Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 misconceptions about learning guitar. No. 5

Children can't start learning guitar before age 7 years. This is common misconception with no factual basis. You only have to look at an instrument like violin which in my opinion is more difficult and starting at age 2 years is almost the accepted norm. Children can start whenever they can hold a small guitar or perhaps ukelele to start.
Guitars are expensive. I am still surprised by the number of people who say they want to learn guitar but they can't afford to buy one. You can buy a basic guitar for about the same price as dinner for two at most restaurants.

Author: David Hart

Monday, August 20, 2012

5 misconceptions about learning guitar. No. 4.

Starting guitar as an adult is too late. Many people assume that if they didn't start guitar lessons as a child they have missed the boat. While it is true that growing bodies and brains have advantages the reality is learning guitar successfully can be done at any age if you are physically capable and commit to daily practice. Very few people who take up guitar ever commit to daily practice of more than 30 minutes a day. 2 years of daily practice of an hour a day will likely land you in the top 1% of guitar players no matter what age you start. If you then back this up with guitar lessons and regular jamming you will be playing your favorite songs in no time. I have found that age tends to bring about more realistic expectations. Perhaps it's the result of life experience but my older adult students don't expect results as quickly as my younger students. So if you want to learn guitar just commit to the practice and be patient and forget about whether you are too old. It truly is about the journey.

David J. Hart

For a structured proven method of learning guitar visit

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

5 misconceptions about learning guitar. No. 2.

People with short fingers don't make good guitar players. I distinctly remember as a teen people commenting on the size of Jimi Hendrix's hands. To a naive beginner with average fingers playing Hendrix style guitar seemed impossible. This affected me so much so that I didn't even bother with Hendrix at the time and just put him in the too hard basket. At 17 I met my teacher who was a small guy with small hands yet played guitar better than anyone I had ever seen. I soon came to recognize many examples of guitarists with small or even disadvantaged hands who were awesome guitar players. Django Reinhardt is considered one of the greatest guitar players of all time and he only had two and half fingers to work with. Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath also lost a finger in an accident. I can assure you that small hands or short fingers have little to do with your ability to play great guitar.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

5 misconceptions about learning guitar. No.1.

You need a certain amount of natural talent to play guitar. After more than 25 years of teaching guitar I can confidently say that natural talent is seriously over rated and more often than not is mistaken for early music exposure. In other words those children who are labelled with natural talent actually come from families where at least one parent plays or at least understands music. Mozart for example is often described as a prodigy as if to infer that he was born with a special gift when in fact his father Leopold was himself an exceptional musician and a leading music teacher in Europe at the time. Mozart's sister Marianne was also an outstanding harpsichord player and she may well have ended up as famous as her brother except for the fact that females were expected to marry so her music career came to an end. Even if natural talent does exist I doubt that it would make much difference after several thousands of hours of practice. The amount required to become a professional musician.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Learning guitar using a system

Guitar teachers tend to fall into two camps. Those who teach using a system an those who do not. I belong to those who use a system of teaching guitar but it wasn't always the case. For over a decade I would teach each student by asking them what they were interested in and then filling the gaps. This definitely works but takes experience but for the most part it pales in comparison to using a system. The reason. System of teaching guitar is so effective is much the same as any system. The idea of any system is to have a reliable series of steps that when taken gives a consistent result. The beauty of a system is it can be improved upon. Once I started teaching via a system I began to see consistent results from my students and each small improvement to the system meant an improvement in student results. You might then ask why teachers would operate without system. In short it's because creating and developing a system takes time. Time that most teachers do not have. I took 2 years off to create and design my system initially and even then it was only half completed. It then took another year of actually teaching and tweaking to get it right. I am still making small improvements but only as required.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why are you just dreaming about guitar?

What astounds me are the millions of people who watch shows like The Voice or Idol wishing they too could be up there. Its as though the people standing on stage playing guitar and singing are from a different planet and totally out of reach for everyone else. I think chasing fame is one thing and a passion and love for music another. The people we see on stage whether it be on a TV show or say a pop idol are just like us. They have the same dreams, fears and hopes but I am confident that 90% of them do what they do for the music first and the fame second. If it was just about fame they wouldn't invest so much time into their music. They could be a Paris Hilton and just make a career out of being in the right place at the right time with the right people. If fame is your game spending 8 to 12 hours a day practicing music, stage performance, preparing for tours etc is probably not your best use of time. Even the most criticised artists like say Justin Bieber started with the music. He may of upset a lot of people because many more talented singers and musicians struggle to get noticed but he still started with the music. This brings me back to my point. If you admire great guitarists or singers and wish you could do it than just do it. Forget about the fame and do the music. If fame comes great but if not you still got the best part of the deal. The music is where the real joy is and anyone can do it. Chasing fame is a sport where some win but most lose. Everyone who plays music wins.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

How to practice guitar like the pros.

It makes sense that if you want to play like a pro you need to be practicing like one but how exactly do they practice? This complexed question can't be answer easily but I can offer some insights. Pro players are first and foremost consistent. They are unlikely to miss a day of practice. They might miss many things but guitar practice won't be one of them. So begin by being consistent with your practice. Pros also focus heavily on mastering techniques. They don't jump from one thing to another. When they start something new they will either decide quickly to abandon it or will commit to seeing it through. Pro guitar players don't want to waste time so they make decisions early. My third tip is to study with a pro. The best way I know to become a pro player is to get a pro to coach you.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is your teacher more of a friend than an effective teacher?

Many students build up a strong friendship with their guitar teacher but instinctively know that the teacher is not really effective. It could be that the teacher spends more time maintaining the friendship than planning lessons and tracking progress. This is not uncommon because planning lessons and tracking progress usually require a lot more work. A great guitar teacher focuses on results first and friendships second. This doesn't mean they are unfriendly. It just means they don't use friendship as a substitute for effective teaching. You are paying for the lessons so you want to make sure you are getting what you are paying for. If you are paying for a friend then you can ignore the above

Friday, August 3, 2012

Start or join a guitar community

If you are truly wanting to ramp up your guitar skills I can think of no better way than being part of guitar or better still a music community. There are numerous options such as placing notices at music shops or looking on Facebook for other guitar players in your area. My preferred option is to find a local guitar teacher, take some lessons and then ask if they can hook you up with some like-minded guitar students. Another option is to contact a drum teacher or a bass guitar teacher or a singing teacher to see if they can connect you to anyone looking for a guitarist. Don't be too picking. It's all about making friends and gaining experience along the way.