If you’ve read a lot of my articles then you know that I’m a huge believer in developing a daily practice habit. And for good reason. Consistent quality practice is essential to getting good on guitar. There’s no way around it.
But what good is knowing the importance of practice if you can’t make yourself do it? Knowing what you need to do isn’t good enough. You need to make sure that you actually do it!
So, starting with this article, we’re going to take a look at some strategies and ideas for increasing your motivation levels. That way you’ll be able to stay motivated as you work towards becoming the player that you truly want to be.
The first strategy we’re going to look at is quitting. To be honest, it’s not going to help you stay motivated with the guitar. But it will definitely help you stay motivated with learning a musical instrument. Clear as mud? I figured, so let’s take a step backwards for a second…
Would You Like $10,000,000?
Let’s say for a second that someone offered you $10,000,000 cash. No strings attached. You could accept it without any fear of any consequences. And you also wouldn’t have to do anything to earn the cash.
Would you accept the offer?
Chances are you would. I think that anyone saying that they wouldn’t accept it is a liar. After all, it’s not an insignificant sum. (Think of how long it would take you to earn $10,000,000 with your job).
Now let’s change the offer a bit. Let’s say that in order to get the cash you needed to do the following…
- Quit your job.
- Borrow a large sum of money at a fairly hefty interest rate. Repayments to the loan need to be done monthly.
- Set up a business and work at least 12-hours a day, seven days a week, for the next 10 years.
And I should also mention that even after you do the above there would still be a 50% chance you wouldn’t get any money at all.
It’s a very different offer, isn’t it? When risk and work become involved, everything changes.
It’s the same with guitar…
It’s very easy to look at fantastic players and say “I’d love to play like that!”. But to put in the thousands (or tens of thousands) of hours of practice to get that good isn’t easy unless you absolutely love the guitar.
Do You Constantly Tell Yourself Stories And Lies?
I’ve got to admit that excuse-making is one of my pet peeves. It makes my skin crawl when I hear people making excuses. I feel that most of the time excuses are just stories and lies we tell ourselves to avoid feeling bad. It’s far easier to blame external circumstances for our failure, rather than take responsibility for why we aren’t succeeding at something. [Side Note: And yes…I am a total hypocrite, because I certainly make excuses quite often!].
So if you continually make excuses for why you couldn’t practice, try asking yourself the following question…
Is Guitar Really The Right Instrument For Me?
Be totally honest with yourself. There is absolutely no shame in realising that guitar isn’t for you. Not everyone has the desire or drive to earn $10,000,000, and not everyone has the desire or drive to get good at guitar.
There are plenty of musical instruments out there. And who knows, you might try one that you like much better than guitar.
A Personal Example
I was very fortunate as a kid to get piano lessons. (Not everyone is lucky enough to have the same opportunity). But I’ve got to admit that I was at times a pretty lousy student. I sometimes didn’t practice regularly, and this was because practising felt like “work”. Despite this, over a period of nine years, I managed to develop a certain amount of competence. But if I’m being totally honest here, there’s no way I would have ever become an excellent pianist. I just didn’t love it enough.
Once I started to play guitar, it was a very different experience. I very quickly developed a passion for it. Practising was a joy, and I found it very energizing. I knew very early on that I had found the right instrument for me. Even now, my practice is still very consistent despite having played gutar for around 30-years. I still really enjoy practising guitar. It’s a very important part of my life.
Here’s the thing. Imagine if I had decided to stick with playing piano even though I wasn’t totally passionate about it. What if I had decided not to try learning to play the guitar? I shudder even to think about it!
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