3 Bad Habits Holding You Back On Guitar


By Vishaal Kapoor

If you take your guitar playing seriously, you already know that being a guitarist is an ongoing process of overcoming challenges, solving problems and finding new ways to improve your skills. Every new skill level you reach will unveil a new set of goals and targets for you. The reason why some players make consistent progress over time and others generally stay at the same level, or make very slow progress, can be attributed to their habits. Forming good habits and constantly reinforcing them is absolutely necessary in order reach a high level of playing.

Here are three bad habits which great guitar players never fall into:

Constantly Comparing Yourself To Others

As a guitar player, surrounding yourself with better players as a source of motivation and to draw inspiration from is necessary. However, there is a need to be careful not to beat yourself up for not being as good a player as them. You need to have the right mindset in such a situation. DO NOT compare yourself to someone else to the point of demotivation. Know that everyone progresses at a different rate and is on their own unique journey as a player. You would be treating yourself unfairly if you compared yourself to others in that aspect.

Great players never do this, not even before they become great players. They see other better players as a source of inspiration and a reason to continue working on their craft to improve their skills.

Note: This does not only apply to players who are more advanced than you. There is always something you can learn from players of any level. Every player approaches the guitar slightly differently and having a new perspective on the instrument or a particular technique/concept can be refreshing and may even spark something towards the development of your own playing style.

Beating Yourself Up For Starting Too Late

Once you commit to a regular practice schedule, it won’t be long before you are able to quantify your progress. This is a great sign! It means that you are taking the right steps towards your playing and all that you’re practicing is being translated into your individual goals as a player. However, for most of us, there will be a voice at the back of your minds that keeps saying, “You should have started earlier”. Do not entertain that voice. The fact is no matter how good a player is, they all feel like they started too late.

Although it is normal to feel this way, do not let it overwhelm you. Retrain yourself to look at how far you’ve grown as a player instead, and use that to your advantage. Anticipate your progress a month, three months, or even a year from now based on the things you’re practicing and you will never feel as if you started too late.

Being Impatient

It is crucial to understand the process in which you learn on the instrument. The more you progress as a player, the greater the tendency for you to expect yourself to learn and execute new techniques quicker. This however is not the case. The more advanced you get, the more advanced the things you are going to learn. Advanced techniques require more practice and more repetition.

Great players understand this. They understand how they learn, absorb information and incorporate new motions into their muscle memory. They do not expect to learn a new technique within a few days. They are patient yet consistent with their practice because they know that’s what it takes to master a particular technique.

Give yourself enough time to learn anything challenging. Make sure your timeframe is reasonable and realistic. Track your progress periodically and do not push yourself too hard only to feel frustrated in the end.

Learning to play guitar on your own can be frustrating and challenging, especially if you don’t know what to do. Having a great teacher makes the whole process more fun, enjoyable and gets you real results fast. Solve your guitar-related problems at GuitarKL, in Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA. Visit guitarkl.com to become an awesome guitar player.