A very rewarding part of teaching electric guitar is seeing a student develop belief in themselves. It’s really cool to see that as their belief grows, so do their efforts. And of course, this means that their progress accelerates. And as their progress accelerates, their belief strengthens. It becomes a cycle of success.
But there’s another side to the coin. Many guitar players around the world don’t truly believe that they can become the player that they always wanted. They see their musical heroes playing in such an amazing way. And they just don’t believe they could ever do it themselves. They believe that their musical heroes have something they have that they could never attain. They believe that their heroes have talent, but they don’t.
So they don’t even try. Their progress with learning electric guitar grinds to a stop.
But did you ever consider that believing in natural musical talent is a VERY disempowering belief?
OK. You might be thinking now “Oh man…Craig’s gone off the deep-end here. What the fricken’ hell is he talking about!”
All I’m saying is that if you believe you lack “talent”, then this is very destructive. It’s hardly an inspiring or motivating thought. Isn’t it better to think that the reason why you may be not progressing as quickly as you’d like is because of ineffective learning strategies?
Experiences With My Electric Guitar Students
From time-to-time I get students who freak me out. Their rate of progress is just so far beyond my other students it’s not even funny. I like to call them “guitar-freaks”.
You might be thinking…”well they’re just talented”. And you’d be completely wrong…
In every single case without exception there was one of following three scenarios…
Scenario One: They started playing a stringed instrument (guitar or violin) at a very young age and practiced on a regular basis.
Scenario Two: They didn’t start playing guitar until much later. But they practiced far more than my other students. (Usually an absolute minimum of 3 hours a day).
Scenario Three: They were exposed to a stringed instrument at a young age AND they practiced a LOT. (I call these ones “super-guitar-freaks”).
I wouldn’t call any of the above “talent”. They can be summarized as…
- Early Exposure with regular practice.
- Hard Work.
- Or Both.
How This Applies To You
Obviously you have no control over when you started playing guitar. It’s in the past. But you can definitely speed up your progress by focusing on things like…
- What musical goals you decide to pursue.
- What specific things you choose to practice.
- The quality of your practice.
- The frequency of your practice sessions.
- The time of day that you practice.
- The duration of your practice sessions.
So forget all that talent B.S…(and don’t forget to practice…lots…a freakin’ lot…a super-freakin’ lot).
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