When You Learn The Guitar This Fall, Set Yourself Up For Success

Now that your summer holidays are officially over, you have no excuse. You can’t blame your slacking off on the warm days filled with sun by the beach. As September rolls in, you’re back with your nose to the grindstone at work, so why not follow suit back at home? There’s no better time than now to spend the cooling evenings inside working on your chord progressions. It’s time that you finally learned the guitar like you promised you would.

When you’re first starting out, routine is essential to learning your instrument, so set aside time for just you and your guitar. It doesn’t have to be as strict as the exact same hour of each day, but there should be some consistency in your habits. Practicing every day (for more than 20 minutes) will give you an edge and certainly make the chords come a lot easier to your clumsy fingers. While rote repetition will occupy your hands, don’t let your mind wander. You should be fully engaged (in what experts call deliberate practice) when you pick up your guitar, so it’s important to recognize when your routine is starting to get dull. If you find practice becoming a chore, you need to mix it up. Learning guitar is supposed to be fun! Intersperse theory with your favourite song or try playing with another guitarist for when solo practice is too boring.

In fact, finding more than just one other guitarist is a great idea. A musical community can be very encouraging when you’re just starting out. You don’t have to have plans to join a group and tour the country. Just by having other musicians around you, you can be inspired to learn new and challenging things you wouldn’t otherwise try on your own. Enthusiasm can be infectious, after all, and speaking with those who are excited about the guitar can help spur you on. Other guitarists (particularly those who know their stuff) are also great resources you can tap for when you have questions. If you don’t have friends who are musicians in your life, websites like Meet Ups make it easy to connect with like-minded locals in your neighbourhood. Do a little searching and you just might find that perfect group you didn’t know you were looking for.

Of course, if you’re a little online shy and hesitate to meet with strangers you’ve met on the internet, there are always other opportunities for the novice guitarist – the greatest of which is enrolling yourself in music lessons. Forget about contacting the local guitar teachers who inevitably put their ad for lessons on the lampposts around town, as there’s no way of checking their credentials. You can find legitimate pros who are skilled to guide you along your learning journey by visiting a trusted name in music. With so many locations open, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard of them, but did you know that Long & McQuade offers guitar lessons in addition to being a major instrument store? It’s true, and by getting in touch with one of their experienced professionals, you’ll have the incredible resource ofan instructor who can teach you the tricks of their trade and answer any of your questions you have along the way. You’ll also have a solid source of all the music comings-and-goings in your town as only your instructor (a performing musician) would know.

So as the weather cools, turn your focus inside. Pull out your guitar, arrange private lessons, and start speaking to fellow guitarists. Once you equip yourself with a supportive community of musicians and participate in deliberate practice, your goal of learning the guitar will be easier to attain than you think.
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