More Than Music: What Learning To Play Guitar Has Taught Me

By: Wanda Loredo Andrea Stuardo, Guest Blogger

1. Don't say you are good or bad at something until you try, and don't be afraid of trying.

I've always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I used to ask my friends who already knew how to do it to teach me some chords. But every time I played guitar, I did so with embarrassment. I didn't even get to play the chord, as I was already thinking that it was going to sound awful. My friends were very patient, but I ended up claiming I wasn't good at guitar without playing a single chord and without truly trying.

2. Practice makes the master in everything.

In December 2014 I set that goal for myself again. No one was surprised, except for the few people that didn't know about my past attempts. Everyday, I took my brother's guitar from his bedroom, looked for a YouTube tutorial, and played for at least one hour. At the beginning I was a mess, my fingers hurt, I couldn't really coordinate my hands, and let's not talk about when I tried to play and sing simultaneously. But I didn't give up because this time, I was stubborn. And I'm glad I was. I could tell I was getting better because of the practice.

3. Baby steps are safer and bring better results.

As I said previously, I immediately tried to play and sing, forgetting that I still didn't know how to play very well.  I felt really frustrated when I couldn’t do it, because I have the bad habit of wanting results instantly. How wrong I was. After realizing that it wasn't working, I decided to go with baby steps. I looked for and learned to play chords, practiced simple songs, and once I nailed it, I started trying to sing and play verse by verse. Now I know a complete Birdy song and find it easier to learn others. We don't need to rush and take big steps; baby steps are better cause they provide a better foundation.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Most of the time, this wasn’t an issue for me, though there were times when I didn't ask anyone because either I was afraid to embarrass myself or I wanted to do it all by myself. The thing is, it is always okay to ask for help. I remember interrupting my brother as he was playing video games to ask him if I was doing a chord well and asking a friend if he knew easy songs I could learn. It wasn't a big deal and they really supported me, which was gratifying since I was learning something that was difficult for me. I realized that asking for help isn’t embarrassing or awkward and that there is always someone willing to help.

5. Exercise your right to be proud of your achievements.

How many times did I go to my brother's bedroom to show him a G , C or E chord played well? Plenty. At first, I didn't feel like I should share my playing with anyone because I thought it wasn't that important, however after my brother congratulated me and gave some feedback, I noticed that warm feeling in my chest of positive pride. Don't ever feel like your achievements don't deserve admiration, because they do. We put in effort to make our goals come true and we shouldn't minimize its importance.

About Wanda 

WANDA_STUARDO.jpgWanda is a high school student. Theater and writing have helped her the last few years to discover her own voice and to not be afraid to share it. Reading, musical theater and TV shows are her guilty pleasure. Her biggest goal in life is to become the best version of herself she can be and help other people to achieve this themselves. Gender equality and women rights. 





image via becuo


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