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Are you a Frustrated Guitarist?

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Warning, this video contains swearing and violence! Click play at your own discretion.

Is it just me?

We've all felt like the guy ("The Tree Man") in the video at times. That feeling is no different to how we feel when we're lost on any journey and don't know the right path to take. We are dis-empowered by our lack of knowledge, and though we may not express our consequent emotions in the same way as our hero above, the nagging doubt remains that we aren't able to move on from where we currently stand.

In my teaching to date, students have commonly shared their belief that things are harder for them than others; that they learn slower than others etc. I always disagree, my positive results with myriad "hard gainers" over the years have shown their worries to be misconstrued. My opinion is that in the main, everyone learns guitar in the same way, at the same sort of pace, that is, if they are practising effectively!

cure guitar frustration
Don't do it!

So what's the cure?

Well, it's certainly not smashing your guitar! The classic image of the frustrated guitarist is the one who never got through a full song, or who knows lots of little bits of things but none of them sounds any good. As a teacher, I've found what works best, is to simply class him as a beginner and proceed from there. We fill in the foundations first, focusing on the weakest point and proceeding from there. All the while we'll be instilling the benefits of effective practice (click to view my blog post on this subject), by proving that what we're doing is working, and learning to understand why!

How many frustrated guitarists are there?

It's not only beginners, there are frustrated guitarists at every level. Anyone who's investing time looking to improve, but not improving can be viewed in this category. Simply put, it's frustrating to be stuck! My estimate is that after their first few years of learning, most guitarists end up frustrated/stuck, they just don't realise it, though they've sounded the same for years and keep bashing up against the same old problems.

Guiding you out of frustration

Learning the guitar is a lifelong journey, and as on any journey, when you're lost (stuck), your best bet is to get directions from something, or someone. These days for guitar students, the "something" is more likely to be the wealth of free internet lessons, than the books and magazines we used to rely on.

The "someone" can either point you in the right direction and send you on your way by yourself, or, much better, he can actually travel with you on the journey. Assuming he knows the area well, he'll take you toward your destination avoiding all the possible wrong turns, to get you where you want to go in the shortest time possible. That's the role of a good guitar teacher!

Once you're moving forward (even if it's not as fast as you'd like), you are no longer a frustrated guitarist, just a keen student the same as the rest of us. If you ensure that you keep moving forward, one day you'll be a long, long way from where you are now! This blog is dedicated to covering the nuts and bolts of that steady improvement. Subscribe below to be kept up to date and to receive your free coaching manual "BPM" containing all the investigations posted here.

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