by Maurice Richard
As you learn how to play guitar you will run into challenges. Everyone does.
No matter how easy it is to learn or how difficult it is for you, there will be challenges to overcome. You may have more or less than others but they will happen.
Knowing how to deal with the challenges when they appear will not only help you overcome it but when you do it properly you will learn good habits instead of bad ones.
Here are 3 ways to quickly overcome any challenge on guitar so you can keep progressing.
1. Slow Down
This is the number one problem most beginning guitar student have. Everyone wants to play everything as fast as possible right now! Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster.
When you try to do something faster than you are capable of you create an environment where you learn bad habits and it fosters poor playing technique.
If you do this long enough you will hit walls and feel like you are stuck. This is very frustrating and where many people decide guitar playing is not for them and quit.
The solution is simple. Slow down what you are trying to play. And I don’t mean slow down by .05%. When I say slow down I mean crawling slow. For whatever reason most guitar players find this hard to do.
The key is to slow down your playing to a speed where you can successfully do everything properly. If you slow down and can’t put it together, you are still playing too fast.
2. Isolate The Problem Area
This is the next biggest problem I see when people are struggling with a challenging part with the skill or music they are learning.
What tends to happen is you decide to learn a specific song for example. When you play through it you will likely have some parts that are relatively easy and not challenging.
Then you get to the challenging part. As you play through the song you seem to always trip up on the same part. So you keep working on the song. You play it again and again and again, trying to get that part down.
If you want to overcome the challenging part your best bet is to stop playing the whole song every time. Instead only play the challenging part. Play it slowly, get it down, then bring the speed up until you can do it very well without the rest of the song.
You can get many more repetitions of this part if you isolate it than if you only play once during the song.
3. Expand From There
After isolating it for a while and you feel confident you can play it well it is time to add it back to the song or larger piece you are working on.
This is where most people can go wrong again. What normally happens is they start to play the song from the start and then when they get to the isolated piece sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
The best way to do this is to instead slowly expand the isolated area. You can add one note, or one chord or one bar before. Usually this will still be challenging. What you do is expand back as far as required until the part can continuously be played properly.
Then add one note, or one chord or one bar after. If it still works then it is finally time to add it to the entire song and what you will usually find is that it works.
What Should You Do If That Does Not Work?
The strategy I just shared with you will work for most technical issues on guitar. But that is assuming you are doing it properly in the first place.
How do you know if you are playing something properly? That's a great question. The answer is simple: You find someone who knows how to do it properly to show you.
Of course, finding the right person to show you the proper or best way is the tough part and not as simple as my answer. Many guitar players and teachers that are out there have overcome playing challenges by brute force instead of proper technique.
The best way to make sure you overcome problems properly and learn how to play with the best possible technique is to find a professionally trained guitar teacher. Who has specific training how to teach proper guitar technique.
About The Author: Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to solve many guitar playing problems.
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