Think learning music should be easier?

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Think learning music should be easier?

Category : Guitar Lessons

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I see students all the time that become very discouraged after “practicing” for several weeks and they have nothing to show for it. Progress is slow and can often be invisible to the student. Remember when you were younger and went to visit a relative after not seeing them for many weeks? The first thing that they probably said was “Wow, look how tall you’ve gotten.” or “My how you’ve grown!” You probably thought that there is no way that you could have gotten any taller or grown any noticeable amount since the last time you saw them, right? Well when someone doesn’t see you every day the small changes that are occurring right under your nose are more noticeable. This is the same phenomenon that takes place with students and teachers. Private lessons are typically once per week. If you practice 5 days between lessons a teacher can see and hear a difference, where you may think that nothing has changed.
Students who have strong learning capabilities, pick up on new subjects quickly, and are usually “a natural” at most things often have trouble learning an instrument. Most of these types of students are not used to having to practice over and over again to achieve very small results. These small results quickly add up to very large accomplishments! You must be determined and understand that learning music is a lifelong journey. Continue to practice and celebrate your small victories and have fun with music and you will find learning to be very rewarding.
If you are currently enrolled in private music lessons, class instruction, band, or trying to learn by yourself there are many different challenges. First and foremost I often advocate finding a well-trained private instructor (obvious right? Since that’s what I do for a living), this does not mean take lessons from a friend that you think plays well or from a relative that played many years ago. The reason being, finding a friend that plays well is easy, finding one that can also show you appropriate good habits and easily correct problems that may present themselves to be larger issues down the road, is another story. Family friends or relatives that played many years ago may be unfamiliar with current techniques, equipment, and performance practices. If you can’t find a professional in your area or are limited on expendable income, learning with only a book or (gasp!) the internet may be the only option. Learning by obtaining a quality book would be my 2nd choice, if you don’t have access to a teacher. There are many fine books on the market, however I can only recommend a handful that I have personally reviewed and of which I find the most logical and paced for the beginning player. If you think that learning to play an instrument from videos on the internet, be warned, ANYONE can produce a video with ANY information and post it on the internet. This being said, from the students point of view it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between someone who really understands how to teach instrument technique and intricacies of music from those who know very little in how to help a student. Be careful with the advice you take from music teaching videos on the internet. This goes for tablature and sheet music that is available for free on the internet. Sometimes you will find reputable versions of songs available for free, but often these are riddled with errors and inaccuracies that do not represent how the music should be played. Now that I wrecked your childlike innocence here is the good news! Once you find a teacher, book, or reputable online source learning music and instrumental technique is not impossible. It does take time, patience, and determination, but by no means is it impossible. Anyone can learn to play!

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