Many guitar players will NEVER reach the level of playing that they truly desire. And while there are
many reasons for this, today we will take a look at a very common reason. And what is this reason?
Simply put…they fail to hustle.
Or in other words…
They fail to work rapidly and energetically towards their goals. They have a desire to play at a
higher level, but they fail to build enough…
And without enough momentum, they are setting themselves up to fail.
How do I know this?
I've seen it time and time again with my one-to-one guitar students. The students who reach their musical
goals have learnt to build momentum. The ones who fail to reach their musical goals don't build sufficient
momentum. They are very inconsistent with their efforts. In other words, they need to learn to hustle
What Is Momentum?
In the context of learning guitar, momentum is the forward motion created by taking enough
ACTION that will allow you to reach your musical goals. Your efforts must match your goals. If your
goals are ambitious, then your need to be taking MASSIVE action towards them. This action propels you towards
your goals at a steady rate.
If you plan to play at a very high level, and don't take massive action, then you may never reach that goal
in this lifetime. And you'd better hope that reincarnation exists. Because you are going to need more than one
lifetime to reach that goal.
Learning From Failure
Quite a few years ago I had someone contact me for lessons. We had a talk on the phone, and I found out
- He wanted to play at a virtuoso level. All his favorite guitarists were virtuosos.
- He wanted to be able to play at a speed of 32-notes-per-second. (I'm not even sure that this
is even possible. It's the same as playing four-notes-per-beat at 480bpm!!!).
- He had been playing for a few years.
- He had been getting lessons from an acquaintance of mine, (who is a ridiculously good guitar
After I found this stuff out, I must admit I was a bit scared. I was thinking that this guy would come to
the first lesson and totally blow me away!
Anyway, at the first lesson I asked him to play something for me. After a few seconds, I could immediately
see that something was very wrong. His technique and playing was WELL below what I was expecting. So I asked
him a simple question…
"When was the last time that you practiced guitar?"
He answered "Six weeks ago".
Can you see the problem?
Anyone who has aspirations of playing at a virtuoso level needs to be practicing for many hours every single
day. It is a joke to think that anyone could reach such high levels of playing without insane amounts of
Learning From Success
Let's now take a look at someone who had similar goals to my student. But
this time, they actually reached the goal of becoming a guitar virtuoso.
This morning I was watching the Basic Training instructional DVD by guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley. I've transcribed some of what he says on the
"It really boils down to one single word. It's practice man. You have to practice, practice,
practice, and then practice some more.
You have to practice when you're sick. You have to practice when you don't feel like it. You have to
practice when you don't have time. And then you have to practice some more.
So live, eat, sleep, breathe guitar. You know, practice 'till your fingers bleed. And then practice
Although he doesn't say on the DVD exactly how much he practiced to become a virtuoso, I think it's fair to
say that he probably practiced a lot.
Your musical goals might not include becoming a guitar virtuoso. But, unless your goals are
ridiculously modest, I can guarantee a couple of things…
- Your goals will require significant effort.
- You will need to develop momentum to reach your goals.
Ya gotta hustle man…
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