Stop The Pain: Guitar Book Overwhelm.

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

You've probably noticed that there is an almost infinite number of guitar tuition books that you can buy. And if you're anything like me, you've probably bought dozens of them. You've also probably noticed that some of the books would take SEVERAL lifetimes to master! And would it be fair to say that sometimes you don't know where to start? So much information, so little time! Don't worry, you're not alone...

I used to get totally overwhelmed by my guitar book collection. I used to pick up a book and not really know where to start. I usually would play around with a book for a week or two, and then move onto another book...even when I hadn't mastered what I had learnt from the book. End result? A feeling of frustration! The good thing about this though was that this frustration inspired me to create a system to get the most out of my books. Let's take a look at it now...

***Step One: Quick Overview***

Find a guitar book that you would like to work on. Read the front and back covers only. What are some things that you think the book might help you with? Please write these down now.

***Step Two: Define Your Purpose***

Have a quick think about your musical goals. With your goals in mind, write down your purpose for studying the book. What EXACTLY would you like to get from the book? Make it specific. If you feel that the book is not totally relevant to your goals right now, then DON'T study it. It will be a waste of your valuable time. Instead, find another book that is more relevant.

***Step Three: Preview The Book***

Read the table of contents. As you read it, ask yourself..."What ONE section of this book will help me the most with my current musical goals?". Once you've finished reading the table of contents, choose the ONE section that you feel will help you the most.

***Step Four: Detailed Reading***

Read the section that you chose in Step Three. Do you still feel that it will really help you achieve your musical goals? If you do...great! If not...just repeat Step Three and choose another section.

Once you've read through the whole section, choose the ONE thing in it that you think will help you the most. It could be a specific lick, theoretical concept, chord progression etc. The idea is to choose the one thing that will benefit your guitar playing the most. Life is too short to practice things that aren't INCREDIBLY important to your musical development!

***Step Five: Get To Work***

Practice the thing that you chose in Step Four. Practice it like a maniac! Really work hard to integrate it into your playing or knowledge. Keep working on it daily until you feel that you have mastered it.Depending on what you chose, this could take hours, days, weeks, months of even years!

I hope you find this method works for you. Dust off those books now, and get to work!

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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