Dealing With Frustration When Learning To Play An Instrument

At some point everyone gets frustrated with their progress when they’re learning to play guitar, or any other instrument. The key is learning the best way to deal with that frustration so it doesn’t completely freeze your progress, or worse, cause you to quit playing.

I recently had a student who got so frustrated that she didn’t want to practice, and began to lose interest in lessons. Through discussions with her parents we realized that it wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy playing, but the material we were working on was more challenging than she’d previously experienced. The solution: stabilizing the level of difficulty to build up the student’s confidence. We decided to take a more casual approach and simply work within the knowledge and skills she’d already mastered. The focus became about enjoyment instead of advancement.

I like to make sure all of my students are having fun, while at the same time constantly exposing them to new material that will push their playing forward. It’s a delicate balancing act that is different for everyone. But I see absolutely nothing wrong with balancing the scales heavier on the fun side if that’s what the student needs. There’s always value in playing, even if you’re playing a song you’ve played hundreds of times.

Students and parents should never be afraid to voice their frustration about lesson material. A good instructor will work with you to find a solution.

*We originally published this article on MusicAndRockSchool.com

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