Learning Guitar in 2018 - 001

Today, I talk about the ups and downs of learning guitar in 2018. Also, Guitar News and Creating the Band




On this first episode of the Play Guitar Podcast, it’s only fitting to introduce the direction of the show.  This podcast is for the guitarist who wants to get better.  No matter if you are a beginner or advanced player, we all have issues staying on the right path on our journey with the guitar. I’m going to bring you fun and informative episodes filled with topics that keep us on the road to getting better at the guitar.

  • Each week we will have a main topic to either help explain something on guitar that challenges a lot of players,  or a tip that will quickly get you further along the path to where you want to go.
  • If I come across some cool ideas, this is also a place to pass them along
  • Talk about the things that guitarists are talking about (players, new gear, software, and tools that help us move forward).
  • Interview ideas
  • Documenting the process of creating the album and starting a band
  • Further discuss topics from my youtube and blog posts
  • Also this is place for me to make sense of everything I have going on. A bit of well needed therapy

I also talk about how I came to start the podcast and ways you can get involved with the show.

Learning Guitar in 2018


Where are we now? With all of the resources available , learning guitar is supposed to be so easy these days.

There is YouTube, blog posts, lesson sites, software programs, and even video games to help you learn the guitar.

Being someone who has been dealing with guitar players problems since 1988, ive seen how guitar education has progressed over the years. With all of the advancements in technology and guitar education…

… one thing hasn’t’ changed:


Learning guitar is tough!


It takes time and focus. It’s a skill and an art form that is best built one step at a time

The one big thing that has changed is:


Learning guitar has now become very overwhelming.


Back in the day when I was first teaching, most new players would buy a book or a cheesy video and get frustrated and then try to find some help.

Now this is more along the lines of how new players get their start:

“ I just started playing 2 months ago, and I’m trying to learn Eruption and play some Yngvie Maalmsteen and I just can’t understand why I don’t sound good”

That’s an exaggeration, but, we have so many resources now that are presented ala carte, that most new players (and established players) are overwhelmed by all the different methods and materials available.

It seems that in 2018, guitarists are still just as frustrated as they always have been, just in different ways.

So what hasn’t changed? 

When I meet new students, I still see the same two types of students:

  • The student who is a frustrated DIY Self learner
  • And, the student who wants to start from the very start with a teacher

I understand the merits of both, and in my own journey on guitar I’ve done both routes and got the benefits of both.


What’s different?

I find that I’m fixing different problems with today’s new students.

  • The focus now is on learning the very important foundational skills that it takes to really take advantage of whats out there. There is so much great, “enticing” information available, but if you are missing the skills you need to attempt it, you can hit a roadblock!
  • There is lot’s of just wrong information out there too. Especially with learning songs. Since anyone can put out these song lessons, you end up with some really inaccurate lessons.
  • Most new students are using the “ala carte” method of learning guitar. I want to learn a little of this here, and a little of that there. While this seems like a very fun way to learn the guitar.  It dramatically slows down progress.


How do we use all of these resources effectively… without getting overwhelmed


We need a plan…

  1. The first step I recommend is to follow my twitter page. I have a running list of recommended lessons from all over the internet. These are blog articles and videos that I have found and would recommend to my students. These posts are usually centered around the important foundational  skills that are needed to move forward on guitar. I have found that most of these articles can work well together.I also post all of my own artices, podcasts, and videos which are designed to put you on the right track. https://twitter.com/playguitarpdcst
  2. The second step is to  find a teacher or a method you like and stick with them for a while. Say you come across a video that you really learned a lot from. Find out who taught or created the video and find the rest of the content that they put out. This could be the method that really works for you. Try to focus on just this teacher’s lessons for a while.
  3. The third step I recommend is to keep a set practice routine at a certain time. It doesn’t have to last  very long either.  The daily repetition of a set practice routine takes what you are trying to learn an puts it right into your long term memory.
  4. The fourth step I recomment is to seperate your playing and practicing. I like to stress the difference between playing and practicing. Playing is the time where you have the most fun. You are playing and reinforcing the things you already know and having fun jamming and being creative. Practcing is the time spent learning things you don’t know or are not comfortable doing. Practcing is not meant to sound good. If you designate a time to practice and a time to play on a regular basis, I have found it speeds up the learning process.
  5. The last step I recommend for learning guitar in 2018 is to set long term goals and work on the fundamentals that will get you there. I find setting yearly goals to be the most effective. Set a goal that is out of reach and write down the steps and skills that you need to be able to acheive this goal. Spread these steps out across the year and and base your daily practice schedule on working these steps.

 Learning guitar, no matter what technology you use or level you are at, still boils down to mastering these four areas:

  • Rhythm

  • Chords

  • Scales, and how they all work together to play songs.

  • Listening

Make sure you hit all of those in your daily practice routine to keep on the fast track to mastering the guitar!

If you want an easy way to keep on track and move forward on guitar, sign up for my early adopter list at playguitaracademy.com. The site is designed with using all of these ideas to keep you focused and on track


We have easy access to everything we need to get better at guitar. But that is the problem. Slow down, ask yourself what you are missing in your playing, find the resource that works best for you and spend some time with it.

Once you make your plan, please discribe it in the comments below! I’d love to hear about it! 

Creating the Band


An intro to creating the band. I’ll be crafting 10 songs from scratch here and showing you every step of the way until they become an album for a new working band. 

I play you several rough examples of the intial song ideas.


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