How to be always motivated to play and practice an instrument

Playing guitar or making music in general can be one of the most beautiful things in the world. Unfortunately many people often quit playing their instrument too early due to a lack of motivation. This way they are never able to make the experience of being a great musician.

Now what ist the main reason for giving up on making music and what can you do to avoid it?

For the majority of people it works as follows:

They buy an instrument and either take lessons from a teacher or try to teach themselves. In the very beginning, their motivational level is very high and they practice a lot because learning the instrument is something new and challenging for them and brings a lot of fun.

But sooner or later, especially if people are self-taught or take lessons from mediocre teachers who have no clue of where their students want to be, they loose that motivation because they get caught on a plateau. A plateau is a certain level of playing where you make no significant improvements over a longer period of time and a state which causes immense musical frustration to a lot of guys out there.

When people reach a plateau, their practicing is not fun anymore and due to practicing not being fun, they spend even less time on it. This will lead to smaller or even no musical progress at all and therefore results in even more frustration - a vicious circle. Often this causes people abandoning playing the instrument completely, which in fact is very sad, because it definitely could have worked differently.

The important question here is: How can you avoid getting caught on such a plateau?

The general answer to this is pretty simple - you need to make steady musical progress on your instrument and track this progress! Its as simple as that.

To do so, it is recommendable to have a really skilled guitar teacher who knows exactly what your ultimate goals in music are (by talking with you about them and asking the right questions), knows your skill level (by constantly observing your playing very accurately and not playing himself for the whole lesson) and understands how to get you from level A over level B to level C (by having a solid strategy based upon your goals). If this teacher gives you the right instructions, you will find that you develop further every single time you pick up the instrument. Now wouldn’t that make you be motivated like never before in your life?

Furthermore - especially if you are self-taught - there often is an imbalance in your skill levels. Many guitar players want to play really fast and hence focus while practicing only on technique, while neglecting music theory or ear-training totally for example. This imbalance makes them progress very slowly in their improvisation skills on the other hand. Now if they had an excellent teacher who shows them the significance of learning other areas than technique as well and how to do so with a lot of fun, they would learn music on a wholistic approach and by that, break through every plateau they are stuck on in a very short amount of time.

A great teacher also can help you to track your progress by taking recordings of your playing on a regular basis and showing you what you have reached up to now. By seeing your own achievements and having a steady sense for your current status on the instrument and a clear picture in mind, where you will be in the future when going on with that style of practicing, you will never have a lack of motivation again!

If you want to know more about how to find the right guitar teacher, check out this article written  by Tom Hess, one of the worlds most successful guitar and music career instructors, who has  helped hundreds of guitar players to transform into badass musicians.


About the author:

Constantin Einzmann is a professional musician, guitar teacher and skilled mechanical engineer. He is the founder of the ShredFactory, a music school based in Augsburg, Germany.

For more info visit his schools website