Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Beginner guitar - to look or not to look?

Maybe I’m not exactly a beginner - I’ve been fronting a honky tonk band playing rhythm guitar for about a year - but I ain’t much, and I’m still finding my way with how to find my way. LOVE these lessons, though, especially the rhythm stuff. My question: is it essential to start out looking at what you’re trying to do? I far prefer to just “feel” my way around and listen to what I’m doing (or trying to do) rather than stare down at it. But maybe that’s a mistake starting out? Brain research says it’s better to do something perfectly and slowly at first, to get them furrows in your brain started out right, and I reckon looking at what you’re doing helps in that regard. On the other hand, you’re gonna have to cross that bridge from “looking” to “feeling” at some point, so why not start there, so as not to waste time? What say ye?

Many thanks!

No reason you can’t do both!

Work on easier, attainable material and get really good at that (this will give a sense a victory and accomplishment and give you a desire to move to the next step… something slighty harder, yet still attainable)… And, being able to play something well, even perfectly, is so much fun!

But also, always have something that seems impossible, that you would give anything to be able to do (stare it down, as you mentioned) and work on that as well. You must have goals (tough ones that seem out of reach) to get better. One day, you may suprise yourself!

I would bet that the accomplished pros that we think can do anything on a given instrument are still trying to achieve goals that seem unreachable.

And by the way, the only waste of time would be not playing anything at all. Have fun with it and good luck!


If you can accurately play without looking, and looking doesn’t help or slows you down, then by all means don’t. But if looking helps at all, then look. You’ve got eyes for a reason