Guitar Skill revival How to gain back lost skills

By Aditya Shukla, psychologist and guitarist

You may have lost skills because of work and LIfe, but there is Hope.

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RepeaT old Music

Repeat things you already know and rehearse them a few times. This sets a baseline.


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Relearning ROutine

Have designated blocks of 10-20 minutes to rehearse the very basics - scales, chord changes, solos, riffs, etc. Relearn them.


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New Challenges

Find something you really want to play and start learning it from scratch. It's ok if you need tabs or video tutorials. Goal is to complete the challenge.


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Fix your guitar

After you lose the habit to practice, the guitar is probably in poor shape. Bad strings, lost intonation, knobs and cables failing, dust and rust, etc.  Start practicing again with a well-maintained instrument. That "good feeling" matters.


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Mix it UP

While re-building your skills, the most important thing will not be brute force practice. It'll be variation in practice and mixing up many things. You have to trigger lost neural mechanisms that gave you those skills.


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Record Yourself

Record yourself on video and audio, so you know where you are. Because you may feel you've lost a lot of skills, but you are probably not that bad. Or.... the opposite.


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Play for Joy

Rebuild your skills because you want to have fun playing the guitar and keep life interesting. Tap into self-motivation and not external rewards. This also reduces the pressure to progress fast.


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Repeat + Vary, Daily

Have 20 min blocks of practice where you just repeat something to learn and mix it with other chops you want to improve at. Do this regularly, about once a day.


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Take breaks

Guitar skills, like all finger and musical skills, are mostly in the brain. The neurons need time to strengthen what you learn during practice. Take breaks and sleep well to let that happen.


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