Learning with a Teacher is Much Better
Just from having a support when things get rough, somebody who can guide you to a breakthrough more easily, teachers are invaluable resources.
A Teacher Will Pinpoint Your Weak Spots
A lot of times we get complacent and stop actively working on the things we should work, instead, we do shallow work, we just want to learn that song, or maximize our skill on a certain area that is either already good enough or not so important to your evolution as a classical guitar musician.
Having Guidance Will Give You a Direction on What to Do Next
You are really really great at playing, beginner level songs, now you feel like you should move to the next step.
Do you even know what steps you should take?
How will you know a good repertoire of songs from which you can learn from if you not well versed in classical guitar songs?
A teacher can solve all those problems, instantly.
Do You Learn Multiple Things Fast?
Learning fast for a self-taught learner is a must, there so many things you are going to need to get even to a post beginner level, if you are not quick witted, it will take ages to become any good without the assistance of a teacher.
Extreme Coordination, Positions and Techniques Are Common in Classical Guitar
If you play popular songs, are really good at them, you know what?
It doesn’t matter at all, classical guitar will require an infinitely better muscle control, balance, coordination and concentration to play even the beginner level songs.
Also, you will have to learn how to read sheet music if did not learn it already, and that is NOT a fast process, so prepare yourself for a very steep learning curve.
Do You Know If What You Have Learned is Enough?
You broke through all those barriers and you think you are doing well, everything feels smooth, the notes aren’t rushed or sound wrong, everything seems good, but how you will know what is good if you don’t have even ONE peer to compare yourself with.
Also, having peers and a teacher can help with igniting the fire of competition that is already within you.
Are You Extremely Self Aware?
If you are doing things wrong, you will inevitably feel some signs of a bad practicing session. Those can vary, they can emerge as pain, not achieving a measureable progress over time and many more.
Sitting in a Wrong Position Can Lead to Back and Hand Pain
Classical guitarists sit in a very specific position, this position aids them in reaching parts of the guitar with more ease, as well as keeping back pain in it’s place, it is a position developed over centuries, designed to let the musician practice for extended periods of time without harming his or her body.
If you are self-taught, noticing the slight shifts, pressure points, legs and hand positions will be hard, it is not impossible, but hard.
Hand Pressure, Timing, Sheet Reading, Doing It All Requires Self Awareness
As you have already seen, it takes an enormous amount of coordination, and that requires concentration. If you want to improve, you need to be self aware, is the sound you’re producing right?
Are your fingers on an accurate position where you don’t need to apply extreme pressure to achieve a clear sounding note?
You have to be constantly questioning yourself at your practice session.
What is Your Goal with Learning Classical Guitar?
Are you trying to play on an orquestra or do you just really want to play that anime song you love and always wanted to perform?
Are Doing It Just to Play Your Favorite Songs?
In the case that you are doing it to play your favorite songs, things are MUCH easier, they are still hard, obviously, but this is achievable, you can practice a song you like endlessly, and it will only be your hobby, as soon as you achieve a certain level of proficiency at it, you can be your own judge, it will be good when you are satisfied with the result, and you won’t have to play it for a whole audience full of very critical and versed people.
Are You Trying to Get to a Professional Level?
My honest advice to you then is, don’t, do not try to learn it all by yourself, only with internet research. To play at a professional level, you need to be coached by professionals, if you try do it any other way, then it will very likely be a bad time investment on your part.
Time-Block Your Practices
If you timeblock a separate amount of time each to develop your craft, then I have no doubts that you will be ahead of a LOT of wannabe musicians.
Time Blocking Eases You into Flow
Flow is a state that will put you into a super creative, concentrated focus, it will distort your perception of time, and you will become much more suited for learning complex tasks such as playing the classical guitar when you are in this state.
Time blocking can help you especifically with achieving this state, a person enters flow when a task is just outside that person skill level, if it’s too easy, you won’t be as engaged as you need to be, also, if the task is too hard, you will feel overwhelmed and frustrated most of the time.
Interruptions Can Kill a Day of Practice
You have to protect your time block with everything you have, learn to say no to everybody who tries to take you away from what matters to you, if you have a goal and you believe it’s possible, then stop giving your time away for free, because nothing could be further from the truth.
It Depends on How Much Time You Have Available
If you got kids, or you have a heavy workload at your job, marriage, all of that should enter the equation when considering learning a new craft.
It is Only Proportional to The Work You Put into It
Your results, as with most things in life, will be proportional to the effort you put into them, of course, people that work smart will have very much higher payoffs in life, but even they have to work like crazy to become successfull at whatever they do, so take these words in consideration when choosing which path you want to take on life.
If You Can’t Put Long Hours, Don’t Quit, Do It as A Hobby
As scary as it sounds, playing the guitar doesn’t have to be a dread, you can play it simply as a recreational activity, so if you enjoy playing, do not quit, just play less, take projects that are manageable for the time you have available and work with what you have.
Ultimately, it is a Lifelong Learning Process
We will all get old and die, life is like that, the only things that are certain are death and taxes, everything else is up to luck, destiny and a little bit of what you sprinkle in beetween.
As Long as You Are Pushing Limits, You’ll Get Better
Even if you are not very good at it, you don’t have to be like Isaac Albeniz, you simply have to be better than you were yesterday, yeah, cliché but it’s true, if you are not regressing, eventually you will become so good that you will no longer be dissatisfied with the quality of the songs you are playing, and getting good at something is very motivating.
1% Everyday Makes a World of Difference
If you resolve to get 1% better everyday, at the end of the year, you will have gotten 3800% better, yes, you read it right, that’s the power of compound interest.
I have to say it again, you do not need to become better than everybody, that’s a recipe for frustration, you have to improve what you are, that’s the way of achieving greatness in life.
Start Each Practice Session with Intent
Know what you sitting down for, if you practice with the right intent in mind, you will derive faster results because you are working with the end in mind.
Write on A Word Doc or Sheet of Paper What You Want out of Today’s Practice
What do you want, learn the beginning of a piece, middle, end?
You want to get better at reading sheet music?
Maybe you need to perfect a song. Whatever it may be, write it on a sheet of paper, and at the end of the session, always ask, did I hit or miss my goal, and why it happened.
Learn Songs You Always Wanted to Learn
Unmotivated people will always perform worse, people need incentives to make a good job at whatever they do, and you are not different, so always mix a song you like into your practice sessions, and when you master it, go show it off somewhere, make a youtube channel, show it to your girl, parents, friends.
Be proud for taking action on your dreams.