A Simple Mental Shift to Learn Guitar Easier

Today we are going to look at a simple mental shift you can make so you’ll learn and memorize things easier on the guitar.

mental gears

There is a great saying:

“To teach is to learn twice.”

As you sit down to learn your next song, guitar chord, scale, technique or bit of music theory,  imagine that you’ll have to explain it to someone in a couple of hours.

When you learn something with the expectation that you’ll have to teach it to someone, it will force you to organize the material into your own words—this is a great way to learn.

In an interesting research study, college students were divided into two groups.  Both groups were told that they would be tested on the material covered in the lecture.   The only difference between the two groups was that one of the groups was also told that they would need to explain the lecture to other students that couldn’t attend.

When both groups were tested, the group that was told they would have to explain the lecture to others scored significantly higher.

Now here is the really interesting thing—they were only told that they would have to explain the material to other students but never had to actually do so.  The very act of having to organize and study the material in a way that they could explain it to others, caused the students to learn the material in a much more effective way.

You should try this on the guitar.

If you have friends that want to play or can already play guitar, ask if you can teach them some of the new chords, scales, or theory you are currently learning.  If you don’t have any friends that play or want to play guitar, it doesn’t really matter, just explain it to anyone that will listen to you!

Try out this technique the next time you grab your guitar to work on something new.  I’m sure you will be happy with the results.

About Don J MacLean

Don J. MacLean is one of the world's leading authorities on accelerated learning systems for guitar—with students using his methods in more than 50 countries worldwide. Don is the author of over 60 books including The World of Scales, the Absolute Essentials of Music Theory for Guitar, How I Got Killer Guitar Chops While I Was Still in High School: Confessions of a High School Shredder, 21 Secrets to Learn any Guitar Song Super-Fast, and Guitar Essentials: Chord Master Expanded Edition.

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