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Discover how to become a super persistent guitar student and achieve ALL your musical goals!

Never Give Up

Learning to play the guitar is wonderful.

It is an exciting new journey full of adventure when you are just starting out.

Once you have played the guitar for a little while, it can then at times become challenging.

As human beings we thrive upon a new product, a new idea, a new movie… The word ‘new’ has an amazing appeal and we love anything that is NEW!

The problem is, that when we first start learning the guitar, the whole process is new and wonderful but in time new will become old.

Therefore, learning to play the guitar requires dedication and persistence beyond the initial honeymoon period of NEW!

Time and again in my guitar studio in central London I see human behaviour and psychology at work.

Most students behave in the same way… the first 3 months is exciting, then gradually learning becomes more of a chore and less fun.

The truth is, learning to play the guitar does not always need to be 100% fun.

Fun is obviously important, but there is a time for serious study and serious study requires persistence and the ability to at times do things we do not really like.

Of course, overall playing and practicing guitar should be fun, but you also need solid discipline to keep going when things get a little tough!

Let’s say you set out to learn a Metallica guitar solo note-for-note.

The first few months of learning the solo is fun and an overall pleasant experience.

By the fourth month things get pretty difficult.

That is when most people give up.

The secret is then to persist and continue practicing the solo especially the difficult bits until you really master each concept within the solo.

Take for example sweep picking.

You may be terrible at sweep picking right now, but with dedication and practice, you can increase your sweep picking abilities!

Therefore it is essential that you cultivate the habit of continual perseverance and persistence!

When you keep improving a little bit each day, it will all add up to a big change over a period of a year!

The big question is how do you cultivate this wonderful habit?

The key is starting small and build up your ability to persist and practice guitar on a consistent basis.

Perhaps you can only manage 20 minutes of dedicated, persistent practice each and every day.

Start there and then build towards doing 30 minutes, later 45 minutes and eventually 60 minutes per day. (Of course you can do much more than 60 minutes per day, but that is already a fantastic goal!)

If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in much!

So the secret is to START today with what you can!

Do not try to overdo it…. do what you can manage and then build upon that!

In addition to a set schedule, great guitar education will definitely help you succeed!

During your guitar lessons, you can speak to your guitar instructor and share your frustrations. He or she can then kindly guide you into developing your ability to persist.

In my own guitar studio I always encourage my students and I help them get back on the path to dedicated, serious daily practice wherever possible!

Practice the same thing day in and day out

The most successful guitarists in the world has a set practice regime.

Sure, it will vary a little from time to time, but a set DEDICATED practice routine is what made them into the giants they are today!

I always advise working out left and right hand technique and then moving unto the different parts of music playing.

Always warm up prior to developing your playing and do take frequent breaks.

From time to time, you can also turn up the volume and just jam the guitar.

But if you really want to be a successful player, then you have to cultivate a SET practice regime day in, day out!

It should be a little boring at times… repetitive exercises is the key to great technique.

You should also consider keeping a journal.

You can then jot down your speed, knowledge and most of all you can COMPETE with your journal.

Competing with yourself is a BIG secret.

If you compete aggressively with yourself then you will make MASSIVE progress.

From time to time you will need to adjust your goals and practice material. That is absolutely fine.

Just stick to a set logical methodology of practice.

Try to practice every day (5-6 days a week) and be SUPER consistent!

If you follow the advice in this article, I guarantee that you will get closer to your ultimate guitar dream sooner than later!

I wish you the GREATEST SUCCESS in your guitar journey going foward!

VideoWARNING: Never push your right hand technique if your hands ache. Take proper breaks and frequent breaks. Please see advice on the following website: http://rsi.unl.edu/music.html

Why I have set out to write this article:

It is my experience that tons of guitarists have more (speed-related) problems with their right hand than with their left.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that most guitarists tend to look at their left hand and not at their right picking hand.

It is frustrating to see so little attention being paid to good right hand technique.

It is my desire that you will be inspired to take your guitar playing to the next level by pushing your right hand technique to a much more proficiency level.

