Learning an instrument and developing your abilities as a musician require effort and discipline. Art attracts people who feel the need of expressing themselves thorugh their imagination and creativity. Music and all other art forms have had a tremendous impact on our culture, society, intellect, ideas, and many more aspects of life.
As music learners, I believe that we all need to keep in mind the four following words: passion, positivity, patience, and perseverance. Let’s discuss why these qualities are fundamental in our development as guitarists and musicians.
Let’s think about what inspired us to pick up the guitar. For some people, it is a very specific and defining moment that they can recollect very vividly. For others, it is a collection of several experiences that drew them towards music. Whether it was a song, a guitar solo, a bluesy riff, the plucked notes of a classical guitar, or a combination of similar events, something conveyed in us a feeling of awe and excitement that urged us to take action. That initial emotional response is one of the most important drivers during our journey and is worth revisiting from time to time when we don’t feel particularly inspired.
Whenever doubt creeps in, try to revisit those experiences and recollect the feelings of joy and amazement you felt thanks to the power of music. You’ll find that it will revitalize your passion for the guitar and give you the energy you need to take the next leap forward. Keep your passion alive every day by listening to great musicians and inspiring music. Be willing to check out new genres and styles, as you will surely find new elements that will shape your musical taste and approach to the guitar.
Another important aspect of our development as musicians is having the right attitude towards the learning process. In a sense, music is different from many other areas of life because it is our choice to do it, in other words we don’t have to do it (at least for most people). Despite being driven by choice, it is very common to end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by its challenges. Usually, this is a direct consequence of putting too much expectation on ourselves.
Once again, try to capitalize on the positive feelings you associate with music rather than feeding negative emotions. Approaching every practice session with a positive attitude can actually make you progress at a faster rate because you’re enjoying yourself while working on something you love. Be happy and feel rewarded when you dedicated some of your time practising the guitar and learning new musical concepts. Cultivating positivity will only inspire to get better and push your abilities to new heights.
Nothing great is achieved in a matter of days or weeks. Music is no difference and that’s why we should give the guitar a fair chance if we decide to learn it. The beginning stages of any endeavor are the most challenging as we are learning new mental processes and motor skills.
Your mind and body are different every day and so it is your guitar playing. What was easy yesterday and sounded great might be challenging again tomorrow. Rather than seeing this as a negative sign, appreciate the fact that you are evolving and progressing as a musician and you are becoming more aware of subtleties you were not able to perceive earlier on. Be patient with the learning process and allow yourself as much time as you need to develop and grow. It is different for everyone, so you will progress at the rate that is the best one for yourself.
Music is exactly like life, it sometimes hits us really hard. I won’t conceal that I have thought about quitting music from time to time in the last fifteen years of life. Maybe it happened after a ‘bad’ music lesson, a ‘bad’ gig, or a ‘bad’ practice session or after one of too many shifts in restaurants and cafés that payed the bills when I couldn’t make a living out of music exclusively.
The initial discomfort usually gets taken over by newfound energy, motivation, and inspiration that pushed me to keep walking down the path I have chosen. When we persevere, life tends to reward us for our efforts and commitment. Be persistent with music and welcome the challenges it will present you as those are opportunities to grow and evolve as a person and as a musician.