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6 Most Famous Myths About Learning Guitar You Should Avoid Them

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Many of us including me started learning guitar rather at old age, or maybe picked up the guitar in our teenage age, then for some reason didn’t continue learning.
The thing about learning guitar is there is a lot of myths or misconception that gets around and stops lots of potential musicians to take the first step.

In this article, I will shed some light on these myths and analyze each one of them. If you have one of these myths lurking in the back of your mind, please continue reading.

Myth #1: You have to learn at a certain age

What is the most appropriate age to learn guitar? Whatever number you imagined, know that for each famous musician who started at this age, there are at least 3 other famous musicians who started at a later age than this number!

Do not worry about the “appropriate age” to learn guitar or any other instrument, as there are many musicians who have reached stardom at a very late age, click here to get to know them. If you want to learn guitar, don’t listen to myths about learning guitar and start today.

Myth #2: music theory is usless

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All professional musicians know music theory or even its principles.

But most amateur musicians don’t know it and like to waste their time talking about the insignificance of music theory, and the famous musicians who don’t know how to read notes to confirm their allegations.

But even those stars who don’t know anything about music, their songs are usually written and recorded by people who know a lot about music. These people are musicians too!

All famous musicians know how music works, whether it is songs, melodies, or even electronic music! But some of them did not study music theory academically and therefore do not know the common musical terms that other musicians know.

If your goal is to limit what you know about music, then there is no need to study music theory. If you are trying to play songs or have limited time to learn guitar, it is natural to feel that you do not have time to study music theory.

You don’t need to study music theory to play the guitar, but you do need to study it to understand the guitar.

Myth #3: Talented players don’t take guitar lessons

Guitarlessons

This is one of the myths about learning guitar that I hear all the time and it bores me. Any professional musician knows the importance of lessons, but people still keep saying that famous musicians didn’t take lessons in their lives!

People like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates who dropped out of college and became billionaires are the exception to the rule, not the rule. If you want to play guitar quickly and professionally, find a good guitar teacher.

Most serious people who have studied music see music lessons as the cornerstone of their learning. So far, I have not heard of a well-known musician who took a stand on music lessons and considered them a waste of time!

If you don’t have a good teacher or you lack the money to do this don’t be upset, you can study on your own too. Just know that musical institutions have existed for hundreds of years and are not going anywhere!

Myth #4: Reading music is a waste of time

One of the most famous myths about learning guitar ever created by unconfident guitarists in order to protect their egos.

Let me clarify something important here and I’ll put it in a paragraph:

You can write, record and produce songs, and learn difficult pieces and you don’t know how to read music.”

But most musicians CAN read music or wish they had the opportunity to learn it. Anyone who doesn’t know how to read music and says it’s a waste of time has a dubious reason.

It’s like broke people who say money doesn’t matter or obese individuals who say exercise is a waste of time.

Do they really believe this?

Myth #5: You can learn everything on YouTube

youtube logo

No, you can’t.

YouTube is full of many educational videos about learning guitar but most of the people who provide them are players, not teachers. Is there a difference?

Absolutely.

Being a good guitar player is fine, but it doesn’t make you a good teacher. Learning guitar is not like learning any other subject like math or physics, we are not robots. We are all different when it comes to music and art in general.

In addition, most of the channels on YouTube do not provide good content and do not teach guitar in a method. He presents what he knows or knows how to play without taking into account the level of the student who is watching it.

In many cases, the student gets frustrated and leaves the guitar because he does not understand it or because he feels that there is still a long way to go to play what he is watching.

Myth #6: You should start with classical guitar

This is not a myth but a flaw in logic.

Most of us have heard this advice before and it’s not bad at all. To buy a classical guitar at the beginning means that you will spend a small amount, about less than $100, and this advice has another side, which is that not everyone who started learning the guitar went all the way!

This is the painful truth, but this happens in all fields, not just the guitar. Not everyone who went to the gym became a champion athlete, and so on.

The logic here is not to spend a lot of money at first, I know you want to play rock or blues on an electric guitar but to buy an electric guitar, and an amplifier, and take lessons, this will cost you a lot and there is a possibility that you will not continue.

If you have the money, do not think about buying a classical guitar and buy what you want from the start.

In Summary About Learning Guitar

There is a lot of misinformation and myths about learning guitar, so if you want to learn guitar, you should do the following:

  • Don’t believe everything you are told by people who have never played guitar before.
  • Don’t believe everything your guitar-playing friends tell you, your experience is different from theirs.
  • Stick to a specific method at the beginning to determine your path and then diversify the sources.
  • Whatever style you started with (classic, blues, rock, etc.) keep it up until you can master its techniques and then learn another style.
  • Discuss with your teacher and ask many questions, and if you are not satisfied with the answer, change your teacher.
  • Most guitar problems can be solved with a lot of practice, and when you find the solution, practice more!

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John

Great article! Really encouraging materials in there for people like me who picked up the guitar in our adulthood!

Last edited 1 year ago by John
Sherri-Lee

The issue of age has definitely been a hinderance, especially as my age slide higher and higher and I still hadn’t been able to commit to trying to learn guitar. Thinking on what myth most stopped me, I would say it was the idea that I had to be passionate about music, about any style of sound, or any composer, to be motivated or wanting to spend time to learn to play that music. I am not passionate about any particular music at all. I like sound, I like notes and the resonance of them, and I put off trying to learn to make those sounds on the guitar or piano (I also tried piano over the years, and played clarinet in high school but never pressed past introduction kinds of levels) because I believed I had to have a style or genre of pieces to aim for to be able to want to play. That is I couldn’t feel motivated by any music I heard to want to learn to play it. I wonder if this is partly because the other learning books/methods I tried always start with the same same same songs – I am so over Ode to Joy.

Your basics course got me playing two voices so quickly, and there was no Ode to Joy, or When the Saints go Marching – that was highly motivating. I may have figured all this out sooner had money not been an issue all those years ago when being able to pay tuition fees was the only way to learn, and there were no classical guitar teachers around us. Country and other acoustic guitar type contemporary songs were far less my jam. In this present world, the internet has made learning so much more accessible. At 49 I do not know how far I can progress with the hours I have left, but it will be an exhilarating journey to find out. Age also helps with moving past limiting mythologies.