The FirstGuitar System

A framework for learning the guitar . . .

1. The right instrument

Choosing the right instrument can mean the difference between succeeding or failing at learning how to play the guitar. The right guitar can contribute to developing self-esteem while the wrong guitar can lead to self doubt and frustration.

How To Choose a Guitar

2. The right teacher

Exploring our potential skills, abilities and interest is one of the most worthy pursuits we can ever make. Selecting the right teacher (a proper fit between student/teacher and learning style/teaching methods and lesson environment) to help facilitate that process is one of the best investments we can ever make.

How To Select A Guitar Teacher

3. A good practice environment

Success in anything is a series of small steps. Learning to practice is also a series of small steps. Parental involvement and encouragement can help make each step a positive experience which in turn naturally leads to continued learning and growth.

Helping Your Child Practice

Having a quiet place to practice, the necessary musical tools, your instrument out and ready to play and reasonable musical goals help to create an enriching environment of focus and learning.

Helpful Hints for Successful Practice

4. Learning Tools

With a wealth of books, videos, apps & other resources, there has never been a better time to learn to play the guitar. Pedagogy (the practice of teaching), books, resources and learning/teaching tools are at an all time high. You can learn more efficiently and effectively and express yourself creatively better then ever before. If you are serious about learning to play the guitar, find a good teacher and invest in learning tools for each aspect of your practice

5 Tools to Help You Become a Better Guitarist

5. Critical Thinking

Cognitive distortions make it difficult for us to perceive reality for what it is. This makes it difficult to learn an instrument, solve problems or make accurate self-assessments. The ability to recognize cognitive distortions, or “thought holes” is the first step in eliminating them. Renee Jain explains why thought distortions occur, lists eight common thought holes and presents a simple way to evaluate one’s thinking for these distortions. This method can be understood and practiced by children and adults alike.

Filling in Thought Holes: An Invaluable Social and Emotional Learning Lesson

6. Creative Thinking

Creativity does not happen randomly. In fact, it can be developed through practice. One of the most important practices of the creative individual is dealing with their thoughts and their thinking in a way that encourages creativity and productivity. In this post, Michael Hyatt discusses a few ways of thinking that are common to successful creatives.

7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently than Unsuccessful Ones

7. Development of Craft (Craftsmanship)

Many beginning players assume that learning the guitar is effortless for everyone but themselves. This is a common “thought hole” (see above). Learning anything well requires effort. Over time, this investment results in seemingly effortless skill and the appearance of natural abilities. Part of the illusion of show business is that you never hear about the initial learning stages your musical heroes had to pass through on their way to becoming proficient at playing their instrument. Seth Godin offers some relevant insight:

Actually, it goes the other way

Actually, it goes the other way

Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…

It turns out that choices lead to habits.

Habits become talents.

Talents are labeled gifts.

You’re not born this way, you get this way.

8. Interpersonal Skills and Communication

So much of our musical lives revolve around communicating with other people. No matter if one is a beginning student or professional musician, much of our “musical” time and energy is spent in interpersonal communications. Teachers, peers, family, other musicians . . . we must communicate with them all. Nonviolent Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, is a way of communicating our thoughts, feelings and needs without blaming and criticizing others, and being able to receive the thoughts, feelings and needs of others without hearing blame or criticism. This article focuses on the application of Nonviolent Communication in parent/child relationships, but is applicable to all age groups and interpersonal roles.

The Heart of Parenting: Nonviolent Communication in Action

The best guitars for . . .