30 Days of Learning Guitar

Here’s a quick retrospective on how my June 2019 guitar learning challenge went.

Overall this challenge went well. The gains weren’t huge, but neither was the time investment. I made some nice incremental progress this month. I’m able to do some basics that I didn’t know how to do before, including playing several chords.

For me the most important result is that I’ve managed to slot this into my life, and it hasn’t felt like a sacrifice to do so. I’ve built momentum to continue learning and practicing.

I did 20-30 minutes of practice most days, sometimes a bit longer. That felt like a nice duration, especially since my fingers needed time to toughen up. Most days I practiced after my workout and just before dinner.

I really didn’t need a lot of instruction to get started. One 30-minute, in-person lesson per week was more than enough to give me plenty to practice during the week.

This was a good match for starting with a 30-day challenge. I intend to continue practicing, and I’m continuing the weekly lessons (already paid through July).

I liked the combo of doing some lessons from justinguitar.com as well as the in-person lessons from an experienced teacher. I learned different tips and insights from both. And I want to keep learning from both going forward.

This skill takes a lot of patience. Even after a month of daily investment, I still can’t play a full song yet. I will need a lot more practice first.

I’m still in awe when watching my teacher play on his guitar. He’s been playing for about 30 years and teaching for almost as long. It seems amazing to have that kind of physical coordination where ones fingers can dance upon the strings with such dexterity and make it sound good too. I imagine that it would be very rewarding to be able to do that. I think it’s a skill I’d appreciate having, probably giving me a deeper sense of gratitude once I get better at it.

I like that this has opened up a new thread of personal growth for me, and it’s in a different direction than what I’ve pursued in the past. I’m still in such an early phase of learning that I don’t have a clear sense of the possibility space or where this skill will lead. Right now I feel curious about future possibilities that are hard to comprehend while staying focused on learning the basics.

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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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