There are two main elements of learning to play the guitar: Psychological and physical. Unquestionably, the most important psychological part of learning to play the guitar is personal motivation.
It doesn’t matter where you are, what kind of guitar you have, or what type of music you want to play. The question is: How bad do you want to do this? If you’re like me (and millions of other guitar players), there really wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. Or to put it another way, it was something I really, really wanted to do. Therefore, my motivation was self-generated and nothing could distract, obstruct, or discourage me from obtaining the level where I could say with confidence, “I’m a guitar player.”
Steve Vai recently shared his 5 Tips for Young Guitarists with the readers of Music Radar. Can you guess his number 1 tip?
“Whatever you do – whether you have to change the batteries in your stomp box, whether you have to talk to attorneys or managers, if you’re deciding how you’re going to make a record or how you’re going to make a living – all that stuff is important, but it’s not of absolute importance. What’s of absolute importance is the quality of your inspiration. Everything else comes from that.” [Article by Joe Bosso, March 3, 2015]
Check out this GUITAR LESSON IN THE STYLE OF STEVE VAI
Now, the bad news. Despite having unlimited access to learning materials, this doesn’t mean your task is going to be any easier in itself. Moreover, the most important physical aspect of learning to play the guitar is practice. This cannot be overstated. The key to your success will be your approach to and development of a practice regimen. Make no mistake about it. Learning the guitar involves a ton of (sometimes painful) practice. How good you become depends on how often and how well you practice.
Let’s hear from Steve Vai again:
“I used to divide my day into about 12 hours,” Vai told Guitar Player in 1983(!), when asked to describe his practice routine. “The first nine hours were divided into three equal sections. For the first hour, I would do a series of exercises to develop my fingering. Then I would go through all the scales and modes, and I would write synthetic scales and learn them. Then I would harmonize them and break the chords down. At the end of it all, I would just play.”
If that sounds like a lot of work, then you probably have no aspirations of reaching Steve Vai’s prowess on guitar.
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