Why guitar playing needs to be fun for you
…and why this is necessary for you to reach a high level on it.
And why both feed the other!
The attitude with which you approach guitar is one big factor in how much results you will get from your endeavours. Your attitude to learning guitar is a complex factor that has many parts and one important one is “fun vs. serious learning”. That is a consideration which is often seen at conflict and people are looking for the balance for how much of each you should have.
I’ll show you why both are amazingly important things to have and why there should never be conflict between the two. The correct balance is a maximum of both!
In the process I will give you four resolutions, with which you can improve your attitude for learning.
Without further ado, let me go right into the first item:
Having fun is what keeps you practicing and playing
Firstly you will not be playing for long if you are not having fun and getting satisfied playing guitar. If you don’t practice, you will not improve.
Guitar and also music in general gives you the best possible satisfaction when you commit to lifelong playing and improvement. This goes beyond playing ‘campfire chords’ towards mastering your instrument and developing a great ear.
Don’t get me wrong: Campfire chords are cool and fun and it’s something I like to play too. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like playing something more complex too! :)
To master your instrument and develop a great ear you need to put in lots of hours of practice over a long period of time. One of the things that needs to happen for this is for you to have something that keeps you going through the immense amount of practice.
Having fun is a great way of ensuring that you will practice. If you take measures to make every single guitar practice session fun and rewarding in addition to producing results, you will make it much easier to have more practice sessions in the future: Practice stops being ‘work’ and something you need to force yourself to do and starts being a leisurely and fun activity!
Resolution number one:
“I will focus on having fun each time I practice my guitar.”
You can be a serious student and have fun
I write this in case you are turned off by the idea of ‘fun’, because you believe that it will compromise your ambitious goals. This is understandable, but there is no reason to think this way: It is a false belief. You can be serious about learning and have fun doing it - In fact it is strongly encouraged! When you are having fun, you retain information and learn skills much faster.
If you are serious about becoming awesome at guitar, you know that you don’t have as much time or willpower as you’d ultimately like to be able to use when practicing. That is why you need to get the maximum amount of results per practice time and also reduce the amount of willpower you need to exert to put in regular practice.
Having fun each time you practice will help you greatly in both areas.
Having ambitious goals for your guitar playing is awesome. I myself love the pursuit for great music and am always glad to find more of it. For that reason I love helping others become great, since that means there is more great music for me to listen to. Plus, it is really rewarding as a teacher to help out awesome students!
Resolution number two:
“I rid myself completely of the belief that having fun will harm my ambitions.”
Your possibilities for having fun with music increase as you get better
Maybe you’re not the kind of person who gets turned off by the word ‘fun’, but gets turned off by the word ‘ambition’. You may just want to have fun and not care that much about being great on guitar. Maybe for you ‘good’ is good enough.
Or you may have the false belief that you cannot have as much fun if you are ambitious. And for that reason you don’t want to pursue any ambition, because you like your fun!
First, I assure you: You don’t need to stop having fun or compromise it in order to start striving for more ambitious goals, like you read in the previous section. You will neither need to stop enjoying the things you enjoy now, since if you approach learning in the right way, you will still find fun in the things you find fun now.
Second, if you only care about fun and are not very ambitious, you should still commit to lifelong improvement on guitar. Why? It is simply more fun! When you get better at guitar, you will be able to play a larger variety of cool music. You will gain more things with which you can have fun and as Yngwie Malmsteen said: “More is more.” This applies also to fun! :)
Resolution number three:
“I will commit to lifelong improvement so that I can have the most fun I can on guitar.”
You can have the most fun when you are totally free to play the music you like
Regardless of whether you want to play virtuoso level music, cowboy chords or something in between, you need to practice if you want to have the most fun with it. A great teacher will help you do this by getting you to the point where you can play effortlessly thinking only about what specifically you want the listener to experience.
It is really frustrating and a killer of fun to have to interrupt the flow of playing with “What note am I going to play next?” or “What chord is this?” or something else.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have these annoying thoughts in my head interrupting my fun. For that reason the skills you need to play should be practiced to the point where you don’t need to think about them at all and you can ‘just play’. When you do that, the amount of fun goes through the roof :)
Getting to that point in your skills is the easiest when you have a great teacher to help you with the process. When you have found a great teacher, your next step is to do your best to be a great student. This in its simplest form is to trust your teacher and do what he or she tells you to do. When you find a great teacher and become a great student you have no option but to become awesome!
Resolution number four:
“I will find the best teacher I can and do my best to be a great student to him or her.”
There are many things that affect your ability to progress and become proficient at guitar and ultimately get huge satisfaction from the amazing instrument. I’d like to address one overlooked aspect of learning. It is easily ‘cliché’ and thus it’s importance is easily underestimated. What is it?
About The Author:
I am Jere Toikka and I am a guitar teacher from Finland. I have a business teaching guitar lessons in Turku so that I can help as many guitarists as possible to become awesome at guitar. I am part of the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle where I have learned from Tom Hess and my peers the most advanced and high-end teaching practices so that I can get students to where they want as fast as possible.