Practice isn’t just important for the guitar; it’s important for every instrument you could ever learn. Some would even argue that practice is the only thing that matters.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Whether you want to become a better basketball player or graphic designer, practice is essential. You can study many things and know about them in theory, but until you can put your own experience behind your knowledge, you have no way of verifying what you think to be true.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t other ways of learning or absorbing information, of course.
The Many Ways You Can Learn About the Guitar
More than ever, there are a variety of ways to study and learn the guitar. A multi-pronged approach may be useful for some, while others will find great results in keeping their focus. You can:
- Read a book or magazine
- Watch an instructional video
- Watch other guitarists play
- Visualize yourself playing as you one day hope to be able to
- Find a forum, blog or a website where guitar playing is discussed
All of these things and others are beneficial to your progression as an instrumentalist. However, you still need a way to apply what you learn. That’s where practice usually comes in.
The Only Way to Improve as a Guitar Player
Observing and dissecting the playing of other guitarists is invaluable, and is often a vital part of one’s growth as a musician. However, this information isn’t quite as useful if you have nowhere to apply it to.
If you can pick up a guitar and begin to implement what you’ve learned from studying other players, you are starting to internalize it. You are starting to make it a part of your musical DNA. On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t be quite as motivated to do such an exploration unless you already had the ability to play the guitar.
You can establish a personal balance between practice and study, but ultimately you need some kind of practice habit to learn the guitar.
What is a Good Starting Point?
If you don’t know how to get started, the best idea would be to seek out the help of a qualified instructor. They can guide you from where you are to where you want to be.
Also keep in mind that there are a lot of great resources out there, whether on the web or in the bookstores. The hard part is in putting the information together in a cohesive manner. There isn’t necessarily a definitive guide to guitar, and most books tend to focus on a single topic relating to guitar or music rather than the entire breadth of the instrument.
If you are serious about learning the guitar, then dive right in. You may experience some frustrations and challenges early on, but if you’re willing to push through the discomfort of getting started, you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Don’t be afraid of practice; every notable musician has put in their fair share.