off the things that do not matter as much to us. Does learning to play guitar matter enough to you to put in the time to learn? If you answered yes then you have taken the first step. After making that determination you will find it very easy to make time to learn to play guitar. 

Most of the time, when people answer no they do so because they are afraid that they won't be good enough. Saying that they don't have they time to learn makes them feel better about not attempting to play guitar. 

In reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Nobody starts out as a great guitar player. Getting to that point is a process and there is no shortcut to get there. You have to put the time in to get to where you want to go. The good news is that this is definitely something that you can do. 

#2 - I'm not naturally talented / I'm not musical

It is true that some people will learn faster than others. It doesn't mean that others can't learn too. Nobody is born a great guitar player. Playing guitar is a skill, Like any other skill, that you have to learn and practice. It doesn't matter who you are, you can learn and develop the skills you need to play the music that you want to play. Working with a qualified guitar teacher and your practice habits will develop your mucial talent. 

Think about this another way. What would you say to someone who said they can't get a driver's license because they aren't a natural born driver? How about someone who never learned to read because they werent a natural born reader? Sounds pretty silly right? Neither are skills that anyone is born with. We all have to learn how to do those things. Guitar is no different. 

#3 - I have small hands

 I have heard this one a lot over the years. The truth is that having small hands has advantages and disadvantages. It has no determination on whether you can play guitar or not. Having small hands might prevent you from being able to palm a basketball. Yet it won't stop you from being able to play basketball. The size of your hands doesn't matter. 

#4 - I have large hands

The other side of the coin is that people think that their hands are too big to play guitar. This is also not true. Like having small hands - there are advantages and disadvantages. It alone will not determine whether you can play guitar or not. To use a different version of the reasoning from above. If your hands are big enough to palm a basketball, it doesn't mean that you are now able to play basketball. 

#5 -  Age (I'm too old) 

Many people believe the saying about teaching an old dog a new trick. The question that they are not asking is "does the old dog want to learn a new trick?" How many people do you see graduating from college in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s? If it was true that age determined the ability to learn, how are these people graduating from college? The short answer is that they wanted to. They wanted to learn and never saw age as a barrier to learning. 

Learning to play guitar is no different. If you are willing to learn, regardless of your age, you can learn to play guitar. Not only that - you can be great at it and you will have fun in the process. You don't have to be a professional musician if you don't want to. You could learn to play for a fun, cool hobby. 

People come up with so many barriers to prevent themselves from learning to play guitar. As you see above, the reasons given are all things that can be overcome. Have you ever said or thought any of the statements listed above? Have you heard people saying those same things? 

If you answered yes, think about this: 

What would happen if you made the choice to try? What would happen if you made up your mind that you were going to be an awesome guitar player? 

About the author:  Byron Marks is a guitar teacher and professional musician. He teaches beginning guitar lessons in Manchester, NH  

@shin   last year
This article is fantastic! And those excuses are on point. I picked a guitar up when I was 11 years old, I learned some things but dropped it a while after saying "It's not my thing.". After 3 years I picked it up again never looking back. That was the best thing I've ever done. Now I'm learning stuff I never imagined myself learning in the past. Hope this inspires some people :).
@pauljones   last year
Same here! We all lose motivation from time to time, especially when discovering how much there is to learn and how hard technique or theory can get -it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But in my experience, playing with other musicians and opening oneself to listening to all kinds of music is the best way to stay motivated- there's so much cool stuff you can incorporate into your playing. And the best thing is that it gets easier as you progress- I used to be intimidated by stuff that I play effortlessly today. I like to think that whenever I'm feeling stuck or overwhelmed.
@fl3k   last year
Great pieces of advice! I've heard all of them from people having a guitar but not taking the time to play it.
In my opinion free time is really a problem for some busy people (like me). :)
I agree with @pauljones about listening to different music styles to keep motivation and to avoid boredom and incorporating new stuff to enrich your playing.
Nice article, thanks for posting!
@nidzan   last year
This is an interesting article,although I've heard all of those reasons at least a dozen times each,none of them can be used to justify not learning a new skill.It all basically comes down to one simple question "Is learning this worth your time to you?" If the answer is yes then no reason from this list or any other will prevent you from learning.I agree that it is not easy and that every once in a while,a person can lose motivation.I believe that the only way past that is expanding ones horizons.Maybe new genres like @pauljones and @fl3k mention or maybe through working with a band.Whatever works for you its important to love what you are doing enough to never get bored of it :)