There’s no denying we live in a world of Facebook posts lost in the ether within minutes, Tweets posted and gone in seconds (unless you make some kind of idiotic, racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted statement which then comes back to bite you big time!), ads here there and everywhere,
more of this, more of that, quicker this, faster that, more, more, more, now, now, NOW!
And oftentimes this feeling, this sensation, of constantly wanting to have more, like, right now, can translate over into various areas of our lives. Our guitar playing and learning included.
I too have been guilty in the past of wanting to play super fast RIGHT NOW! I too have been guilty of wanting to play such-and-such piece like RIGHT NOW! Why can’t I make that phrase sound like so-and-so RIGHT NOW!
OK there are some things that don’t take too long to fix up or change. For example, some focused and concentrated listening in to the sound you’re making can really help to make a difference in your tone quality in a relatively short period of time.
But some things just take as long as they need to take.
Part of this is about the amount of practice that you put in. As I’ve also said before a lot of this comes down to consistent, very regular practice and focussed practice.
But a significant part of becoming a generally awesome guitarist is making those initial steps.
A marathon runner cannot hop straight to the end of the marathon (unless you get on the bus and cheat, but no one likes a cheat and you get found out in the end!). A marathon runner has to start the first of 42 kilometres with the first 100 metres, the first kilometre.
Perhaps even more importantly than that, they can’t really even line up on the start line on event day to run the marathon without having put the hard yards in first. There has to have been months of preparation in the lead up to the event. It’s all about the work that you’ve put in to getting you to a point.
Just to reiterate one of my favourite points about being consistent – can that marathon runner do sufficient training for a marathon by cramming it in a couple of weeks before? I would think probably not. Time is crucial – time for the body to adapt, time for the brain to adapt, time for the unconscious mind to adapt.
It’s the same with learning to play this most fantastic and wonderful of instruments. Nope we don’t have to go on a funny diet and have ice baths like the marathon runner, but we do need to take our time, we do need to take the first steps first and we do need to take each step at a time.
So guitarists, which step are you taking today in your practice?