Why Aren`t You A Better Guitar Player?
Why Aren`t You A Better Guitar Player?
If you are like most people, you desire to become a better guitar player. Through my own culture experience and through teaching well over 1,000 students, I have learned a lot on this subject. Students often question why they are not at the level that they desire to be and what can be done about it. I have questioned myself this same question many times over the years. A long time passed before I started to know the answers. Like you doubtless have done, I have read many interviews with fantastic guitar players and articles written by some of these same people. I often found it frustrating whenever the subject of culture to play guitar came up or when information was offered on improving one’s guitar playing. With a small number of exceptions, very small time and space was offered on the theme. It’s not uncommon to see the information be summed up in a grand total of three words: Practice! Practice!! Practice!!! Well of course we all know that practicing is the main ingredient. But rarely are we told much more than that. In my long quest to become an brilliant guitar player and to help my students do the same I carefully took note of what worked and what didn’t. What parts of square wisdom are accurate and what parts (at smallest amount in my opinion) are not. I judge the twenty concepts that have proven to bring fantastic results to those who use them are:
1. Educate yourself! No matter what level you are at today, you can be and should be culture more. If you are currently studying with a teacher or enrolled in a music program at a high school, institution or university, you are on the right track. If you aren’t doing this (or if you feel that your current guitar teacher is not helping you enough in reaching your musical goals) I strongly recommend looking for a new guitar teacher. (Download the FREE guide on How to Choose a Guitar Teacher) I can’t stress enough how vital it is to find the guitar teacher that is right for you! Your guitar teacher (or music program) should always be Goal Orientated. If it’s not, look for another teacher or school to study with! You don’t need a teacher to simply give you information or things to practice – you can get those things anywhere, what you need is a teacher who:
A. Knows what your goals are.
B. Cares about helping you reach your goals.
C. Knows how to help you reach your goals.
2. Take note to more music. Find more of the same music you already like. There is a lot of music out there that you haven’t heard. I am sure you can find something you really like and that would inspire you. Look on the internet if you can’t find it on the square radio. Check out internet radio, you can make to order what you hear based on your preferences, it’s a fantastic tool! Check out web sites that you know feature a lot of the music in the style you like.
3. Turn your musical frustrations into an asset in the form of a motivating force. I wrote a whole article called Musical Frustration. I don’t want to repeat here everything that I wrote in that article, so read it if you haven’t already. If you have read it, it may be worth your time to read it again now.
4. Judge in yourself. You have doubtless heard that phrase many times before. It’s unfortunate how many people still refuse to invest their own beliefs into themselves. I wrote an article on Perseverance which deals indirectly with believing in yourself. Please read it if you have a problem believing that you can reach your goals.
5. Know that becoming a better guitar player means becoming a better musician as well. When developing your musical skills, make sure to reckon beyond skills that are specific to guitar. Of course you will be effective on many guitar skills: various guitar techniques, chords, scales, soloing, etc., but don’t neglect other skills that are not guitar specific like, ear training (also called aural skills), songwriting, improvising, creativeness, reading, music scheme, etc.
6. Surround yourself with better guitar players (or at smallest amount with those on your same level.) When you started out playing guitar, everyone was better than you, but now you have grown and there are less people better than you than before. The better you get, the harder it will be to find others who are superior to you to hang around or jam with. But no matter how excellent you get, there will always be something you can learn from someone else. Seek out those people, get to know them, jam with them, chat about music and guitar with them. Be willing to give as much (or more) as you want to take. If you are fortunate enough to be higher than the level of other guitar players in your area, seek out fantastic bassists, pianists, violinists, drummers, etc. You can learn from them as well. (Even if you are not better than your guitar player friends, seek out musicians that play other instruments as well anyway).
7. Find out what inspires you and soak yourself in that. For me, going to concerts to see fantastic guitar players or bands inspires me to practice more. Listening to fantastic singers inspired me to refine my vibrato and phrasing. Listening and studying the music of fantastic classical composers inspired me to study music composition. I wanted to write fantastic music. Watching the movie Star Wars when I was a kid, reading Lord of the Rings, etc. inspired me as well. There are lots of non musical things that have been inspiring to me. The greatest fund of inspiration has been my own personal experiences in life and surrounded by myself. The desire to express that was (and still is) a constant burning desire and powerful force that thrusts my desire to improve forward. Know what truly inspires you, seek it out, surround yourself with it and soak there.
8. Define your purpose. What is your settled purpose? Do you really know what it is? If I were standing in front of you right now and questioned you this question, could you give me specific answers and explanations? Can you write it on paper in specific terms? This is critical to setting goals, preparation strategy and monitoring the results, etc.
When all the enemies of progress start to creep into your mind, you will need to bring your settled purpose to the forefront of your thinking. I have seen procrastination, dread of failure, self doubt, lack of motivation, fleeting setbacks, and other negative things bring people with fantastic potential to a halt. Knowing your settled purpose and reminding yourself of it when a negative thought comes into your mind will help you overcome it.
9. Define exactly why your purpose exists in your mind. I specifically choose to list this unconnectedly from major your purpose because I did not want you to let the why get lost in the act of major. Trust me, this is vital.
10. Make a strategy! You need a strategy that will layout exactly how you are going to reach your goals. Dreaming alone won’t take you anywhere. Telling yourself that you are going to play your guitar everyday isn’t enough. There is a lot more that goes into being an brilliant player than simply playing your guitar. Ultimately you should work backwards. State your ultimate goals (on paper) then make a bunch of small and medium range goals. Reckon of reaching your goals as a relay race, not as a marathon. Each small term and medium term goal is the end of one segment of your plot and the beginning of the next segment (just like a relay race.) There are many benefits of looking at things this way as you will learn for yourself in your own way.
If you clearly know what your ultimate goals are, you can do this yourself. But if you need help in preparation out the small and mid term goals to plot your strategy, consult a teacher whom you trust and judge can help you with this – it’s worth it, judge me. If you can’t find a teacher who can do this for you, pay someone (yes, I said pay) to help you develop a specific plot to do this. The best person to approach for this is someone who is already doing whatever it is that you want to be doing.
Remember that it’s OK to picture and picture about where you are preparation to go, but it can’t stop there. Don’t wish without preparation! Don’t marvel without doing! And always, always, have a strategy. You may need to revise certain aspects of your strategy as time goes on and that’s OK, but don’t try to go forward without one if you want the most results in the shortest amount of time. In my ahead of schedule days culture to play guitar, I wasted a lot of time aimlessly desiring to get better without having a clue as to how to plot for it. Sure I practiced a lot, but without direction and without an efficient path to follow. Most of my substantial progress as a musician came only after I developed a strategy and worked with it. If you are wondering why I haven’t given you a detailed explanation of the strategies I used in the past, it would be futile for me to tell you what my strategy was, because it was specific only to my goals. Chances are, your goals may clash greatly from mine in many different ways. That is why you need your own strategy for your own personal goals. One last piece of information before we go on, write everything on paper and read it everyday! It will keep you focused and on target.
11. Imagine yourself having the skills that you desire. Focus on that and concentrate. Convince yourself that you can do it. Convince yourself that you are already on your way to reaching your first goal – because you are. It’s simpler to manifest your desires when you can imagine yourself already in possession of it. Keep your positive mental attitude always.