What I have learnt from playing the guitar

Ed Benskin
3 min readMar 8, 2021


Over the past few months, I have been learning to play the guitar, going reasonably well — some days are far better than others. But on the whole, I’m getting better each week.

During this learning process to play the guitar, I have learnt a few things — other than just learning to play chords, fretting and picking notes.

What I have learnt is;

  1. Consistency is king

It is something that I have always believed and preached about. By being consistent each day, you are making your life 100% easier.

I aim to play the guitar for at least 40 minutes each day, that does not sound like a lot, but it adds up. Generally, on a Saturday and Sunday, I play for over an hour. By the end of the week, I have played the guitar for between 5 to 6 hours. This means I’m consistently chipping away at the learning curve and making the process of learning easier.

By learning to be consistent with new skills, or anything in life, you are making the process/ journey easier for yourself. This can be related to reading a book. Aiming for 10,20, or even 30 pages per day can start to have a massive impact on your reading productivity and thus increase your knowledge. You can apply this ‘’consistency aim’’ to anything and level up your learning process.

For myself, by breaking down the practice sessions and only aiming for 40 minutes per day, I have made it fun and enjoyable. It has taken away the pressure and the expectation of where I should be with my guitar playing.

2. Not everything is a straight learning curve.

I thought that learning the guitar would be a constant uphill battle, but there have been parts when it has levelled out for a while, and the learning has been easier. Then it has got hard again and been an uphill battle, and then it starts to level out again.

It can become a metaphor for life in general; there will be parts in life where you have a massive uphill battle, and then it will get easy and then become hard again. However, when an uphill bale occurs, you have to keep plucking away to get the result you want. However, if you relate it to a desire to move jobs, you need a new qualification to open that door. Then you need to keep plucking away at the new qualification — it becomes an uphill battle. But by being consistent, you will get the result you want, and then learning cure/ uphill battle will level out, and it will become easier once again.

Learning is never a linear line. It’sIt’s a series of peaks and plateaus.

3. Be willing to fail

There is always this quote that runs through my head which a mate of mine told me. “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning”.

He used it in relation to snowboarding, but it applies to everything in life, and you can change the falling to failing, and it then works for a whole host of things.

Be willing to fail/fall at the task you’re learning; if you fail or fall, you are not learning or developing in your life.

4. Quality over quantity

It is similar to the first point about consistency. It needs to be quality time spent practising, not quantity.

By practising for 40 minutes per day, it allows for focused practice. It keeps it to the point and makes it fun for me. If I spent 90 minutes on it every other day, I would/could get bored or disbanded with it. Equally, it would hurt my fingers, and then it would not be fun for me anymore.

5. Focusing on learning a new skill or having an outlet is so important during this lockdown.

This is something everyone has preached during each lockdown. Still, it is so true that having a fun skill to focus on during the lockdown has given me an outlet and something to look forward to. It has provided a distraction from boredom and kept me away from negativity. I’d suggest that you do something similar.