#1
I started playing guitar and taking lessons when I was 13, and I'm now 20. I've always been interested in becoming a good player and have had specific goals in mind for years but whenever it came to sitting down and practicing in a focused way, I always let school or work or whatever else seemed important at the time get in the way.
Now it's summer and I have some time to establish a practice routine that I can stick to once I get busy again when school starts. I get somewhat discouraged when I think about how good I would already be if I had practiced more over the last 7 years.

Has anyone else made the decision to "get serious" about guitar after a long period of playing? How did it go?
Play the music, not the instrument. ~Author Unknown


blackzeppelion
Who's the band that could become the next led zeppelin?
Ovenman
Iron blimp.
J.A.M
Aluminum helicopter.
Ovenman
*Breaks out periodic table* Magnesium bi-plane.
#2
IMO if you're going to learn an instrument, you might as well take it seriously. Otherwise, what's the point? You don't have to practice 7 hours a day, being a shut-in, to take it seriously though.
#3
Quote by MarshmallowPies
I started playing guitar and taking lessons when I was 13, and I'm now 20. I've always been interested in becoming a good player and have had specific goals in mind for years but whenever it came to sitting down and practicing in a focused way, I always let school or work or whatever else seemed important at the time get in the way.
Now it's summer and I have some time to establish a practice routine that I can stick to once I get busy again when school starts. I get somewhat discouraged when I think about how good I would already be if I had practiced more over the last 7 years.

Has anyone else made the decision to "get serious" about guitar after a long period of playing? How did it go?


Don't worry about it. Just play as much as you can and enjoy it!
shred is gaudy music
#4
I'm glad you're taking it seriously. As far as thinking about what could have been: the past is gone, all that you can do is learn from it. There's no sense in letting it get you down. That's more of a life lesson than a guitar lesson.

As long as you're happy with what you're doing and confident in your level of playing then you are succeeding. If you just want to be a hobbyist or vent some spare creativity, you don't have to be brilliant or perfectly proficient. If you're serious and want to become better at guitar:

--be open to learn anything (genres, techniques, theoretical ideas): you might not think you'll use them, but they will affect you in ways you could never foresee.
--identify your strengths and weaknesses and devise ways to practice all aspects of your playing to the levels you would like. Nothing seems to help like writing your own custom exercises and playing the songs you want to play.
--develop a positive attitude. Believe me.

EDIT: Well, hell, I guess this is all advice for life in general.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Jul 20, 2011,
#5
I am 17, I have played since about 10 years old on and off.. at the start of the year I decided to take it seriously. It was fun for a while, but then I got angry because I couldnt do some stuff and had no one to teach me (ive never had a teacheR)..

so i started to buy guitar techniques magazine monthly... without even realising it, I now practice nearly 10 hours a day on some days that I spend inside all day... Its really addictive. I don't often read my magazine, its just nice to have something realiable to get some inspiration from when you feel a bit down and its always going to be there because you get a new one monthly..

I REALLY RECOMMEND GETTING A MONTHLY MAGAZINE... get guitar techniques if your in the uk or w/e... its comforting to know there is always that reliable source!

gdlk!
#7
hey mate ! you really make me excited for guitar and I love to learn it too. At what level you are now with guitars and have you met any of the same band yet ?
#8
Quote by MarshmallowPies
I started playing guitar and taking lessons when I was 13, and I'm now 20. I've always been interested in becoming a good player and have had specific goals in mind for years but whenever it came to sitting down and practicing in a focused way, I always let school or work or whatever else seemed important at the time get in the way.
Now it's summer and I have some time to establish a practice routine that I can stick to once I get busy again when school starts. I get somewhat discouraged when I think about how good I would already be if I had practiced more over the last 7 years.

Has anyone else made the decision to "get serious" about guitar after a long period of playing? How did it go?


Hey,

To be honest, school and work ARE more important than the guitar. So, giving them priority was the right thing to do.

I always tell our students, that we take guitar lessons at the "speed of life". Life happens. Things can take our focus, and I'm saying that's not a bad thing. You do what you can do, and in a perfect world we would all have the time to get things done.

