The Real, Honest-To-Goodness Secret(s) Of The Guitar

I want to share with you what I believe to be the greatest secret to learning to play the guitar. It doesn't involve the quality of instrument that you play. It's not about the brand of strings that you use or if they're phosphour bronze or nickel. It doesn't even matter if you use fake nails or fingerpicks.

No, the real secret is all in your head. I've thought long and hard about my own playing and what my natural talents are and aren't. And, I've watched other people and how they approach the instrument. Here's what I've discovered. The key to learning to play the guitar is the same thing that is crucial for learning other activities. That thing is the BELIEF THAT YOU CAN DO IT!

Jeez, you don't have to shout, you may be thinking. You're probably right. But believing that you can do it is incredibly important. I meet people on a regular basis who say that they want to learn to play the guitar, or increase their skill level. But they seem to doubt their ability to learn. It's as if they're saying "I want to, but....". Their lack of belief dooms them to feeling frustrated and unhappy.

So, that's the first secret. Here's the second secret. You have to practice in an intelligent and consistent way. By this I mean that you need to set a practice schedule that you can consistently keep. There needs to be a specific goal for each lesson. If it's realistic that you can only practice 10 minutes a day, set that as your goal and do it. Have a plan for that lesson. Where does lesson plan come from? You have to either set it for yourself or have a knowledgeable teacher set it up for you.

The thing is, we all have busy lifes. Since they're our lives, we're the only ones that can decide what direction that they take. We're the only ones that can decide what's important for us and then do it.

But what about talent? Talent's a great thing to have, but it's totally worthless if it's not used. A less talented person who applies themselves trumps a talented person who doesn't every time.

New Lesson

The lesson that I'm currently working on is Long Tall Woman by Big Bill Broonzy. I'm doing a note for note transcription of it. I think that you'll be surprised to see the difference between the way that Big Bill played it and the way that you see people playing it in places like YouTube. It's a killer tune that I hope to have completed in the next 2-3 weeks. To be informed when it's ready, subscibe to my blog. Until then, here's a clip of Big Bill playing it.

That's it for now. See you next month!

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