Learning to play the guitar is actually pretty easy. Mastering the guitar, however, is not. This is true of any instrument, of course, but it’s something beginners don’t often understand. It takes years of work and dedication to master an instrument. Even young prodigies have to take private guitar lessons and work hard to overcome challenges. For beginners, mastering the guitar often means dealing with some of these more common hurdles. Practicing these areas and becoming comfortable with them will help your child become a better guitar player.
Playing Non-Adjacent Strings
Playing strings that are not next to each other isn’t always easy. More often than not, new players hit the string in between or pluck strings higher up or lower down. This can get very frustrating, but it’s something that can be overcome with practice. As your child works on hitting the non-adjacent strings more, it will become easier for them. It’s something they need to practice, but it will come to them eventually.
Another challenge that many beginners face is changing chords. Your child may have mastered playing one chord, but switching between chords in a song is an entirely different skill. The more your child plays different chords and switches between them, the better they will get at it. This is something they can work on with their guitar teacher, who may have some tricks and tips to help them.
Playing Barre Chords
Barre chords are also a challenge. These chords are played by pressing down several strings across one fret. The chord is then raised several half-steps higher than normal. It’s not necessarily something your child will learn early, but they will learn it after they’ve mastered many of the basics. Barre chords are challenging, and they take a lot of practice to master. They can be very frustrating, but remind your child that with practice, anything is possible.
Not Having Time to Practice
Another major hurdle that many players face is not having enough time to practice the guitar. Your child may be very busy with school, hobbies, and family events, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find a little time for their guitar. They don’t even need to play for very long every day—as little as 15 to 20 minutes is enough. The goal is to play daily, not to play for a certain about of time. One way of encouraging your child to pick up their guitar is to buy a guitar stand. This leaves the guitar out in sight instead of packing it away in a case. It’s easier to simply pick up the guitar and play or strum a few chords here and there.
Getting Bored with Songs
Finally, some guitar students, especially young ones, tend to want to move on to a new song before they’ve fully mastered the one they’re currently working on. They get bored with songs quickly and want to learn how to play everything instead of learning a few songs really well. In some cases, young players will find something in their current song that’s really challenging. Rather than focus on mastering it, they will want to move on.
This is an impulse that you need to help your child recognize. When they find something difficult with a song, they should continue to work on it, not find an easier piece of music. It takes a lot of dedication to master a song, but it’s an important part of mastering the guitar. Once your child understands this, they may even seek out challenging songs just to have something difficult to work on.