Have you ever asked yourself what to do when you lose motivation for guitar? One of the reasons that hinder the evolution of guitar players is the infrequency with which they dedicate themselves to the instrument. And the lack of frequency is often due to a lack of motivation. We have separated some tips that can help you if you have the desire to play guitar every day or very often, but haven’t made it a habit yet. So here’s a list of a few of my favorite tips for making playing guitar a habit, teaching you how to keep the motivation for guitar playing.
Table of Contents
Tip #1: Play for Love
If you are playing guitar for any reason other than your own desire, it will be very difficult to find motivation. I have romanticized this topic intentionally, and I think you are already tired of knowing that with love, everything is easier, right?
Tip #2: Create Reminders
You may have a strong desire to dedicate yourself to the instrument. However, distractions such as social media, a series that was supposed to be one episode but has become a season, or even an addictive video game can easily sacrifice your time with the guitar. To avoid this, set a schedule and create reminders on your cell phone, post-its, a whiteboard… anything goes to avoid getting lost in time.
Tip #3: Make It Easy to Access the Guitar
Especially if you are a huge equipment addict, try to make everything very accessible. This way you will avoid laziness in assembling the equipment. It is even worth leaving the guitar out of the case, already plugged into the pedals and amplifier, this way the action needed to play guitar every day depends on reaching out your arm to pick up the instrument and plug in the equipment.
Tip #4: Worry About the First Few Minutes
Thinking about playing guitar every day for hours on end when your routine is very busy can be daunting. The tip is: Just start playing, with no commitment to the clock. Playing guitar is such an enjoyable activity that it will easily make you play without feeling tired or noticing the time passing by. Besides, it will make your mind relax.
Tip#5: Make Practice More Fun
Before you dismiss this tip by saying that it’s easier said than done, hear me out. Practice is not always pure fun, and in all honesty, it shouldn’t be all about fun. That being said, by rearranging the different parts of it, you can make sure you don’t have a huge chunk of it being nothing but a huge pain. Read this post to learn how to make your practice routine more fun.
Tip #6: Avoid Distractions
Put your cell phone in airplane mode, deactivate your computer notifications, and, if possible, play with headphones on so that conversations or external noises don’t distract you from your focus or disturb the people around you. A shout such as ‘put that guitar down’ can be demotivating.
Tip #7: Learn to Say “No” to Yourself
It would be much easier to stay focused if everyone around you also played guitar. This is not a reality in most cases. Today people are more interested in soccer, sitcoms, Youtube, among others.
So you need to know how to say no to yourself when everyone is talking about a sitcom that contains dozens of seasons. It is normal to want to keep up with the hype, but pay attention that it doesn’t take your focus off the guitar.
Tip #8: Learn to Say “No” to Others
A big human mistake is to think that saying ‘no’ is characteristic of an arrogant or self-centered person. Of course, there is a right way to do this.
One tip is: Talk to the people you live with and talk about your goals. Tell them that you would like to set aside some time every day to play guitar because it is good for you. When you get that invitation from your girlfriend to go to the movies, try to suggest the trip for another day. Or when your mom asks you to go to the market, ask if it can be after your studies. But take it easy and be flexible; after all, you are trying to implant a habit, only this time in other people.
Tip #9: Get Out of Your Room, Start a Band
When you commit to play with someone, you have an obligation to be prepared for it. You will have to learn the songs, or you will have to make an effort to make the jam enjoyable. You are allowed to pause this reading to send a message now to your friends suggesting a jam for the next few days.
Tip #10: Create New Habits
Even away from the guitar, it is possible to create habits that will influence the timing of your focus. For example: If you are at work, you could commit to only opening your social networks at lunchtime, or even check your personal emails only twice a day. This obsession with looking at a cell phone all the time is a habit, and it will probably take you out of focus when it comes time to ring.
Tip #11: Notice Your Evolution
You need to realize your evolution. To do this, I suggest you have goals. For example, you can set a goal, to take a song that you consider too difficult. Take the first steps and go forward day by day. The thought “I already got half of that song, I need to finish it” will help you keep focused.
Another way is to record audio or videos of yourself playing. Let’s say you are studying alternate reed and started at 60bpm, when you are playing at 180bpm you will know that you have evolved, but when you see or hear that you had difficulties playing at 60bpm, it will be very rewarding!
Tip #12: Make Room for Pleasure
Sometimes we need to study and focus on something we don’t like so much or have a lot of difficulty with. This can also be demotivating. Consider taking a moment out of your studies to really enjoy yourself. Playing a song you love or spending a good few minutes improvising are some valid options.
Tip #13: Define a Single Tone
We, guitar players, have a problem that needs to be studied by science: the endless search for the best tone. This can be a problem. If you use all the time you have set aside to play to find the perfect tone, you will not evolve your playing and there is nothing more demotivating.
The better you play, the more you’ll be able to perfect your tone just by playing.
Tip #14: Get Inspiration From Someone
It is no sin to have a guitarist as a source of inspiration, but you have to be careful that you don’t end up being a copy of that person.
Try to look at the process that made them successful, the dedication, the study journey, their current relationship with music, and how they developed their own style. In short, you will see that behind every successful guitar player there is a story that can be a great source of motivation.
In an interview, Joe Satriani refers to Jimi Hendrix as his number one guitar hero. If Satriani can take inspiration and motivation from his guitar hero, so can you!
You can also get inspiration from people in other areas, such as sportsmen, and entrepreneurs, among others.
Tip #15: Beware of Negative Feedback
Be careful with people’s feedback. No matter how sincere they are, they can leave you unmotivated. It is important to listen to people, especially those who understand the subject. Try to find people who give constructive feedback.
You also need to know how to listen to criticism without being overwhelmed. Use it as a springboard to go further. Only post your videos on social networks if you are confident and if you know how to deal with haters.
Tip #16: Protect Yourself from Injuries
Watch out for injuries. There’s nothing more discouraging than getting injured. Play in a healthy posture and never play when it hurts. Check out some tips about treating and preventing guitar injuries.
Tip #17: Don’t Fall for Discouraging Guitar Myths
There are many guitar myths that do nothing but hurt your motivation. You don’t need a $20,000 rig to sound good, nor to have nothing but an American-made guitar.
Tip #18: Analyze Yourself
There are things that are very personal, and it would be impossible to write about them here. Identify what motivates you and find ways to keep it close to you. Also identify what demotivates you, so that you can keep it out of your day-to-day life.
In a way, keeping yourself is sometimes a challenge of its own. As a guitar player, chasing motivation is often similar to chasing inspiration. Every single thing around you can keep you motivated and inspired if you just look at it from the right direction.
If you have other guitar motivation tips, post them in the comments below. I’m sure they’ll be a great help to other readers.