Why Being An Information Junkie Will Hurt Your Ability To Play Guitar

While the technology available to guitar players now is amazing, it can at times do more harm to your guitar playing than good. With all of the apps, youtube videos, books, magazine (both online and herd copies) available to you it can get overwhelming figuring out where to start. The truth is that trying to learn from multiple sources is always going to be detrimental to your guitar playing.

The main reasons why using multiple sources to learn to play guitar is so difficult, especially if you are just starting out. On the surface, conventional wisdom would tell you to “learn from as many sources as you can so that you get all of the information you need”. 

What conventional wisdom leaves out is making sure that any source you learn from is qualified to teach you. Conventional wisdom also doesn’t take into account that many of these sources will contradict each other and leave you wondering which method is the right one. Conventional wisdom also incorrectly assumes that guitar lessons are "one size fits all" or that "all guitar lessons are the same”. In short, conventional wisdom doesn’t take into account that you are an individual and you may process information differently than someone else learning the same method.

How to solve this

The easiest way to get past this problem and to really see yourself grow into the guitar player that you want to be is to take your guitar lessons with one proven source. Don’t be afraid to do research when looking for a guitar teacher and make sure that this person is going to be the right teacher for you. Think about it. When buying a house, would you buy the first house that you see? When buying a car, would you buy the first car that you see without driving it first and researching to make sure that it is going to be the right car for you? Choosing a guitar teacher should be the same thing.

Before we go any further, you should know that the absolute best way to make sure that you are going to become the guitar player that you want to be and have fun in the process is to find guitar teacher. Books and online videos may get you to where you want to go but it is going to be a much longer process. A qualified guitar teacher is going to be able to help you avoid all of the pitfalls that trying to go it on your own will have. A great guitar teacher (and there are plenty in your area, do your research) knows exactly how to help you and will work with you every step of the way to help you reach your goals. Books and videos will never do that. 

Why books and videos won’t help you

Books and videos are designed with the one size fits all approach. They have to be. With books there is no way to get feedback on your playing, you are on your own to figure out if you are making the improvements that you need to make.

Videos are much the same, in that they take a one size fits all approach to teaching you to play guitar. Also, there is no way to know if the information you are learning from these videos is even in the right order. You tend to look up things that interest you guitar wise and you don’t know if you you may be looking something up that is beyond your current ability. The videos don’t take this into account and again you are on your own to try and figure out if you are making progress. It may be possible to get feed back through comment threads on videos but they certainly won’t be instant and you don’t even know if the information you get is correct.

This is why choosing a teacher to help you is the best choice. The right teacher will be able to help you and also they are going to have (or should have) a proven way to help you get to your goals. They will have instant feedback for you as well as a clear path to helping you become the guitar player that you want to be.

When you are looking for a way to take your guitar playing to the next level, make sure that you avoid being an information junkie and instead of trying to find a bunch of different ways to learn to play guitar, find one source that you trust to guide you. The end result will be that you are happier and have an easier time improving your guitar playing.


About the author: Byron Marks is a professional musician and guitar teacher that teaches  beginner, intermediate and advanced guitar lessons in Manchester, New Hampshire.