A customer came into the store this afternoon, looking at our guitars. He took one off the wall and I urged him to have a seat, plug into our Fender Blues Deluxe guitar amp and play it.

He sheepishly replied that he couldn’t play guitar yet, though he’d been taking lessons (at a hefty hourly rate!) for months. My jaw dropped! This was a young, bright fellow with no apparent disabilities. So, I asked a few questions.

Guitar Lessons Not Working

He’s been practicing scales and learning music theory, but can’t play any of his favorite songs! I invited him to come to one of our FREE Beginner Group Lessons if he wanted to be able to play dozens, if not hundreds of his favorite songs within a week or two.

I told him a little about our lessons and it went like this –

Customer: “What I’ve learned is way beyond that.”

Me: OK. But can you even play one single song?

Customer: “Well, not yet.”

Me: You’ve been taking lessons for how many months?

Customer: “Almost seven.”

Why the Lessons Aren’t Working

When running track & field in high school, the coach started us off with the hurdles set low. As we improved, he gradually raised the hurdles. In no time we were competitive with other schools.

What if the coach had started us off with higher hurdles? We’d have crashed into every single one and quickly convinced ourselves that we just weren’t cut out for track & field!

That’s one reason I believe most lessons fail and most guitar students (well over 90% according to statistics!) give up. That 90% figure comes from Fender, an organization highly motivated to show that number as low as possible. I believe the actual percentage is at least 95%.

guitar lessons often have hurdles set too high

Who Will Succeed and Learn to Play Guitar?

Obviously, it comes down to how high the hurdle is relative to the motivation – agreed? In other words, your motivation must be high enough to clear the hurdles. Every cleared hurdle gives you the feeling of success.

A lower hurdle means learning on a guitar that’s relatively easy to play, such as a well setup electric guitar, (more on that in another article), and well-designed lesson plans that, like a ladder, will get you as high as you want to climb, but with the steps close together so the likelihood of failure is minimal.

I’m sure most guitar instructors want the best for their students. But wanting the best can lead them to poor choices, such as laying out lesson plans intended to quickly make you into a professional guitar player. That’s starting off with the hurdles set high, or the ladder steps too far apart.

Another poor choice is assigning practice sessions based on scales and learning music theory. That’s like assigning the track team to a five-mile run on their first day. Oops – our coach actually did that! But about half the students dropped out that day!

Feeding into these problems is a desire with many instructors to show off just how much they know and how great a guitar player they are.

I believe your instructor should have spent as much time learning to teach as they did learning to play guitar. Your instructor should care more about you learning to play guitar than about showing off their skills.

Where’s the Cheese?

A mouse doesn’t mind a wending its way through a bit of maze, so long as the cheese isn’t too far away!

Most of us are willing to work for a goal if we can see results coming in as we put the work out. That’s why our lessons are geared to quickly get you to the next step – a step where you can see, hear and enjoy your hard work.

For instance, the first class in our Group Beginner Lessons (did I mention that they’re FREE?) teaches you to play songs and sends you home with a couple of songs to practice. That’s the FIRST CLASS. Umm, and it’s a free class.

If you practice – by playing the songs, not by practicing stupid scales – and get those first two chords down, the second class gives you the tools you need to be playing tens of thousands of songs! Have I mentioned that the second Beginner Group class is also FREE?

Want More?

We offer individual lessons with instructors who promise not to have you practicing scales and learning music theory on Day One! Instructors who want to make your musical journey FUN and ENJOYABLE.

You want still more? Like a DEAL? Like about half-off? OK. You got it! We’re offering an introductory lesson package of ten individual lessons for just $299

This introductory deal is only for the first twenty students and it isn’t actually available yet. To be on the list of the first to be notified when sign-ups will start, contact us today. Let us know the instrument (we teach guitar, bass, ukulele, violin, cello & more!), what level you’re at and what days and times you would like and you’ll be among the first to take advantage of this opportunity.