So over the past few months, I have been learning to play the guitar, going fairly well – some days are far better than others. But on the whole, I’m getting better each week.
During this learning process to play the guitar, I have learnt a few things – other than just learning to play chords, fretting and picking notes.
What I have learnt is;
1. Consistency is king
This is something which I have always preached. By being consistent each day, you are making your life 100% easier.
I aim to play the guitar for at least 40 minutes each day, that does not sound like a lot, but it adds up. Generally, on a Saturday and Sunday, I play for over an hour, so roughly by the end of the week, I have played the guitar for between 5 to 6 hours. This means I’m consistently chipping away at the learning curve and making the process of learning easier.
In relation to training, if I were to only focus on my strict diet for 4 and a half days per week (not including Friday PM, or Saturday and Sunday) I would not make great strides towards my goal, yet if I were to have a moderate and more happy diet I would make great strides – I’m chipping away at it each day.
By breaking down the practice sessions, I have made it more enjoyable and fun. Same for your diet, don’t over restrict yourself, make it easy. Have a weekly calorie goal, and don’t take everything out.
2. Not everything is a straight learning curve.
By this, I thought that learning the guitar would be a consistent uphill battle, but there have been parts when it’s levelled out for a period of time, and the learning has been easier. Then it has got hard again and been an uphill battle then it starts to level out again.
This is the same as training, learning certain movements initially is hard and a struggle, such as learning the kettlebell swing it’s hard and awkward. Yet once you have learnt that suddenly the world of hip hinging based movements opens up and does not seem complicated any more. Then you will learn another movement, and it becomes complicated again, but then it will start to level again and vice versa.
Learning is never a linear line. It’s a series of peaks and plateaus.
3. Be willing to fail
There is always this quote which runs through my head which a mate of mine told me. “If you’re not falling, you’re not learning”.
He used it in relation to snowboarding, but it applies to everything in life, and you can change the falling to failing, and it then works for a whole host of things.
Be willing to fail/fall at the task you’re learning; if you fail or fall, you are not learning or developing in your life.
4. Quality over quantity
This is similar to the first point about consistency. It needs to be quality time spent practising, not quantity.
By practising for 40 minutes per day, it allows for focused practice. It keeps it to the point and makes it fun for me. If I spent 90 minutes on it every other day, I would/could get bored or disbanded with it. Equally, it would hurt my fingers, and then it would not be fun for me anymore.
So with your training, learning, or diet make sure quality over quantity.
5. Focusing on learning a new skill or having an outlet is so important during this lockdown.
This is something everyone has preached during each lockdown, but it is so true that having a fun skill to focus on during the lockdown has given me an outlet and something to look forward to. It has provided a distraction to boredom and kept me away from negativity. I’d suggest that you do something similar.