Step 1 – Learn to hold the plectrum in the most efficient manner

A lot of your (R.H.) problems can be traced back to the manner in which you hold your plectrum.

If you study some of the greatest virtuoso guitarists ever – Shawn Lane, John McLaughlin, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Guthrie Govan, Michael Schenker, Pat Martino, you will notice a few things:

They hold the plectrum in the following manner: (Or something of that effect)

Correct right hand technique

  • Their plectrum have a slight angle to the strings.
  • They play with excellent plectrums that are not flimsy!
  • They have learned to play a flurry of notes in exactly the same manner to how you are reading this sentence.

Basically, they play six notes as if it was one note! (One of the secrets of developing great speed)

Take a look at this wonderful video demonstrating excellent right hand technique ala Pat Martino:

Step 2 – Practice your right hand separate from the left.

It is absolutely vital to practice your right hand separate from you left.

I teach all my students a number of techniques to seriously increase their picking prowess.

I recommend spending at least 15 to 20 minutes a day just on the right-hand if you can. (Yes, you probably can!)

If you hope to become a virtuoso guitarist, you will need to spend at least 45 to 90 minutes just on your right hand – six days a week.

I guarantee you that if you work on your right hand separately, with proper exercises and a journal, you will make mind blowing progress.

The world will be your oyster when it comes to playing with your right hand!

Step 3 – You need to understand the power of compound return – doing a little every day will amount to a lot over the long term!

This is extremely important.

Unfortunately only 0.001% of the world’s population understands this. It is not so much what you do today that matters, but what you do every day over a very long term.

With proper practice on a daily basis you can become an exceptional guitarist even if it’s only for your own pleasure.

To become great -you need to understand the power of compound interest.

  • The first step is to lay foundation.
  • The second step is to lay a strong foundation on the foundation.
  • The third step is to build the skeleton of the building.
  • The fourth step is to finish the building.
  • The first step is to decorate the building.
  • The sixth step to expand the building.

Your guitar playing is that building.

You need great mentorship.

Proper daily practice.

And compound interest (along with success) will be yours!

Step 4 – Log your speed in your own right hand journal. Compete with yourself!

My Journal

Nothing grows quicker then measuring numbers and comparing those numbers with time.

If you write down how fast you can play in a journal on a weekly basis, you will be surprised when you end up in six months.

Journalling your progress is one of the best ways to develop.

I recommend only writing down one or two exercises.

Practising the guitar is already arduous, and the journal should be there to assist you not there to become a pain.

To just jot down a few exercises (e.g. a chromatic scale or a fast lick) and work on a weekly/monthly basis to increase your speed.

Once again I do not want the journal to be a pain, so only write down your speed with a metronome every now and again.

Your private journal should be your friend!

If you follow the advice given here, you will drastically improve your right hand technique!

Step 5 – BELIEVE that you can do it!

All things are possible…

All things are possible to those who believe!

Now, you may not yet believe entirely, but as long as you keep on striving for success you will start believing.

Believe is basically based on hope.

As you keep on hoping, what you hope for will (eventually) become true.

The key is to keep on believing that you can do it!

If you feel you can’t believe – at least hope – it’s basically the same thing.

Whenever you believe, it is for something that does not yet exist.

That is why faith is a force that attracts future goods to you by using the power of belief.

So believe you can do it – hope you can do it and eventually you will be able to do it!

Step 6 – Play faster than you can in short bursts to push yourself further…

Firstly, a word of advice: if your hands feels fatigued – take an immediate break. Step away from guitar playing until you feel better. You do not want to hurt your hands. Also, make sure you are very relaxed when you attempt to do this. You have been warned – it is at your own peril.

I have found that the only way to truly achieve your goals – whether it is for playing the guitar, your career, your finances, your future is to push things further than you currently can for a short period of time.

By pushing along with believing, you will expand your possibilities and reach your goals quicker.

So for practising your speed, I recommend playing a major scale or a minor pentatonic scale and try to play it as fast as possible.

Even play it sloppy.

It doesn’t matter.

It is all about going for the hope of eventually getting it right.

The best video that I can recommend you watch on the subject is the following:

Step 7 – Persistent and you will (eventually) succeed!

