Three Easy Ways You Can Speed Up Your Progress On Guitar

Do you feel like you aren’t making the progress you COULD be making on guitar? If you do feel that way, know this: it’s very common among guitarist students to feel like that. It can also be dangerous, because if it becomes too strong a feeling, it can lead to frustration and demotivation. You end up playing less and less and the feeling gets worse, because you will be making EVEN LESS progress than before! That’s a one-way ticket to quitsville.

Luckily, it’s not hard to reverse this progress, and become happier with the progress you ARE making. If you want to give yourself a boost in this department, here are three things you can do:

  1. Play with other musicians (preferably who are better than you!)
  2. Play more often
  3. Practice more effectively

Let’s go through these points one by one. First:

  1. Play With Other Musicians (preferably who are better than you!)

What’s the point of that? Won’t it be embarrassing? Well, yes, it might be. But if it is, you better get over the embarrassment, which has two possible causes: the fear of making mistakes, or actually making mistakes. Musicians who are better than you won’t care if you make a few mistakes. They will care if you make constant mistakes all the time – but that’s why you should try to play with musicians who are better than you, but not light-years ahead of you! If they are only a bit better than you, they will easily remember the recent past when they, too, made plenty of mistakes.

  1. Play more often


This may seem obvious, but the more you play the better for your progress. Right? Right! But the problem is that other things always get in the way. You need a goal, a deadline which will make sure that you take your guitar out and play what you need to learn for that deadline. Here are some ideas for creating deadlines for yourself:


  1. Take part in some kind of a performance. It could be an open-mic session, or a student performance if your music school does them, or some kind of a jam session where you can get up and play. If you know you are going to do something like this in three weeks (or three months) time, you have a GREAT reason to make sure you play as much as possible between now and then!
  2. Play at a family occasion. A birthday or festive celebration. In fact what better present is there than you performing your family member’s favourite song for them in front of everyone. You will put a lot of effort into practicing it to get it as good as you can!
  3. Get together with friends for a jam. Decide in advance what songs you are going to play. Even though this is the least formal idea, it’s a lot of fun and you still have to get the songs ready that you know you are going play, so it will definitely make you play more.


  1. Practice more effectively


This one is absolutely the best way to get MORE progress out of the same amount of practice time. In my opinion, the biggest reason why people don’t make much progress even though they practice a bit is because of drifting from one thing to another when they play their guitar. Some people call it “noodling”! Playing a bit of this song, a few bars of that song… this riff they learnt 5 years ago, that scale they can’t really remember… A lot of time is wasted drifting along like this. In order to practice effectively, you need three things:


  1. To be mentally attentive, alert and focused on what you are doing
  2. To be organized with your guitar materials, and have a great plan of action so that you work on what you SHOULD be working on
  3. A great guitar teacher and coach who can help you get better at A and B


If you are based in Dublin, Ireland, and are looking for such a great local guitar teacher and coach, try Ultimate School of Music. We’ll get your playing on the right track.