Don’t Let Burnout Stop You From Playing The Guitar

Ninety out of 100 people will quit playing the guitar in their first year and one of the reasons for this is the loss of engagement or motivation. If you used to have a burning desire to learn the guitar but can barely pick up the instrument now, there’s a chance that you’re experiencing musical burnout. Don’t worry, this is normal. Even the most seasoned guitar players will tell you that they’ve experienced bouts of burnout. However, if you want to have an easier time honing your guitar skills, there are a lot of ways to lessen the negative effects brought about by constant practice. Here are some great tips on how to avoid burnout as a guitar player. 

Signs You’re Experiencing Guitar Burnout

Chances are you’ve heard about burnout in the workplace and how chronic work-related stress can cause emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decrease in productivity. If left untreated, burnout can lead to physical illness and mental health issues. Believe it or not, the same phenomenon can be seen in musicians, including those who are learning how to play the guitar. Learning an instrument like the guitar isn’t as easy as you initially thought. Mastering the guitar takes a lot of patience, effort and hard work. You often practice day in and day out; you might even attend formal lessons and performances to further hone your skills. Then suddenly, you start losing interest and feel like you’re not making much progress. Every time you think about picking up a guitar, you start feeling stressed. Before you know it, it’s been weeks since you last touched your guitar. If this scenario feels familiar, it’s likely that you’re experiencing guitar burnout.

Don’t Hesitate To Take A Break 

It’s natural to feel excited about learning how to play the guitar. In the beginning, your drive and motivation are high and you can’t imagine not practicing every day. However, if you want to avoid experiencing guitar burnout in the future, it’s better to include breaks in your schedule. Studies have found that study breaks can boost learning because you give your brain the time it needs to consolidate all the new information you’ve learned. Having mental downtime can also help revive your motivation for guitar playing as well as increase future productivity. To add to that, practicing daily will also take a toll on your fingertips so it’s better to let them rest every so often. 

Surround Yourself With Other Guitar Players

Learning the guitar can oftentimes be a solo endeavor. You spend hours alone in your room just playing the guitar over and over again. This can make you feel isolated from your surroundings. In this scenario, struggles over learning the guitar can make you feel more stressed or even predisposed to developing emotional issues. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with other guitar players. Cooperative learning can hasten your progress as you’re surrounded by people with the same goals. When practicing with other beginners, they can help you out in aspects of guitar playing that you find troublesome and vice versa. In a cooperative learning setup, a seasoned guitar player can also act as your mentor and help you improve your guitar skills. So, even if you might be struggling with learning the guitar, being around people who understand you can help alleviate the stress of it all. 

Learn At Your Own Pace

Avoid guitar burnout by learning at your own pace. The latest learning models emphasize that self-paced learning is much better than pressuring students to accomplish certain milestones based on their age and/or expected mastery level. The fact is, each individual has a different learning style and you should take this into account when learning new material or skills like guitar playing. So, just because a friend of yours learned the guitar in three months doesn’t mean you have to follow the same timeline. Take advantage of your learning style and try to be open to new perspectives or techniques. In line with finding your learning style and pace, just make sure to take note of your progress and development. 

Just like if you overworked yourself in the office, it’s also possible to experience burnout when learning how to play the guitar. The passion you once had for the guitar slips away and you can’t find the motivation to keep playing. Thankfully, it’s possible to protect yourself from guitar burnout. It’s all about giving yourself enough time to learn guitar skills and techniques, surrounding yourself with other guitar enthusiasts and not adhering to a rigid schedule. With these helpful tips, it’ll be easy to avoid burnout as a guitar player.  

(Guest Post from Jess Walter)

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