Problems that show up frequently among beginners include confusion, discomfort, and rashes in in places that normally only your washcloth sees. Well, maybe not the rashes. But let's look at some of the mental blocks we create as we begin learning guitar:
- not seeing progress
- feeling overwhelmed by too much material
- not seeing the purpose of an exercise
- feeling like you're not making music
What do you do when you have an idea or picture of the kind of skill you want to have, but don't see yourself moving quickly enough to that picture? What do you do when you've been working on the same tune for the past several weeks, and your playing of it doesn't sound any better now than it did when you started?
Here are a couple of viewpoints on this problem. One involves the possibility that you truly have not improved your playing. You are somehow blocking yourself from performing the fingerwork needed to make the song sound as it should. Maybe your pinky is getting in the way of your third finger, or maybe the C note never fully sounds when you play the C major chord during one part of a tune.
When you see these errors happening, devote 100% of your attention to watching your fingers move as they come to the trouble parts. Ask yourself questions like, "Are only the fingers that are supposed to be fretting notes doing the fretting, or is there extra, unnecessary movements in here that are getting in the way?" When you study your fingers moving into a problem spot, slow down the movement as much as you can stand it, and then slow it down some more, so you can see exactly what's happening.
You can get past technique blocks by asking similar questions: "what parts of my hand *and* body need to be loose or tense here? Is there unnecessary tension in my shoulder or other area?"