When You Are Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Guitar Playing

When I first bought my guitar, I was lucky to have several friends who already played the instrument. Some of them had been guitarists for many years, and had played in a variety of bands that covered several different styles of music. Others had only been playing a few years, but had taken lessons during that entire time, giving them a firm understanding of musical theory and a good technical background. As I began my journey down the road to becoming a guitarist, my friends became my guides, helping me to learn new techniques and correcting some of the mistakes that I made when I started to learn guitar scales for beginners.

While I appreciated all of the time and effort that my friends were making for me in terms of teaching me how to learn the guitar, I slowly realized that not every musician out there is cut out to be a teacher. Some of my friends meant well, but just weren’t capable of properly explaining the guitar concepts that they had already mastered. Others would get frustrated when I didn’t learn as fast as they expected me to, and their lack of patience really made me feel like I was somehow doing something wrong. Eventually, even my most talented friends simply ran out of things to teach me. My playing began to plateau, and I wondered how I could take things to the next level.

Since I was working and going to school at the same time, I didn’t really have the regular schedule that I would have needed in order to take lessons from a professional guitar teacher. I knew I wasn’t interested in picking up a book and learning that way – that just wasn’t how my mind worked. I had tried to learn from books at the very beginning of my guitar playing, and it just never seemed to make any sense to me. I needed to have someone demonstrate a technique before I could internalize it, so I set out online to see if there was anything out there that met my specific needs as a guitarist.

That is how I discovered this website. I was amazed when I discovered that there were real instructors who had put together interactive lessons to show guitarists at almost any level how to improve their playing. The first day I was on the site, I picked up some really useful tips on how to play the pentatonic scale that corrected some of the errors I had been making. Not only were the subjects interesting and helpful, but I could pause them when I needed to and rewind them if I wanted to see and hear something over again. I could even interact with the instructors if I wanted to. The whole structure of the lessons seemed to be designed to let me move ahead at my own pace, and it was great to learn like that instead of having one of my friends breathing down my neck and pushing me to move on to the next technique.

The cost of using the site was also something that impressed me. For a low monthly fee, I can access the site 24/7, which is great for someone like me who has to deal with a constantly changing work schedule. Plus, if things get too busy on my end, I know I can cancel the site any time I want to and then pick it up again later when my life slows down a bit. It’s almost like the site was tailored to my needs as a musician. I finally have the tools to improve and learn how to play the guitar in the form of an online resource that is both affordable and convenient.

How to Take Your Music to the Next Level

I often hear musicians say that they’re trying “to take their music to the next level”. What exactly does that mean? Taking music to the next level varies from one person to the next. To a songwriter it could mean crafting a better lyric, for singer it could be making a professional demo CD, or for a band it could mean getting signed by a record label and the list goes on. What does “taking it to the next level” mean for you, your music and your career, and how can you get there?

What is your “Next Level” Goal?

Before you can get to the “Next Level” you must define what it personally means for you. Though I won’t deep dive into goal setting in this article you must set a goal, and your “Next Level” goal should be short-term and specific – never vague. For example: The “next level” goal for a rapper who just completed the lyrics and rhyme to his first song should NOT be to: “get a record deal, be famous, and buy a Phantom.” Yet when speaking with many aspiring musicians I hear this type of goal all the time. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big but as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, it was built one brick at a time.

Define it, write it down and just do it!

A more reasonable next step would be to set a goal to write 2 more songs, obtain quality music production (beats in this case), and record a professional 3 song demo within a certain timeframe. I’m not suggesting that all rappers, singers or bands should follow this exact path, but what I am saying is that a short term specific goal – “3 Song Demo CD” with a timeline for completion – “60 Days” for example will keep you more focused and allow you to get to a measurable “next level” more so than a generic, long term vague goal. With that said, define your “next level” goal, write it down, and as Nike use to say “just do it!”