I wrote this information out for my guitar students. If you're considering taking guitar lessons or if you have recently started learning guitar, here are five things I think you should know.
How much you practice is up to you. I'm not the type of teacher who is going to berate you if you don't practice enough. I'm sure you know that you will get from this what you put into it. I'd rather you just tell me you've been busy this past week rather than try to fake it, or worse, cancel the lesson at the last minute. Even if you haven't practiced in the past week, there are still many things we can work on in a lesson.
In general, if you practice about 30 minutes a few times a week, you will do fine. If you practice more than that, then I have no doubt you will you will be doing great!
I have students who practice a lot, and students who don't realistically have a lot of time. Either way, the point of playing guitar is to have fun!
Just try to pick the guitar up as often as you can, even for just ten minutes at a time, and play through the work I've given you. For some people it's better to practice in many short spurts than it is to labour over something for hours.
2. Regular weekly lessons are best for learning
A large part of learning to play music is simply repetition and developing "muscle memory." If you play a song enough times, it's as though your hands remember exactly how to play it and, like Kenny Werner once wrote, you can just sit there and watch your hands play.
It's very difficult to develop muscle memory if you're not playing regularly and learning new material regularly which you can feed to your hands.
Students who are dedicated to learning and make a commitment to take regular weekly lessons are the ones who are not "beginners" for very long at all.
3. They are your lessons
When you start lessons with me, I will ask you what your goals are. This is important because every person has their own vision for what they would like to be able to play and how far they'd like to go with music.
If your goals change at any time, please let me know. That way, I can be sure that you're getting the most out of the lessons as possible.
4. It's all easy, you just don't know how to do it yet!
Relax and have fun with music. Don't stress about your progress. You will find that you will have periods when you feel as though you aren't learning much. Then, all of a sudden, you will pick up your guitar and play something beautiful, something you didn't realize you were capable of.
This is generally how it works with music and is certainly the case for me. Learning music is actually quite easy. Your brain and your body will absorb the material without you having to try that hard -- so long as you spend time practicing it.
If you do that, you will be surprised just how much you can learn in a little time!
5. Have fun. You can do it!
No one has ever regretted learning to play the guitar. You can do this!