I'm Gonna Burn My 8#$*& Guitar

Welcome to this edition of Fingerstyle Monthly.

Have you felt like burning your guitar after hearing a really great player?

My observation is that most people fall into one of two camps. One group is inspired when they hear an exceptional player. They can't wait to get back to their practice room. If they were able to pick up one little lick or idea then they feel like they've hit a home run.

Then there's the other group.

"I'll never be able to play like that. What's the use? Why continue? I'm going to chop my guitars up into little bitty pieces and use them for firewood!" You get the idea.

Why are there such different responses to the same situation?

In my opinion, it shows two very different mindsets.

I believe that those who are inspired are more interested in the journey than in the destination. I know that I fall into this category.

I can only think of a one or two things that I like to do more than practice. The bits of wood and metal that make up a guitar create a device capable of endless possibilities. It's up to me to discover the mysteries that lie on the fingerboard.

Then there are the "Guitar Burners".

This group wants to be good players but they get frustrated when it doesn't magically happen. Yeah, I used to be part of this group, too. I thought that playing at a higher level was beyond me.

But, one day, I had a burst of awareness. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, or Siddhartha under the Bodhi Tree, a thought of pure illumination. It was this thought that changed me from a "Guitar Burner" to a "Practicer".

Here it is. Are you ready?

The way to improve as a player is to set up a sensible practice plan and consistently work on it.

That's what most of the really great players do. They may not all spend hours learning scales, modes and chords, but they have spent many hours with the guitar in hand, figuring stuff out.

If you're a "Guitar Burner", I hope that you'll consider joining those of us in the "Practicers" group.

Hey Jim, What's New?

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I'm learning to use some new (to me) technology. The intention is to be able to offer lessons that have better visuals and sound. I'm still working on learning how to use them, but I can see light on the horizon. Look for new lessons in the near future.

I'll leave you with a couple of videos of a great player, Joel Patterson. I hope that he inspires you to rush off to your practice room. He sure inspired me!

Joel Patterson Trio - Sheik of Araby

Joel Patterson Demonstrating National Resonator Guitars

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