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Why Do People Give Up Playing Guitar?

Updated on October 15, 2011

The guitar is among the most popular musical instruments in the world, and new people start to learn to play guitar every single day. Unfortunately, many of these same people will give up within a few months, often for reasons that could have been prevented. If you're starting to learn guitar, and want to avoid becoming one of the statistics, read on for four of the main reasons why people stop playing guitar, and make sure you don't fall prey to any of them.

1. Lack of consistency

The first reason why people stop playing the guitar is that they don't practice consistently enough. In order to progress well, you should be practising every day. Unfortunately, a lot of people just play guitar at the weekend, and neglect the instrument during the rest of the week. Being a ‘weekend warrior’ like this will mean that you don't make much progress, which can in turn lead to feelings of discouragement.

So make sure you do some guitar practice every day, even if it's only for 10 minutes or so - it is establishing a solid routine that will put you on the path to success.

2. Lack of time

A second reason people give for packing in the guitar is lack of time to practice. This can be a real problem for many people, especially those who are learning the guitar as adults, and have to try to juggle their practice routine with many other conflicting demands on their time.

However, if you want to succeed as a guitarist, it’s vital to carve out some time every day for practising. One way to do this is to do your guitar practice in the morning before you start work - this way you will get at least a minimum amount in every day.

3. Lack of support

Some people also give up on playing the guitar because they’re surrounded by others who are unsupportive. Even though many people learn to play musical instruments as adults these days, there are still those who seem to think it's a strange thing to do, or a waste of time. If you're unlucky enough to know somebody like this, and are on the receiving end of negative comments from them, this can have a discouraging effect if you allow it to.

Other problems may arise when the people you live with complain about the noise you make will practising. This can be more of a problem when you're just starting out, and don't sound very good yet.

If other people's negative attitudes make you feel like giving up, it’s vital to learn to detach yourself and care less about what they think. On the other hand, it's also important to have consideration for those who are in earshot of your guitar playing - practising at reasonable times, and using headphones some of the time if you're playing electric guitar can help in this instance.

4. Impatience

The fourth reason why people stop playing guitar is that they’re simply too impatient, and are expecting great results too soon. Like any musical instrument, the guitar takes years to really master, and if you're expecting to be rattling off virtuoso solos within a couple of months, you're going to be disappointed.

Instead, it's important to have realistic expectations about your rate of progress. You can certainly learn to play guitar faster by practising more, but even then, it takes time to truly master the basics, and the learning process shouldn't be rushed.

To avoid falling prey to the dangers of impatience, try to be more ‘in the moment’, and focus on enjoying every stage of the journey, as well as the destination. There will always be more to learn, and new skills to master, no matter how advanced you become, so let yourself progress at a natural, comfortable pace.

If you're thinking about giving up the guitar, make sure that you're not falling victim to any of these common issues. Remember that playing the guitar is supposed to be fun, and that it takes a lot of time and effort to get to a decent standard, so try not to be discouraged if you run into some rough times along the way  - every successful guitarist has been through this, and if you stick with it you will become successful too.


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