Rome was not built in a day.

At least not all of Rome.

The world’s richest investor Warren Buffett started his career by handing out newspapers door-to-door.

He worked tirelessly to achieve his goals.

He did not start at the top, but at humble beginning just handing out his newspapers.

Faithfully!

(According to Wikipedia: At the age of 15, Warren made more than $175 monthly delivering Washington Post newspapers. In high school, he invested in a business owned by his father and bought a 40-acre farm worked by a tenant farmer. He bought the land when he was 14 years old with $1,200 of his savings. By the time he finished college, Buffett had accumulated a princely sum of more than $90,000 in savings measured in 2009 dollars – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett#Early_life)

A couple of decades later he actually bought the Washington Post the very newspaper that he handed out… How is that for being rewarded for faithfulness! (Inc. power of faith and belief)

Your guitar technique will not become amazing in a day either.

It is impossible to develop exceptional technique without putting in exceptional amount.

Just like Buffett did with his business endeavours, so you need to do with your right hand technique.

Start small and build to something big!

Your reward will be directly correlated to the amount of work that you put into your craft.

That is why you need to persist and insist until you exceed.

That is why structured practice alongside quality mentorship is the best way for you to become the best guitarist that you can possibly be. (I DO NOT believe a better way exists – all greats did the same!)

In order for you to develop serious guitar technique, you need to stick to a set practice schedule day in and day out.

If you practice your quality right hand exercises on a daily basis, you will eventually become the guitarist that you have always wanted to become technically. At least you will get a great right hand technique.

I wish you the greatest success with your guitar playing and your right hand technique!

Finally, my own video demonstrating some of my thoughts regarding the right hand:

The guitar has countless possibilities and methods of playing!

It can be a haunting instrument as well as a loud screaming noise! (and everything in between)

It’s got so much potential and offer its students an eternity of guitar pleasure!

Now let’s take a look at some of the benefits of learning the guitar:

It’s a portable instrument

Unlike a piano, the guitar is an extremely portable instrument, and you can play it whenever and wherever you are! You can take it with you when you travel! You can take it with you to hotels. You can take it with you on business trips. It’s a wonderful world of portability.

(I am aware that some companies produce small electronic keyboards. Although this is useful for practising purposes, they will never achieve the same sound quality as a real piano. When travelling with your guitar, you can take the real thing along. It, therefore, has a massive advantage when it comes to portability)

It will raise your popularity among your peers

It’s a fact of life.

Playing an instrument makes you popular! It makes you are far more interesting person for colleagues and friends. People be fascinated by you!

And hey, who doesn’t want to be popular?

Even introverts want others to like them and acknowledge their presence.

Playing the guitar will increase your popularity!

It’ll make you the talk of the town! (Or at least your workplace)

You will be respected for being able to do something that none of your colleagues can do! (But secretly wish they could)

It helps relieve stress

Research has proven that millions of pounds each year are being spent on stress reduction therapy. Did you know that the guitar is extremely therapeutic?

It’ll take you away from the world of stress, anxiety and overwork to a world of music, dreams and happiness!

In short – learning the guitar relieves stress!

It provides a fun and creative outlet!

Playing the guitar is a lot of fun! Once you’ve gone beyond the basics and reached a reasonable level, it becomes a bundle of joy!

Here are some facts:

People who have fun, perform better at their careers than those without.

They live longer (on aggregate), and they tend to be nicer people to be around.

Now let’s set the scene:

Imagine a social warm summer evening with your best friends. You are all having fun around a glass of wine, enjoying each other’s company and talking about anything and everything. Suddenly, you take out your guitar, and everyone applaud you: “Maestro Maestro…”

You then perform one composition after another delighting your friends!

At the end of the performance, your best friend brings you a drink and congratulates you on your performance. You become the talk of the evening. Everyone is fascinated by you! You receive at least 10 compliments, even compliments from people you don’t really know!

The truth is – this could be you!!!

It will increase your IQ

It’s a scientific fact that learning the guitar makes you smarter. Studies done by world-renowned scientists reveal that you actually raise your IQ just by learning the guitar!

