Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Progress On Guitar

You sit with your guitar for a productive playing session, hands ready, smile on your face with everything set, and start strumming it… 

…. when something doesn’t feel right. Your fingers know it, your mind knows it, and your ears can definitely hear it…something you might not be sure about but have been observing for a few weeks or even months now. And then finally, it strikes… YOU’RE STUCK. MAKING NO PROGRESS!

In today’s article, we bring you the ‘Top 5 Reasons you can’t progress on your guitar.’

Stick around; we have a special tip towards the end of this article, which will enhance your practice even more! You will love it. 

Guitar Player Plateu

It’s hard when you hit a point of diminishing returns or, as we call it, ‘THE PLATEAU.’ A point where one might feel stuck and not get any results at all. The point where the curve is flat.

This can especially be harmful to sportsmen and artists, including guitarists, where the progress bar is measured on a subjective basis without any graph showing you actual numbers. 

Let’s see the reasons why this might be happening with your guitar career and some ways out of it. 

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#5 ‘You Just need a break’

Simple and clear. Sometimes all you need is a break. We all know about the Hustle culture and working hard and stuff, but now even science backs up how taking a break or rest is necessary and not a time robber. 

Sometimes when your mind is too focused on a single thing and tries too hard to come up with something, then your brain easily gets tired of it, but creating some space or putting your mind somewhere else will not only increase your enthusiasm to return to your guitar but might also help to come up with something even better.

Remember, one can never pour from an empty cup, so never burn yourself out and become that empty cup, instead create some space and play that guitar because it makes you feel good. But this point is only applicable if you’re practicing enough in the first place. 

#4, ‘You’re not practicing regularly enough’

A regular practice session is very much essential for any skill. This could be one of the reasons why you feel stuck and can’t progress. 

We do not know your timings, but you have to be honest regarding your practice quality. The more you practice, the more quickly your fingers move, and you can grab any music better. On the other hand, random noodling or touching the guitar once in a while will give you a few extra skills but delay your progress or even kill your interest and your career! So, ask yourself… “Am I feeling stuck because of my irregular practice sessions?”

Try spending a solid half-hour every day rather than six hours once a week.

#3, ‘You have no clear goals in your mind’

A Journey is great when we know where to head. The same applies to your guitar playing as well. Without clear goals, your ‘fun guitar playing sessions’ will soon feel boring and turn into feelings of plateau. Knowing your goals is especially crucial if you want to get better or are serious about your career. This will pull you out whenever you feel stuck because you know what to achieve and soon, your questions will align in accordance with your goal, and thus the answers will start popping up. By popping up, I mean it might come up on its own, but you will have to search for them most of the time. 

You might also feel stuck playing the same thing, thinking you aren’t making progress, but the truth could be that your past self would have been dying to learn what you’re playing right now. Sometimes having a goal in mind can keep us in check and show the actual truth if we are going forward or not.

Think about what style(s) you want to play, whether you want to focus on lead or rhythm, who inspires you on guitar, whether you see yourself as a singer-songwriter or a guitarist in a band.

#2, ‘You’re playing too fast, too much, too soon’

We understand your burning desire to become better or a lead guitarist, and this could exactly be the reason you feel stuck. Just ask, are you trying to learn everything too fast for your stage? This will lead to you being a Jack of All trades and a master of none and frustrate and push you near to quitting.

Yes, having a burning desire to learn is good, but we must stop when it starts coming in the very way of our career. There are factors to consider, like, Are you a speed learner? Should you be learning this new thing or practicing the old one? Is your technique correct?

Trying to grab everything too quickly can frustrate you, make you overcompetitive, burnt out, and as a result, stop enjoying guitar altogether. 

Pause for a moment and use something called CHUNKING. Break up the lessons you learn, apply them, and get better at them before moving on to the next thing. Have fun with it! 

#1, One of the reasons you feel or sound stuck is because ‘You cannot play fast.’

At the end of the day, people are your audience, and most will judge your music compared to what we hear and perceive as normal. So, if you are still playing it safe all while getting slow, then it is not healthy. 

No one wants to hear someone do their best with the basics and techniques all to sound like a beginner. But don’t let this discourage you.

Now, the bottom line with speed is there is absolutely no secret to playing faster. None. Like all techniques, playing fast guitar licks deserves absurd quantities of repetition for mastery. Your muscles, your mind and your hands must NOT THINK. Your brain should be completely devoid from the process. It’s not about thought or art. It’s about the cold and perfect execution of a technique, nothing more.

Now you could be lying to yourself about your practice sessions and stuff. “Wait, lying? What? I don’t do that” You might as well want to check out our video, the common lies a guitarist tells themselves to know more…

Honorable Mentions

  1. Wrong technique. Every skill has its own set of techniques, and doing it the wrong way can be making you feel stuck. Better get a teacher or a structured course to help you out.
  2. You are not warming up properly. Warming up your fingers or noodling before actual practice will significantly change your results later.
  3. You are not playing with other musicians, which could have otherwise given you valuable feedback and inspiration.
  4. Not wanting to face the truth or lying to yourself, which as a result, is making you walk that flat line rather than climbing the slope.

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Tip Of The Day

Tip: A 2001 study showed that if you write down the time and place that you want to accomplish a specific task, you have a 91% chance of actually doing it. Here’s an example: I will practice guitar at 7:30 PM in my garage.

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If you’re wanting to finally learn to play lead guitar without endless amounts of memorizing scales and theory… then click the link in the description of this video to get The Ultimate Lead Guitar Lightbulb Moment… a free course that opens up a whole new world for guitar players like you. The best part? It’s 100% free. Click the link below right now to get your free course… and get ready to reignite your passion for the instrument you love!

Till next time!

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