5 Ways to Overcome Nervousness in Guitar Lessons

5 Ways to Overcome Nervousness in Guitar Lessons

Nervousness is a common occurrence when you are new to guitar lessons. You are making yourself vulnerable to a stranger in hopes that this teacher will be able to help you. The key to a productive guitar lesson is deciding not to be nervous, although this is easier said than done. Nervousness is something brought on by your mind and negative thought patterns.

Choosing to be nervous in a guitar lesson can often discredit the improvement you are trying to make in your performance. Here are a few key things to help you gain more from your guitar lessons!

  1. Tell Your Teacher.
  2. The most basic thing you can do to help overcome being nervous in a guitar lesson is to tell your teacher you are nervous. Once this has been established and said aloud, it clears the path for open communication. Being able to communicate with your guitar instructor will help you feel more comfortable, which in return will calm down your nerves when your teacher reaffirms with you that what you are feeling is completely normal and that he understands you.

    Though your teacher can tell when a student is nervous (which is pretty much all students he meets), it still helps for you to voice that in your lesson, as your openness about your vulnerability creates a deeper connection between you and your teacher. By telling him you’re nervous, he will be able to reassure you and you will feel less pressure.

  3. Be Prepared.
  4. Being prepared for your guitar lesson is an essential part of having an effective and productive lesson. The more you practiced your lesson homework prior to the lesson meeting, the more relaxed you will be during your lesson and the more you will get out of that lesson.

    Now, your teacher very well knows that you could have a bad week, or an intensely busy week, which made it hard for you to find enough time to get all the material mastered for that week. No problem: tell him that when you walk in, and you will feel a burden fall off your shoulders instantly. Being honest and open upfront is one of the best ways to battle nervousness before it kicks in.

  5. Get Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone.
  6. Growth does not happen while you are in your comfort zone. In order to learn how to improve your skills and knowledge of the music you are playing, you must push yourself to do things that are uncomfortable such as for example; hosting mini-performances at your home. When you become less nervous practicing in front of more people, you will also become less nervous during guitar lessons.

    Your teacher’s job is to constantly challenge you out of your comfort zone, giving you tasks you cannot pull off. He is there to help you and support you. He is taking you out of your comfort zone to push your musical growth and to improve your playing ability. Keeping in mind that he does so because he cares about you and your progress, takes care of the nerves.

  7. Your Teacher Was Not Born a Teacher.
  8. When your teacher started out playing guitar he certainly didn’t pick up a guitar and automatically was born an incredible guitar teacher. He had to go through music lessons for many years and has been in the exact same position you are in now.

    A great guitar teacher never stops studying and practicing either. He continues to practice and learn more about guitar so that he can better help you, but he once sucked at it too: so it’s safe to assume your teacher has experienced his fair share of nervousness himself.

    Remember that your teacher is there to help you become a better musician, not judge and criticize you. You don’t have any reason to be self-conscious: it is your guitar lesson… you are supposed to suck really badly in your lesson.

  9. Enjoy Yourself.

  10. One of the many great ways you can calm your nerves while in a guitar lesson is to remember to enjoy yourself. When you’re focused on the fact that you enjoy playing guitar, most of your nervousness will slip away.

    The more you focus on the feeling of joy of learning new things that you are feeling, and on the joy of hearing yourself instantly sound better through the advice your teacher gives you in the lesson, the less nervous you are going to be. Build a relationship with your guitar instructor and have fun with him!


Hit me up anytime at vreny@zotzinmusic.com if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

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  1. Biplab Poddar Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m currently working on the f# minor nocturne! they’re beautiful pieces. Afte completion of this, I would go for guitar lessons.
    Don’t get me wrong, you have to be strong and confident to be successful in just about anything you do – but with music, there’s a deeper emotional component to your failures and successes. If you fail a chemistry test, it’s because you either didn’t study enough, or just aren’t that good at chemistry (the latter of which is totally understandable). But if you fail at music, it can say something about your character. It could be because you didn’t practice enough – but, more terrifyingly, it could be because you aren’t resilient enough. Mastering chemistry requires diligence and smarts, but mastering a piano piece requires diligence and smarts, plus creativity, plus the immense capacity to both overcome emotional hurdles, and, simultaneously, to use that emotional component to bring the music alive.
    Before I started taking piano, I had always imagined the Conservatory students to have it so good – I mean, for their homework, they get to play guitar, or jam on their saxophone, or sing songs! What fun! Compared to sitting in lab for four hours studying the optical properties of minerals, or discussing Lucretian theories of democracy and politics, I would play piano any day.

    But after almost three years of piano at Orpheus Academy, I understand just how naïve this is. Playing music for credit is not “easy” or “fun” or “magical” or “lucky.” Mostly, it’s really freakin’ hard. It requires you to pick apart your piece, play every little segment over and over, dissect it, tinker with it, cry over it, feel completely lame about it, then get over yourself and start practicing again. You have to be precise and diligent, creative and robotic. And then – after all of this – you have to re-discover the emotional beauty in the piece, and use it in your performance.

    April 17th, 2018 at 12:25 am