It will develop your character

Warren Buffett states that a good character is paramount. Whether we talk about investing, your career or just your life – learning the guitar will teach you wisdom and shape your character.

Learning a difficult passage will require a tremendous amount of perseverance and patience. By persevering you will become a great guitar player! This skill will be transferred over to your personal life and career – making you more successful (in all areas of your life)!

It will improve your self-esteem

Once you can play the guitar, your confidence levels will rise. You will have a higher self-esteem and raised confidence. This will help you in every situation in your life. You will be better at your career and all areas of your life – thanks to learning the guitar!

You’ll get to meet new friends

Once you’ve conquered the basics of guitar playing, a whole new world of possibilities has just opened for you!

You can jam at open mike nights, play with other “like-minded” musical colleagues and really develop your playing.

You will get to meet new and exciting people.

In short, your life becomes interesting!

If you feel after reading this article, that you want to learn how to play the guitar. Why don’t you learn with a top-notch virtuoso guitar teacher from day one? You will learn the correct techniques and make faster progress. Learning with the wrong teacher can be actually harmful to your progress. Make sure you select a high-quality instructor!

INTERESTED? – START TODAY! – Get in touch: stefan@internetguitaracademy.com

photo by: greenhem

making your guitar sing

Frederic Chopin is perhaps the most lyrical, melodic composer for piano ever. He was a genius at composing for the piano and had the ability to incorporate melodic songlike vocal qualities into his piano melodies.

His piano compositions always had a vocal quality associated to them. Chopin’s advice to fellow pianists and piano enthusiasts was that they should listen to Bellini (the Bel Canto syle).

He explained that the piano should be touched to create a song like quality!

His advice is spot on and you should listen to a little bit of Bellini in order to develop the MUCH-NEEDED vocal qualities in your playing. The best guitarists are able to make their guitar sing much like a great singer would sing a melody!

It’s certainly not an easy concept and it takes years dedicated practice and concentration to pull it off!

Initially you might only get mediocre results at best! (Not to worry – things will soon improve…)

Through dedicated practice, your guitar tone and singing qualities will improve massively.

Another important aspect of guitar playing often neglected is the concept of breathing before playing a phrase. (A phrases is basically a musical sentence – similar to saying: “hello, how are you today?”)

Wind instrumentalists including saxophonists, flutists, trumpet players as well as vocalists have to take a breath before they can play or sing a phrase. Even when we speak we need to take a breath. (And I’m sure that you take a breath between sentences and phrases when you communicate in your daily life!)

One of the issues with guitar playing is the fact that we do not physically need to take a breath before we play. This approach often creates monotonous phrases and lines that can exhaust the human ear. It is imperative to take a breath before you play each phrase. This will help you to create that vocal like quality that might be missing in your guitar playing.

Remember that without silence there is no music! (Silence and noise create the music that we hear)

Pros know that breathing is important! Your physical blood flow needs oxygen and your guitar licks NEED breaks!

Becoming an excellent singer on the guitar should be one of your primary objectives when playing guitar. (It’ll make you sound so much better, and your colleagues will speak about what great “feel” you’ve got!)

Just listen to BB King! – That man knows how to make his guitar sing – He even calls her “Lucille”!

Obtaining a song like quality in your guitar lines is something that doesn’t come easy. It cost a lot in terms of dedication, practising and listening.

Here is a worthwhile exercise for you to try:

Listen to the following artists:

  • BB King
  • Steve Vai
  • *** A MUST LISTEN ***: Shawn Lane (specifically “once upon a Time in the West”)
  • John Williams
  • Paco de Lucia
  • Yngwie Malmsteen
  • Eric Clapton
  • John McLaughlin
  • Stanley Jordan
  • Joe Satriani
  • Santana

1. Listen to how they make their guitar sing.

2. Imitate their tone (by imitating small excerpts of their playing)

3. Now go and sing with your guitar!

Seriously, keep in mind that great guitar playing requires great tonal qualities. The best guitarists are singers at heart! (Using their guitar as their voice)

Through dedicated practice, your tone and singing qualities will develop and you will develop a great “feel”!

NOW GO FOR IT!