How To Become Your Own Guitar Problem Solver

By Antony Reynaert

During your road in becoming the guitarist you’re dreaming of being, you have to be aware of all the traps on your way or you will just fall helplessly into the pitfalls of bad guitar habits. In order to become a more skilled guitar player you need a certain learning strategy. It’s possible that you think you are doing a great job while the only thing you are doing is learning to play with bad guitar habits. This will make you end up with a huge wall in front of you and you can’t progress anymore. Nothing is as unproductive as unlearning everything you spend so much of your precious time on. Being aware of the guitar learning cycle is the number one key to avoid all this trouble so you will grow to you full potential the fastest way possible.

The Learning Cycle Of Guitar

Phase 1 – When learning to become better at something on guitar you need to train your skills during a guitar practice session. At this point in time you still don’t know what you might do wrong. This is phase one of the learning cycle of guitar. You’re unconscious and incompetent. At this point it is hugely important that start extremely slow when learning new things and build up your speed at a very slow pace.

Phase 2 – As you practice slowly, carefully and focussed, you will notice certain problems during your guitar training. Nobody can do everything just perfect in one take so you have to be aware of things that might go wrong. For example, a string that doesn’t sound the way it should, or a moment when you have too much tension into your pinkie finger, or a hammer-on from a lick that isn’t as loud as the notes you picked with your guitar pick. The moment you notice an error you simply transition into phase two of you guitar learning cycle. You become aware of what you at this point in time still can’t do correctly on the guitar. You’re incompetent but conscious.

Phase 3 – Now that you are knowledgeable about the problem that’s holding you back from playing something perfect, you need to solve it. You’re going to isolate the problem and fully focus on this one thing. If a finger from your fretting hand is blocking another string from sounding, you need to adapt your fingering. If your hammer-on doesn’t sound as powerful as a normal pick stroke, train and work separately on your hammer-ons to make them perfect. This is the way you should handle your problems in order to solve them. After you solved the problem you will be able to play the entire guitar part you were working on, but it will be in a way you still need to maintain focus on the solved problem. In other words, it’s not completely ingrained into your muscle memory as you’re still training yourself. You are in the third segment of the learning cycle right now. You are still conscious about what you are playing on the guitar but you have the competence to play it perfect.

Phase 4 – When you have repeated a given lick hundreds of times, you will reach a point where you don’t even have to think about how you play anymore and it will just be perfectly played all the time. It’s fully part of your muscle memory now and you’re at the last stage of the guitar learning cycle. You’re unconscious and competent about a certain guitar skill, guitar part, guitar lick or guitar riff.

The ultimate goal why you trained all these hours is to just play guitar without the need to think and to share the power of music with others. The joy of playing with others in a jam doesn’t always flow naturally. It’s also another learning process and it’s not easy to gain the competence for these skills. That’s why I wrote a completely free guide on How To Play At Blues Guitar Jams where I cover all the aspects to fulfil these guitar dreams.

About the author
Antony Reynaert is a professional guitar player and guitar teacher who teaches the blues online through his website
How To Learn Blues Guitar. His websites provides all the necessary knowledge and information to play the blues like master blues guitarists.