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Frustrated with Guitar

Question by Dinorah

Sometimes I get frustrated with learning. Is this normal to be frustrated? I'm stuck with learning on a classical guitar for the next year when I'd rather have an electric guitar. Any advice?


Hey Dinorah. Something interesting I discovered. At the time of writing this, as you type a search query into Google, it makes suggestions based on the most commonly searched for terms. Typing in "frustrated with", the top 3 suggestions were...

1. frustrated with life
2. frustrated with work
3. frustrated with guitar

...so you are most certainly not alone! Guitar is a very frustrating instrument to learn, as every guitarist discovers when they venture beyond those basic chords and strumming patterns. God knows I still get very frustrated on days when I'm just not able to make the progress I want.

Every guitarist, no matter what level they're at, understands and shares your frustration.

Frustration hits you when you feel like you're not progressing even though you're trying so hard. We've all felt it, whether it's guitar, work or even a relationship.

How to overcome frustration with guitar? Look back at the progress you've made already and look at the progress other guitarists have made to get where they are and be reassured that you WILL get where you want to be. As long as you persevere and turn that frustration into constructive energy you can overcome any obstacle you face.

When you feel like you want to throw the guitar out the window, stop. Put the guitar down. Go for a walk (stretch your fingers as well!) and think about the logical process you must take in order to accomplish what's frustrating you (e.g. it may be a chord fingering or a particular part of a solo).

The solution will most often be to SLOW DOWN. Wind that metronome back a few bpm and let your muscle memory do its work. All it takes is time and persistence. Look for signs of progress and celebrate it, no matter how big or small.

I always like to imagine what I'll have accomplished in 5 years time. That's a long time in terms of guitar practice hours.

More tips can be found in my article 10 Reasons Why You're Not Making Progress On Guitar.

Classical guitar vs electric guitar

Look at it this way Dinorah, in that year before you get your first electric, you can use your classical guitar to learn some important theory and application. You can learn how to navigate the fretboard, scale patterns, chord shapes, finger picking technique etc.

Then, when you finally get that electric guitar you'll be thankful for all that knowledge you gained and that can now be transferred over to electric (as the fundamentals are the same). You'll literally be able to plug in and play. Imagine how sweet that will sound!

So don't feel like you're "stuck" with it, because everything you learn on that classical guitar will become part of who you are as a guitarist and musician in general. Learn to love the guitar you have for the purpose it serves.

Keep moving forward.

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