All great things have small humble beginnings. When we were young as babies, we learn how to walk and talk gradually in a carefree manner. You do not see babies thinking that these activities are too hard to achieve. They just imitate and do progressively in a natural way. Think about this: If we can master walking and talk naturally, it is only logical to say that guitar playing can be mastered by anybody, not only musical prodigies.
The world operates in a sequential manner:
You need to know exactly which are the most efficient methods, the tried and proven ways, to achieve the level of playing you so desire. We do not put the cart in front of the horse to get the best results! Think about it for a second, and it will make sense. When we climb stairs, we take logical steps forward, not inefficient steps like 3 steps forward, 2 steps backward. We climb the stairs with an objective- to reach the destination we desire to reach, that is your home, or to the place you wanted to go. We do not climb halfway and suddenly lose focus and climb stairs from another building like a lost soldier. The reason is simple: you allow your subconscious mind to do these daily tasks! The subconscious mind is the “sleeping mind” that resides within you.
It very much exists! If you have to think of doing everything using your conscious mind, like the number of times your heart should beat while crossing the street, you will go bonkers or drop dead one day for losing focus on heartbeat counting! So understand that a certain working mechanism system is going on within you. Our daily life is run by this automated habitual mechanism. Now, I will impart you the unique skill of how to approach guitar learning like a child essentially learning to walk and talk.
Here’s what you need. Thinks Simply, Practice Progressively, Play Passionately.
Think Simply? What does that mean? Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to be a simpleminded person. I’m asking you not to make things seem so complex. You see, many people tend to make things very complicated, having unrealistic expectations on themselves or set too many goals simultaneously with ridiculous deadlines. The reason why many people fail to command their instrument playing because they drew up a spider web of intricacies and think that they have to conquer all sorts of imaginary adversaries before they can reach there. When things become a little too complicated for them to manage, they quit. They are mentally defeated. When you make things complicated without knowing what you are doing, you easily lose focus and get lost along the way. But there are so many theories to learn, so many scales and arpeggios to memorize, you may say. Don’t bother. Don’t confuse yourself. People get lost because they think too much. Simply just do it using logical tried and tested ways. Things will flow smoothly then.
Learn like a baby, absorbing information progressively like a sponge without negative interference or self-doubt and taking help from gudanglagu.
This is the central nucleus to many greater things to come in playing and mastering your instrument. When you start thinking too much giving yourself unpleasant stress, the focus can be easily lost. You fail when you lose focus. As you move on in your quest for higher playing standards, you must constantly come back to this concept. If not it is extremely easy to lose your bearings. When in doubt, use the “20/80 Rule”. According to the law of this rule, you only need to know 20% of the most important essence of something to achieving 80% success in any area of the subject. Don’t be the victim of the information overload!
Let’s move on to “Practice Progressively”. The term pretty much speaks for itself. Nevertheless, I shall go through this with you:
When you develop strong foundations via constant efficient practice, you will reach the plane of expertise one day. Take note of the bolded keywords like “strong foundations,” “constant” and “efficient.” Knowing the secrets in this book is only half the battle won. You will definitely need to “work out” a little at a time gradually to achieve massive results. It is like weightlifting. You do not suddenly do 1000 times lifting of dumbbells for each arm. You will injure yourself! Instead, you should do it in sets: warm-up, do the main weight lifting set (set the quantity to be manageable), rest, and then do a warm down. Do this continuously every day every morning and night, and you will become stronger before you know it. As you gradually get stronger, you start increasing the weight or number of times you weight lift. Expert guitar playing is a fusion of physical, mental, even spiritual aspects. Weightlifting is mainly a physical aspect that requires you to follow an exercise regime religiously. Although guitar playing requires a tag of that physical aspect, a huge majority is actually a mental game. It also requires you to master the spiritual aspect of it, to be “one with your instrument”. This is why once you achieve certain mastery of the guitar, the gratification is immense.
Do not try to reinvent the wheels when the path has already been paved for you earlier on by experienced players with many successful stories. Doing that will take you a long time to derive at your desired destination. Also, nobody is born to be able to play the guitar with a baby pacifier in his mouth. Even ingenious prodigies have to spend progressive time and take gradual steps to achieve a high standard of playing. Take your time to digest the boxed “mantra” above. Practice Progressively!
How about to “Play Passionately”? Basically, to sustain your guitar-playing hobby, this is essentially the key. If you do not play with passion, it is like a stove that runs out of gas. Passion in this case is the gas for you to carry on learning, playing, and improving even when you start facing challenges and tough techniques to master. Understand this: Playing passionately will ensure that you enjoy your playing and thus treat it not as a chore but as a great stress-relieving hobby.
To be spiritually one with your instrument, it is important that you have a passion for guitar and guitar playing. Love is an amazing thing as everybody knows and if you show love for your instrument, passion, treating your guitar like your great love, you will miraculously overcome difficult technical playing without any problems. Different players derive different satisfaction from guitar playing. Some may get inspired by learning a new contemporary song, some feel good when they achieve a virtuoso level of guitar playing, some only feel complete when they perform and rock in a band as a solid guitarist in front of the audience. No matter what it is, find out why you like your instrument and branch out the passion from there to other aspects of your playing. Quite often, your source of satisfaction will morph into another as time passes.