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
But there is 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
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
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
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
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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