The fear sets in – do you have talent for guitar?
It’s happened again. It’s breaking your heart.
You try it another time…
“Damn it! What the hell”
Now your face is red. Your hands are trembling.
You still can’t play it right. After hours and hours of working on just one friggin’ verse on this guitar…
You still can’t play it right.
The fear sets in.
Will you EVER play it right? Do you even have what it takes? Maybe the talent isn’t in you, you rationalize.
If you had the talent, you’d have already nailed this part, right?
So should you even keep going?
I’m here to convince you…
I remember the years of frustration I experienced on guitar as a rank beginner.
Those were some of my most proud, yet most agonizing moments.
Some of the things I wanted so badly to play, the reasons I cited for picking up guitar in the first place….
I couldn’t play them one bit. Not even close.
And mere attempts at playing them would result in one mistake after another. It was sickening and my ego could only take so much. The world was proving to me that I had no business playing the guitar.
But you see, there’s something I DID have:
Luckily for me, I learned THAT lesson early on as a kid. That by continuing down a dark, uncertain path, even when things look hopeless…
I would end up getting what I want.
When I was in third grade, my friend Ivan showed me this neat little trick he did with his hand. He would flick his fingers together rhythmically to make a nice *SNAP* noise. It was the sweetest thing ever to a kid, and I tried my best to copy it. (Heck, I still think it’s awesome)
For days and days, I ignored the odd stares from family members and practiced flicking my fingers around the house. to the amusement of everyone around.
Nothing. Still couldn’t make a sound.
I was about an inch away from tossing in the towel, then I told myself to stop being a pussy.
It finally hit. *SNAP*
“Hell yes! I GOT IT!!”
Guess who became part of the “cool” kids on the playground soon after.
The lesson stuck with me:
Things always seem impossible, until they’re not.
Then you can do it, and it doesn’t seem like God hates you and wants you to fail miserably so everyone can laugh at you anymore.
But it requires 3 things:
1. Wanting it.
2. Doing it often. Badly at first.
3. Focusing on it, UNTIL you do it.
If you’ve got all three, it’s only a matter of time. Nothing can stop you.
But # 3 is where most people drop the ball. They don’t focus, and then they give up.
It’s when things are REALLY challenging — that’s when you MUST focus. I’d go as far as to say, that’s why the universe created the ability to focus. It’s one of your most powerful tools.
But it’s hard to use. Especially with the interwebs and facebook, and twitter, and blackberries, and iphones, and porn on demand.
Yes, it’s a bitch to HAVE to shut all that stuff off, but it’s REQUIRED.
That’s what focusing means. And THAT’S what’s gonna get you cranking out sweet tunes to raving fans, while your friends are busy scalping tickets to see you. (OK, maybe that’s just me)
Plus, you have to be in that “world” for a few days, weeks, months, or however long it takes until you NAIL the damn thing.
If you don’t immerse yourself in what you’re doing by doing it DAILY, you’re brain won’t bother figuring it out.
Your brain is the one doing most of the work (automatically in the background), when you’re struggling with stuff. That’s what it’s there for.
But it’s kinda lazy. It only gets the “go to fucking work” message when you do something CONSTANTLY.
So you gotta focus. Shut off the distractions, then play that guitar part everyday, until you get it.
IMPORTANT: Don’t quit until you get it!
I know it’s tough, but keep holding on. It’s worth it. You’ll get it if you keep going.
And once you’ve nailed it, keep playing it some more — burn that part into you hands so you never forget.
When you do, send me an email so I can reply “I told you so” and really rub it in
P.S. If you’re looking for a way to improve your guitar playing and make your practice more focused, take a look at Jamplay. They have some pretty solid online video lessons that I think will make the learning curve easier. Note: I would recommend them anyway, but if you sign-up through my link above, you’ll also help support No B.S. Guitar and I’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!