Mistake #1: Not Having a Goal
If you don’t know where you’re going you’re definitely not going to get there. Music is traditionally performed for and shared with other people so the goal of performing is a natural choice for guitar. There is no greater feeling than being able to get up on stage and perform a song that has meaning for you. If you’re a student at NYC Guitar School, check out our upcoming events, showcases, and open mics! As it turns out, not every student wants to perform and that’s fine. The important thing is to have goals. Mastering your favorite Jimmy Hendrix song, for example, is as good a goal as any. Just make sure you’re goals are clearly defined and quantifiable. “Get better at guitar” is not?a clear goal. How will you know if you’ve accomplished it?
Mistake #2: Not Having a Deadline
How much time are you willing to spend reaching your goals? How fast would you like to reach them? Not deciding is a kind of decision and you might not like the results so once you’ve got your goal, decide when you will reach it! Another great thing about performing is that it lights a fire.?Sometimes you need a little pressure in life to motivate you. If that’s not for you than an arbitrary deadline is better than no deadline at all. Make it happen!
Mistake #3: Not Being Deliberate in Your Practice
I’ve been known to spend money on gym memberships but when I actually do manage to go to the gym I have no idea what I’m doing. “I guess I’ll run on this thing for a while and then maybe go over there and… blast… my …core? Whale… on my pecs?” I don’t have a plan and the result is there are no results. If you’re studying Guitar for Absolute Beginners,?follow the carefully crafted practice plans at the end of every chapter. If you’re not a student of NYC Guitar School, make sure that your teacher gives you a plan for practicing with clear objectives at the end of every lesson.
Mistake #4: Not?Having a Schedule
Time is like money, it doesn’t know what to do until you tell it what to do. Set time aside for focused guitar practice on a regular basis. How much time is less important than the fact that it happens as close to everyday as possible. If you practice even a little bit everyday you will find that you are literally improving in your sleep!
Mistake #5: Not Challenging Yourself
It’s really fun to play something that you’ve mastered on guitar but it doesn’t always make you a better guitar player. To grow you have to push the boundaries of what you can do. If you’re not feeling frustrated you might be doing something wrong. I had a professor who used to encourage us to think of confusion and frustration as the sensations associated with cognitive growth. I always liked that. Keep pushing!
Mistake #6: Not Hanging Out with Other Musicians
If you want to run marathons, you hang out with other runners. If you want to be a great actor, you hang out with great actors and if you want to be a musician, you hang out with… musicians! Psychology nerds tell us that we take on the characteristics of those around us. If you want to rock, socialize with those who rock! Check out our Facebook page and find over 5,000 other friends?like you! Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming events, meetups, open mics, student shows and teacher shows! If you’re in NYC, come hang out with us and before you know it, you will start to identify as a musician. You will stop telling people that you’re learning guitar and start telling people that you play guitar!
*Check out our Events Page for opportunities to hang out with other musicians!