The Top 5 Reasons People Give To Avoid Learning to Play Guitar 

One of the coolest parts of being a guitar teacher is getting the opportunity to meet and talk with people. These people come from all walks of life and have different likes and dislikes. One of the things I’ve noticed that people have in common is their reasons for not wanting to do something. In this case it would be learning to play guitar.  This purpose of article is to look at the reasons people give for not wanting to learn to play guitar. If you have thought any of these things about yourself, you are not alone. Many people feel the same as you do. To good news is that you don’t have to continue feeling that way. 

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Reason 1. “I don’t have the time right now” 

We all have the same 24 hours in the day whether you are Tom Brady or a newborn baby. We will always find time for the things that matter to us. We will also find excuses to justify putting off the things that we don’t want to do or are afraid to do. 

It could be that learning to play guitar is important to you but you are afraid to fail at it. You tell yourself you don’t have the time to learn to feel better about not learning. 

The truth is that nobody is a great guitar player right away. Becoming great is a process and there are no shortcuts. You can be that great guitar player that you want to become but you have to put in the time to get there. 

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Reason 2. “I’m Not Musically Talented/I Don’t Have Any Musical Ability” 

Yes, some musicians develop faster than others, you can also say the same for things that we do in everyday life. What would you say to someone who said they don’t drive because they aren’t talented enough to drive? What about someone who didn’t cook because they didn’t have the ability to do so, they weren’t a talented chef? 

What would you say to those people? Likely you would first ask them if they have even tried to do the things they say they cannot do. If their answer was no, they haven’t tried to do those things, you would ask them how then do they know they cannot do them. If they had tried and quit because they got discouraged, would you agree that it wasn’t for them? Would you suggest that take a cooking or driving class and learn how to do what was necessary to reach those goals?  

The same goes for people who think they are not musically talented. They have no proof that they aren’t able to play yet they believe that they can’t. Why is this? There are some who did try to play an instrument but got discouraged and gave up when they weren’t great right away. In both cases it is most likely the fear of failure that convinces them that they won’t be able to learn to play guitar. That same fear drives many people to take no action. It feels easier to do nothing than going through the learning process. 

Reason 3. “My Hands Are Too Small” 

I hear this one a lot from guitar students. The size of your hands will never be a factor in your ability to be able to play guitar. Small hands will affect your ability to palm a basketball. Yet, it will not affect your ability to play basketball. 

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Reason 4. “My Hands Are Too Big”

I hear this one from guitar students as well. I can speak from personal experience. Having big hands will never prevent you from being able to play guitar. The size of your hands will offer advantages and challenges. Neither is an obstacle that you cannot overcome. 

Reason 5. “I’m Too Old To Learn Now” 

We have all heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. What if that saying is wrong? What if an old dog can learn new tricks? It comes down to whether the dog wants to learn a new trick or not. If you want to learn how to play guitar, like anything else in life, age will not stop you. You don’t have to be a professional guitar player. You can learn to play guitar for the fun of it. It could be a fun hobby for you and playing guitar can also be very relaxing. 


There are many reasons that people will come up with for not wanting to learn how to play guitar. The truth is that most of the time they are more afraid that they won’t be good at it and would rather not try to learn. Have you ever said any of those things to yourself or to others? Have you heard people say these things? 

Whenever I hear someone say things like this, I always want to ask them:

“What if you tried? What would happen if you decided that you were going to be great? What happens if/when you decide to succeed instead of deciding that you will fail?” 

About the Author: Byron Marks is a professional musician and guitar teacher. He teaches beginning, Intermediate and advanced guitar lessons in Manchester, New Hampshire.