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I can remember multiple times throughout my guitar journey of feeling utterly discouraged  with my playing. If you’re asking yourself why is guitar so frustrating. You’re not alone, now let’s get you back on track.

In fact, it wasn’t just as a beginner guitarist either. There was a time when I was really trying to work my craft and was putting in hours a day, but still, I felt as my playing wasn’t getting any better.

If you are wondering why the guitar is so disheartening at times. It comes down to these 5 reasons.

You’ve set unrealistic goals for yourself. You’re unfocused with your practice sessions.

You lack patience.

You lack consistency.

You’re not allowing yourself time to have fun with it.

With that being said, let’s dive a little deeper into each of these possibilities, recognize them and then discuss a few ways to ease the frustration, sound like a plan? Let’s do this!

Reason 1: You’ve set unrealistic goals for yourself.

It is quite possibly one of the most significant factors I see when guitarists start getting frustrated with their playing.

Often we overestimate what we can learn and accomplish in the amount of time we are trying to achieve this in.

I know that personally, I have fallen into this trap many times at different stages of working my craft.

Usually, this is due to poor judgment on my part to how long I believe it “should” take me to learn. So remember if you’re asking why is guitar so frustrating. It could easily be that you’re expecting to accomplish too much too fast.

Also, keep in mind that learning something doesn’t mean being able to work it into your playing immediately either.

Think about the first time you ever tried soloing over a chord change. You know what scale to use, you’ve practiced it over and over again, yet you can’t construct a solo out of the scale.

Only because you haven’t allowed yourself enough time to learn bending, blue notes, mixing up rhythmic aspects, there so much that goes into it.

So first and foremost, decide if this is you. If this isn’t your problem, just skip to the next reason. If this is you like it was me. Here is what I suggest.

Work backward, if you know what your ultimate goal looks like, work back and ask yourself what do you need to do in your daily practice to work towards that goal?

Once you have done this, your goal then is to set goals for your daily practice routine simply.

This could be as simple as playing the C major scale in both octaves, to a metronome at  90 bpm using quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets, and 16th notes.

Then moving on to interchanging the rhythms and going from 16th notes to quarter notes, or any mixture, fluidly without dropping the beat.

This is just one small example but focus on breaking things down. Don’t try and eat the elephant with one bite.

Reason 2: Are you practicing or… doodling that same old’ riff?

This is one of the biggest reasons I would ask myself why guitar was so frustrating. I was a classic case of the doodler.

It happens to us all. Have you ever tried to set the intentions of having a “real” practice session only to find yourself minutes later playing the same few riffs that you have down pat over and over again?

I like to call this doodling, not practicing. It’s easy to “think,” you are practicing, or to just not know what to practice.

If this is your issue, I recommend doing 2 things. First, write out exactly what you want to get done during that practice session for that day.

For example let’s say you want to learn how to play a B chord. Write it down and then go accomplish it.

Secondly, break this up into small bite-size chunks, it’s like eating your vegetables first to get them out of the way before the steak!

If you don’t like working on scales, do them first! Or whatever you find the most challenging thing for you at that time.

Do it first! Get it out of the way, and use small time frames.

Let’s keep our scale example going if you don’t like practicing scales to a metronome even though you know it will help your playing, do it first thing.

Set a timer for say 5 minutes and focus for 5 minutes. When the timer is up, set it for 3 minutes and doodle.

Then place it for 5 minutes again and work the next section of your practice routine with a focus for 5 minutes.

Keep doing this back and forth. Focused work, doodling and fun, concentrated work, doodling and fun, back and forth.

This seems like a very elementary idea, but it can do wonders for getting you back on track to making progress perfecting your craft.

If you need help staying on track with your practice or not sure what to learn next I highly recommend following the Guitar Tricks system. You can check out my full review here.

Reason 3: Patience

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I know this is a HUGE one for most.

Especially those just starting their journey.

It is so easy to get frustrated, have things not appear to be progressing and just utterly lack patience.

It also doesn’t help that we live in a very “instant gratification” world these days.

This is probably the number 1 reason people give up learning guitar or any instrument for that matter.

Let ‘s face it, learning guitar is a never-ending study. It takes time, and lots of it, especially in the beginning.

Just bending your fingers to shape a chord can feel like the most daunting task of all time.

Learning guitar is a marathon, not a sprint. Always has been and still will be, so just know that the time you put in now, will pay tomorrow.

If you are feeling like you really lack patience, start keeping records of your practice routine.

This will allow you to look back and see that you actually are improving. It just is happening on such small daily levels you don’t see it on the day-to-day.

This is much like someone trying to lose weight.

They see themselves every day.

So they don’t see the slow changes until they look back at a picture from months ago, and realize they have made significant gains.

This is precisely the same, so take some time to either think back to a time when you didn’t know what you know now and got excited over that.

Or merely start tracking everything and even over the course of a week you should be able to look back and notice an improvement.

Reason 4: Consistency

This is another reason many guitarists become frustrated beyond belief.

They just are not consistent enough with their playing, and their practice sessions.

You can’t just practice for 1 day and then wait to pick it up again 2 weeks from now… that will definitely lead to asking why is guitar so frustrating with a fury.

One of the most substantial reasons I have seen for this is that people tend to think they need to set aside let’s say 2 hours to practice, and they always run around saying they don’t have enough time.

Yet, if they had just taken 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there, they would have plenty of practice time in for the day.

This one comes down to keeping yourself accountable, and yet staying flexible with your schedule, 15 minutes is better than 0 minutes, always. Stay focused.

Reason 5: Not allowing for fun time

This might just be my number 1 reason for when you feel guitar is just too frustrating.

Just like in reason 2 where I talk about doodling too much, this can go the opposite way as well.

Often once you reach a certain level of playing you decide that you want to improve your skill really.

This can sometimes turn into feeling like work, and work only.

The joy of playing seems to fade. This is a clear sign its time to take a break for yourself and jam out to something that you enjoy!

I was definitely guilty of this one.

Especially when I was attending the Musicians Institute in the guitar program.

I was practicing so intensely hours on end every day, that at times I forgot just to jam out and have fun with it.

In Conclusion:

What I have discovered from my own guitar journey is that I’ve suffered from all of these reasons at one time or another.

It’s completely normal and nothing that every other guitarist hasn’t ever faced.

The thing to remember is that guitar is supposed to be fun, and it CAN be fun at all levels of skill.

So if you’re asking why guitar is so frustrating, remember…

Everything can be less stressful if you just get clear on what you want, break it down into small daily pieces, and keep track of your progress, so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.

If you need a way to keep yourself accountable and know exactly what is next to learn step by step I recommend checking out Guitar Tricks. You can access it for free for 14 days here. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

I hope this article reaches some of you that are currently dissatisfied. It won’t be like this forever, keep at it and most importantly have some fun!