Now that you have time, I recommend NOT establishing a practice routine, because...well life happens. Crazy right, because I make a living teaching guys like you. But that's just it. Unless you have a tremendous amount of proven self discipline, you're just setting yourself up for more failure, missed expectations and disappointment.

Instead of a routine, start small. Commit to 5-10 minutes a day, and nothing more, on working towards your goals. And, have fun and enjoy it. If you enjoy what you are doing, play it longer. Make the goals 5-10 minutes, though. That way, every day you are getting touches on the guitar towards your goals and I guarantee you you'll improve a LOT if you focus on those 5 or 10 minutes.

I teach around the world, and all that is needed is 5-10 minutes of practice a day, and they will breeze right through. and they retain it long term, be it understanding or muscle memory. I don't think anyone will ever convince me that long extended practices are of benefit, because that's just not how our human brain works, or learns. It's just a display of how impatient we are, and we think forcing things is the key.

I contend, that someone who practices a few things at 5-10 minute lengths in correct form, and someone that practices for hours, are progressing at similar speeds. If you enjoy playing for hours, then do it if you can but don't attach that to your progress, as if they stretch like a rubber band. The human brain is like a sponge, it only holds so much at any time. It's not elastic.

So play, set a small goal, have fun and feel free to report on your progress, because I guarantee your eyes will be opened.

Best,

Sean
#9
Quote by MarshmallowPies
I started playing guitar and taking lessons when I was 13, and I'm now 20. I've always been interested in becoming a good player and have had specific goals in mind for years but whenever it came to sitting down and practicing in a focused way, I always let school or work or whatever else seemed important at the time get in the way.
Now it's summer and I have some time to establish a practice routine that I can stick to once I get busy again when school starts. I get somewhat discouraged when I think about how good I would already be if I had practiced more over the last 7 years.

Has anyone else made the decision to "get serious" about guitar after a long period of playing? How did it go?


I actually did the exact same thing. Same age too. I've been playing a lot for a year and I'm 21 now, and it went horribly at first to be honest. Too much trying to move faster than my actual skill level and trying to analyze the perfect way to play. But once I started being honest about what was bad about my technique, started relaxing and having fun I started getting much better. Just don't overthink things and master skills that are achievable to your current ability.

I spent forever trying to learn Under the Bridge by the chili peppers but I wasn't ready at the time, and it was a lot of wasted practice. Once I mastered easier songs and took things more in stride I got to that song and it was attainable.

So forget about the past, relax, have fun, and don't get ahead of yourself. With enough practice I promise youll get better. It just takes some patience.
#10
Quote by alairson22
I actually did the exact same thing. Same age too. I've been playing a lot for a year and I'm 21 now, and it went horribly at first to be honest. Too much trying to move faster than my actual skill level and trying to analyze the perfect way to play. But once I started being honest about what was bad about my technique, started relaxing and having fun I started getting much better. Just don't overthink things and master skills that are achievable to your current ability.

I spent forever trying to learn Under the Bridge by the chili peppers but I wasn't ready at the time, and it was a lot of wasted practice. Once I mastered easier songs and took things more in stride I got to that song and it was attainable.

So forget about the past, relax, have fun, and don't get ahead of yourself. With enough practice I promise youll get better. It just takes some patience.



Great advice.
shred is gaudy music
#11
Has anyone else made the decision to "get serious" about guitar after a long period of playing? How did it go?


I think i took it pretty seriously within the first months I began playing when i was 14 and im 17 now. Im self taught and i learned everything on justinguitar.com, youtube, this site, and just watching people play and listening to music. I also started making weekly or monthly goals for myself on how many songs i wanted to transcribe in a week-usually 2 or 3 and just little things like that. I was having a hardtime at home and my guitar was like an outlet so I was very quick to start taking my guitar playing seriously because it was more than just the music.
IM GONNA ***CHANGE*** THE WORLD
#12
Play music you are passionate about. But don't just play it, study it. Try to understand what makes it stand out as a genre. I started out with rock, move into blues and now I'm trying to learn jazz. Don't just "play" when you're practicing. Try to understand what it is you're doing, whether it be rock or country. Also, set goals that you can reach. Once you've reached one, make another one. Hope I helped! Good luck!