Learning Guitar in College – How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience


If you have decided to go to music college to further improve your guitar skills, you will be in for a fantastic experience. You will have to be ready to spend around eight hours every day playing guitar, only to then go home or to your dorm and play some more. You must learn, when faced with so many other good players, to not compare yourself to them all the time. Everybody is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and comparing yourself will leave you feeling disheartened. That said, there are a few things you can to further improve your skills, besides working hard in college.

Looking Good

A great way to really get better at playing guitar is to play gigs as much as possible. However, you won’t get booked for gigs unless you look the part. What “the part” is depends on your style. For instance, if you hope to play in a fancy restaurant, you may have to get a shave. If, however, you’re looking at playing in a grungy nightclub, then growing your hair long will be a better idea. There are three key things to looking the part, only one of which is actually physical appearance. The other two are not letting your ego get the better of you, and actually being good at what you do.

The ego element is very important. Many young people who enter music college believe that they are a cut above the rest. You will very quickly find yourself disappointed. In fact, it tends to be those who are the humblest who also end up doing the best in school.

Getting into a Band

As soon as you get into college, you need to get into a band if you aren’t already. In an ideal situation, this is a three piece band. If you’re in a three piece band, and you are the only guitarist, you will have quite a lot of responsibility, because you will need to cover both lead and rhythm. If you want to form your own band, try not to focus on talent too much, but rather on actually being able to get along with your band mates. This will make you more productive and more able to learn in the long run.

Understand the Business

When you are in music college, try not to focus solely on your instrument. It is likely that you will have to choose a number of elective courses as well, and including one in other elements, including music business, is a very good idea. This enables you to diversify your skills and have some transferable knowledge as well. As much as you may like playing the guitar now, you may not always like it as much. And even if you do, really making a living out of playing the guitar is incredibly difficult. Hence, having those transferable skills under your belt can only be a good thing.