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How to learn “frustrating” songs on guitar

by Johnny

It’s never smooth.

Especially in the beginning of any worthwhile pursuit, like learning the guitar. But the biggest surprises come AFTER the romance begins.

Case in point:

I’m a few months into a new relationship with a girl I really like. It’s been pretty rocky since the beginning, and a few weeks ago, it pretty much hit the breaking point.

You see, she’s not from the US (or any English speaking country).And I’m not from Taiwan, where she grew up.

So there’s a definitely a communication gap there.

And even though she speaks pretty decent English, she doesn’t fully GET the culture where I’m originally from (America).

So we end up constantly misunderstanding each other on simple things like:

  • What is considered “rude” behavior
  • How soon is it okay to move forward
  • What amount of time together is considered “normal”

You get the idea.

Anyway, the result is that we are each making too many WRONG assumptions about what’s REALLY going on, and getting upset for what seem to be silly (from the other’s perspective) things.

There’s friction.

There’s confusion.

And definitely some frustration.

And you know what?

It takes away from the FUN that we could definitely be having if it weren’t for all these misunderstandings.

But here’s what’s interesting:

With every new roadblock we hit… we are FORCED to calmly talk about things… FORCED to analyze things from the other person’s point of view… and FORCED to develop a DEEP UNDERSTANDING of the CONTEXT which led to the misunderstanding.

And after weeks of dealing with case after case of this… each time breaking down another new barrier…

Things have finally become FUN again.

We can now both enjoy being together without the constant interruptions.

And things just flow naturally.

Which brings me to my point:

When was the last time you thought about your RELATIONSHIP with your guitar?

Have you considered that if you haven’t spent enough time with it, haven’t overcome those small little roadblocks…

That there are probably a lot of wrong ASSUMPTIONS you have about it?

And that these assumptions are causing you to misunderstand how to make learning the guitar FUN? How to make playing guitar feel natural and effortless?


I used to assume that to play barre chords, I needed “strong hands” and above-average finger strength.

The reality?

You actually use VERY LITTLE strength when playing barre chords. (It’s more about comfort, placement, recovery, and distribution of strength amongst the strings)

But that one misunderstanding caused me to nearly WRECK my hands trying to squeeze the strings even tighter.

Guess what?

This type of minor misunderstanding happens ALL THE TIME.

When you are learning any new song or piece of music, the natural thing to do is to assume you already see the bigger picture, that you already “get it” just by reading or watching.

(especially when some guy is teaching you step-by-step in a video).

But that would be a BIG mistake.

In fact, I sometimes work on a song for YEARS…

And I STILL discover something NEW about it, even after all that time…

A finger position that could be better… a way to hold a chord looser to prepare for the next one… a different wrist angle that gives me a speed boost, etc…

The lesson is this:

The only way to FULLY understand (and OWN) anything you play on guitar is to spend as much time with it until your relationship becomes EASY AND FUN.

Most never get there.

But until you do, you’re just going off a bunch of (wrong) assumptions.

Assumptions that will cause you nothing but frustration in the end.

Don’t make that mistake.

Make sure you’ve put in enough time with a new lick, new scale, new strumming pattern, or new song before moving on.

And if you want an easier way to kill most of your frustration causing assumptions, right from the beginning…

I’ve laid a lot of it out for you for free in my No B.S. Guitar Newsletter.

Sign up below.

Till next time…

Pick up the guitar, Get the party started!



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