WHY IS MY GUITAR SO DIFFICULT TO PLAY?
If you’re just getting started on the guitar, I’m sure you’re beginning to experience some of the difficulties of learning to play this instrument. Some of the difficulties you might be coming across are pushing the strings down using your fingertips, stretching fingers across strings and frets, and muting strings in chords; let alone holding barre chords! If you haven’t gotten to barre chords, well, just wait and see.
I like to boil down the difficulties of learning the guitar into two categories - it’s you or it’s the guitar. Let’s start with it’s you.
If you have a great playing guitar, let me mention a few things, that may be obvious to you, that may help.
Practice more. Like I said, this may already be obvious to you. However, you may have underestimated the practice that it will take to accomplish what you are working on. For example, there are some chords that come rather quickly, like the Em chord, but you may find the D chord is not coming as easily. If you relate every new chord to the Em chord, you may need to adjust your expectations. Some chords take longer to learn.
Adjust the level of the material you are working on. You may have become overly ambitious and started working on “Hotel California” right from the get go. That’s a difficult piece for a beginner. You need a plan that will start you from the basics, and then you need to be patient to work that plan so that your skill level will steadily increases.
Take lessons from a real person. There is a lot of lessons and information online, but nothing beats a real person to be able to respond to how you play and make corrections in real time before you create any bad habits. You need to see your guitar instructor as a musical mentor and you’re the apprentice. And, it would be great if they are in the same room as you.
IT’S THE GUITAR!
Beginners often want to blame the guitar first, and you know what? Sometimes they’re correct. If it’s your guitar, here’s what might be hindering your progress.
Your strings are old and rusty. Yuck. Change your strings! They’ll feel better when you slide your fingers across them. New strings are less likely to break and you may like a lighter gauge set of strings installed. Lighter strings are easier to press down.
The neck is bowed. This means string tension is pulling up on the headstock of your guitar and it is causing the neck to bow. This causes the strings (mostly in the middle of the neck) to be higher than they should be. Strings that are too high can be too hard to press down.
String action is too high. Again, this means your strings are too far from the frets all across the guitar neck.
OK, IT’S THE GUITAR. NOW WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You should get some maintenance done on your guitar. You will be amazed what a qualified guitar tech can do to make your guitar play better. We are motivated to help students have a better playing guitar. Why would any instructor want their student to play a difficult instrument? Let us help. We will give you an honest evaluation of what work needs to be done on your instrument, and we will do the work at a price that you will not find anywhere else.
It gives us great joy to hand over an instrument to a student and see their excitement of finally having an easier to play instrument! Now that the instrument is in top shape, it’s now up to you!
Send us an email here to set up a time to drop off your guitar. Hey, we’ll even give you a loaner guitar so that you can keep practicing while we are working on your guitar.