Keeping motivation high while you practice the guitar, is essential in order to get better on the guitar, but how can you do it? I’ll focus on the subject of expectations and to be more precise, realistic expectations.
As a beginner guitarist there are many things that can cause you frustration. Not only do you have to memorise the chords, master the transitions, you need to also learn the strumming, which can add to the fire.
I have noticed that many guitarists don’t have realistic expectations. They say something like: “right now I should be able to do this” or “I should be better by now and be able to play this song at full speed”. Many of these statements are not grounded in reality. We estimate that after a certain time, we should be capable of doing a lot of things. But do we have enough experience to make such claims?
How do you know, what is the realistic time frame to master certain things? If you expect to master barre chords in one week you are on the road to failure. Probably a month won’t be enough to get comfortable with these types of chords. Even if you learn these shapes, you will still struggle with the transitions between them.
Don’t get me wrong, having good goals is essential, but having realistic goals is much more important.
I would aim for small victories. Small achievements, that will keep your motivation high and yourself sane at the same time. I would aim for small improvements, like being able to move from one chord to the next one a bit faster each week, playing the scale a little bit more accurately whilst slowly improving the speed.
A great tool to track such progress is a metronome. By practicing with it, you’ll be able to notice even smaller improvements – this alone will give you some satisfaction and fuel your motivation. If you aren’t sure what a metronome is, check my beginner guitar course, which is a fun and comprehensive learning system designed to skyrocket your progress on the guitar.