Slow down, no need to rush

I decided to learn the guitar last August 2020. I needed another outlet from the monotony of home life during a pandemic. 

I gave myself 6 months to “learn” the guitar. Obviously, I was in for a rude awakening as the first 2-3 months alone was literally painful. Fretting the strings to play basic chords hurt my finger tips so bad that I had to take weeks off from playing. Even when I was practicing, I could only pull off a good 10 minutes before I had to rest my fingers.

The sixth month came and I was still far from my goal of playing songs with intermediate chords. I could barely do arpeggios and I dealt with more pain from learning to fingerpick.

I took some time off and contemplated quitting. As time went on, I missed practicing. I picked up the guitar one day and decided that I will learn SLOWLY. I will practice simple chord progressions and arpeggios no matter how boring they are. 30 mins for days on end. No timetable. Until I get comfortable.

Today (almost 17 months in), I could not believe how far I have come. I can practice for two hours (including breaks) with no pain. I can fingerpick full songs. I can play intermediate chord progressions. To top it all off, I even played in front of family and friends.

My frustration with learning guitar is a symptom to what I think is a current societal problem. Learning or doing something in the shortest possible time seems to be the thing. There is also an emphasis on learning that is not boring. Doing something fast/instant and not boring? Sounds like the marketing campaign of big tech and social media. 

Learning a skill is frustrating and boring at times. Learning a skill takes time. Slow down, no need to rush.