Learning to play the guitar is fairly simple for the younger crowd. Once you get your guitar, you pour heart and soul into it and practice every free moment that you have. There’s no family, employer or financial demands on your time and attention. You just concentrate on the guitar.
As an adult, though, there just never seem to be enough hours to get everything done in our day to day lives, let alone having hours to devote to learning the guitar.
Then, for many of us, as we pass 40 or 50, things change and old passions and dreams come knocking on our door again. Playing guitar is a good example.
If you always wanted to play guitar as a kid but didn’t, I can guarantee you that it’ll come back to haunt you later in life. At that stage, it can become an obsession once you wrap your fingers around your new or rediscovered guitar.
We often have the intention and expectation of learning to play the guitar…. like yesterday, only to hit the brick wall called reality because it usually doesn’t happen that way. Even if we have more time than we used to, we don’t have 8 hours a day to devote to the guitar. And, even if we did, our fingers wouldn’t be able to take it in the beginning.
Soon we realize that this is going to take longer than we expected, we start to find it difficult to learn and start thinking that our time has passed.
If this starts happening to you, this isn’t the case at all. You just have less free time. When we’re young, we’re carefree and time is unlimited. Now, you have more things to take care of and so your time is restricted. It’s no one’s fault, that’s just the way it is.
Above all, don’t get discouraged and quit out of frustration.
Come to think of it, maybe you had unrealistic expectations thinking that you’d learn to play like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Paisley and company overnight.
This is the critical point. To get through it, you have to let go of the unrealistic expectations and take a lesson from toddlers.
Look at a toddler learning to walk. There’s no unreasonable expectations, just a determination to tale that first step, then the next, and the next, and so on.
Do the same, take baby steps. Break down your work into these steps and work one step at a time.
Learn the ‘E’ chord and then spend a moment to feel proud of yourself. Then learn the ‘A’ chord, then the ‘C’ chord and so on. Always spend a moment feeling proud of your new achievement.
If you approach this as a fun journey with realistic achievable milestones (baby steps) and if you take the time to learn the basics, you’ll be less likely to throw up your hands in frustration and quit.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll be playing songs!