Guitar Blog

Feeling stuck with guitar? You don’t need more motivation… try this instead.

Dave Tran

“Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about.” -Winston Churchill

I think about guitar every day. 

But I don’t feel like pushing myself to get better at guitar every day. 

If I were to ever stop playing guitar, it probably wouldn’t be because I just “up and quit” one day.

I imagine it would be a much slower process: 

Every day feeling less motivated to practice. Then starting to dread practicing. Then eventually never picking up my guitar again.

And that would fricking suck. 

Because I love guitar. I want to be able to play like a total boss. And giving up on that dream would feel like a defeat. 

But the truth is, I’m not immune to giving up. And neither are you.

It’s not our fault. We’re human, and if we’re honest, most days we don’t feel very motivated to work hard at achieving our (admittedly difficult) goals.

So how do you achieve a big goal, like learning to play guitar, when your motivation is like a roller coaster all the time?

Well for one thing, you can’t just force yourself to do it. Forcing things is like starting a marathon out by sprinting as fast as you can. 

You’ll race ahead of everybody else… for about a minute. Tops. 

But then you’re screwed for the rest of the marathon, because you just used up all your energy, and it’s going to be nearly impossible to recover for the next 25.9 miles (plus now you probably have a side ache and feel like barfing).

No, the secret is actually to do the opposite.

The best guitar players are those who make learning guitar as easy as possible

We really like when things are easy, right? 

And staying motivated to get really good at guitar is NOT easy if you’re learning guitar the hard way.

My point: our motivation isn’t reliable, so we can’t bank on it to help us achieve our goal of getting good at playing guitar.

Yes, of course you need motivation to accomplish goals. 

But you can’t rely on motivation by itself to push you through to the end. It’s never enough.

Heck, if I relied purely on motivation to go to work, I probably wouldn’t have a job for long (because any time I wasn’t feeling like going to work I just wouldn’t go lol).

But for some reason, most people who try learning to play guitar only rely on their initial, excited motivation. 

That’s the hard way of trying to learn guitar. So it’s no wonder the majority of people quit.

The way of learning guitar that is guaranteed to make you give up

Most people start learning guitar like this (see if this is similar to your story):

You pull up Youtube, search for guitar “how to” videos, click on one that has a lot of views (that means it must be good then, right?), and start copying what the instructor tells you.

You’re really dedicated, and you spend time every day watching different tutorials and practicing.

You also watch tutorials on playing specific songs you want to learn. You get a few songs down well enough to impress your friends.

But over time, you become frustrated because you don’t feel like you’re becoming an all-around “good” guitar player. You can play a few songs, but it’s difficult for you to figure out other songs on your own. You aso try to write your own songs but don’t think they sound good.

So you start spending less and less time playing and practicing. And eventually you put your guitar back into its case, and never pick it up again.

The thing that will set you apart from the 9 out of 10 people who give up learning guitar

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” -Winston Churchill 

What Churchill means is that you can “plan” to do something all day long. Like, “yeah, I’m planning on learning guitar.”

But in order to succeed, you have to actually make a plan of how you’re going to do it. 

Yes, I’m talking about planning out how you’re going to achieve your goal of learning guitar.

Listen, I promise this isn’t as boring or tedious as it sounds. Just stick with me and you’ll see how being intentional about how you learn guitar will make it so much easier for you.

I came up with a stupid name for this plan to learn guitar so it’s easy to remember.

I call it the “Shred Strategy”.

The Shred Strategy is what you fall back onto when you lack motivation. It “re-stokes” your enthusiasm. It refocuses your vision onto the reasons you started learning guitar in the first place.

If you’re serious about learning to play guitar, then you need to make your own Shred Strategy.

Because the excitement (motivation) you had when you first started isn’t enough to keep you going through the hours and days and weeks and years of practice.

So how does your Shred Strategy actually help you keep going when you run out of motivation? And where do you even start?

There’s only 3 steps. They’re easy, and they only take a few minutes each. 

But here’s the really important thing:

You need to stop and make your own Shred Strategy right away. Even if you’ve already been learning guitar for a while. 

Look, I’m not trying to make it harder for you to learn guitar.

The whole point of the Shred Strategy is to help you stop trying so hard.

It’s the same philosophy that all of my Youtube tutorials are based on, and especially my online course GuitarZero2Hero Premium, which is basically the continuation of the Shred Strategy on a whole other level.

Listen, I know it probably still sounds kinda lame. But if you’re skeptical, at least keep reading and I think you’ll start to see how the Shred Strategy will make learning guitar easier and will help you keep going until you can play like a boss. 

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Shred Strategy : Step 1