When starting to learn something new, especially when it’s violin or guitar, it can be hard to stay dedicated, to want to overcome the barrier that prevents most emerging musicians from keeping with guitar or violin and becoming good at that instrument. But think—it only takes about sixty hours of violin or guitar lessons before you become good enough to feel comfortable playing, knowing that if you keep up at this rate you’ll be able to play pretty much anything within a few more months of dedicated practice.
It’s before this point of sixty hours that you have to find yourself inspired somehow, and that’s where listening to other music comes in. It can be hard to be inspired by violin music if you’re unfamiliar with classical in general, or to find pleasure in guitar if you don’t really like the blues. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to like the kind of music you’re learning to play. The key to excelling at at the guitar is to think about how you’re spending your time, and to recognize that you’re learning, and that it takes time to get good, even if it is difficult. But once you get over that initial barrier, that first hurdle, you can play better and more widely. So if nothing else, just counting down your sixty hours of practice can be motivation enough when starting out. That’s roughly four months of practice at half an hour a day.
Above all, remember that the way you’re spending your time, learning guitar or violin, is a noble effort. When you have a great teacher from the Manhattan, someone who’s practiced for years and performed onstage, you can rest assured that what you’re doing will pay off; even if you aren’t a natural. Because experiencing difficulty in learning something new makes you a stronger, better person, especially if you stick with it and get to the point where you can play pretty much anything you want.