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Guitar Lesson: Congratulations, But What Happened To Your Guitar Playing?

Aug 17, 2007
Let's say you practice five hours a day on your guitar. What happens when you become a father with children around your feet. Can you still be a guitarist and practice?

As a father and a guitarist I have some advice. The story on how a mother can continue playing guitar has to be written by an expert on that subject.

I guess the problem is that many guitarists think that if they can't practice the way they are used to they might as well quit.

What happens with you as a guitar player when you become a father with small children?

1. You will still have time to play guitar but not when you expect it.

I have many times wondered why people that practice a lot on their guitars as they become parents suddenly stops completely to play guitar and become desillusioned with this part of their lives.

It's like a person who wants to train on a gym two hours a day. If this doesn't work he quits completely. Why?

To make ten push ups a day is better than doing nothing. I takes maybe ten seconds to make this exercise and it will have positive results. The most important thing is that you are still trying to work with your body and the time will probably come when you can increase the amount of training.

Of course the same principle applies to guitar playing. Change the way you play but don't quit. I'm sure your children don't want that.

2. Time to play guitar will come in small portions.

As you don't always know when you have time to play on your guitar you have to have your guitar or guitars extremely accessible. Have the guitar on your bed or somewhere else very close at hand. Maybe you have to buy a cheaper guitar in order to feel comfortable with this arrangement.

Personally I have an very expensive classical guitar but I mostly play on my less expensive guitars as I have them nearby all the time.

3. You might be interrupted in the middle of your guitar playing at any time.

I suggest that you give yourself a reasonable amount of homework to practice on your guitar. Try to learn this homework by heart as soon as possible so you don't need pieces of paper around as you practice. I guess you know that small children like the taste of paper..

If you give yourself just one task to perform as your guitar lesson homework you will even with small amounts of time to practice spread all over the day see yourself progressing. The important thing is to focus on this task long enough to see results and long enough for the skills to become part of your playing.

4. You will have to concentrate on more things than your guitar playing.

If you have a long term goal with your playing you will always be able to look back on what you are doing as a guitar player and can see yourself progressing. I suggest that you put your long term guitar playing goals on a place out of reach for your children but within reach of your eyes.

5. You must feel that your guitar playing is of benefit for your wife and your children.

Is it selfish to play guitar when you have children? Let me give you an example from my own childhood:

My dad was a musician playing violin, cello and guitar in our home. He was working as a guitar teacher and I heard him play classical guitar pieces, cello pieces and violin pieces everyday.

I can still remember some of those melodies and they invoke a feeling of peace and memories of childhood in my heart. I have a special relation to those pieces of music and they have certainly enriched my life.

In other words, you will need to have a repertoire of nice melodies to play for your children. Focus on learning melodies to play and try to find opportunities to play them for your wife and children.

Having a family has certainly enriched my life and made me a better musician and guitar player.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and learn to play guitar resources at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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