1 May 2009

Is An Ideal Guitar Holding You Back?

Us guitar players love to dream about our ideal guitars, guitars that will somehow make us better players.

We think about this ideal guitar convinced that it would lead to better playing, that our current guitar somehow holds us back. But what if it was really the ideal guitar that's holding you back from becoming the better guitar player you can be?

The Imaginary Ideal Guitar

In our imaginations, ideal guitars all sound fabulous, provide that elusive tone, play faster, and look prettier.

But the problem with ideals is that they are made to be inaccessible. And while you fix your attention on this external ideal you forget about your own powers that could help you play better guitar.

Do You Set Yourself Up To Fail?

When you fix your attention on the ideal guitar your own guitar becomes an excuse for your own playing weaknesses. You think things like "If I had that guitar I could...", filling in the blank with whatever it is your ideal guitar is supposed to help you achieve, or "With my current guitar I can't..."

That kind of thinking undermines your ability to improve your guitar playing. It distracts you from what you really need to work on, work on right now with the guitar you have already.

You create a self-fulfilling prophecy with this kind of "I can't", or "I could if" phrase. Your sub-conscious takes the message you give it and makes it true for you, if you believe you can't, well then there's no point in trying, is there?

Try This Test

To get a better perspective on what the guitar does for your playing try this simple test. Go to a guitar shop and have someone who plays well play your dream guitar. Listen hard to how they play and sound.

Then have that same good player play on some other guitars that are not so dream worthy. Take your own guitar along too and have it played along with the others.

If your tester is a decent guitarist you'll probably notice that they sound good on all those guitars, right?

From Ideal to Real

After doing the test you'll probably have figured out that an ideal guitar is not really the magic ingredient you need to improve your guitar skills. At least, not about 99.9% of the time.

So now, forget the dream guitar and figure out what you really need to do to become a better player. Then go do it.

Guitar article writing: Gary Fletcher writes quality, original content for your guitar web sites. Discover guitar writing services for web sites, blogs and newsletters. Visit http://www.writescribe.com/guitar to learn more.

If you enjoyed this post sign-up for more free guitar tips from Not Playing Guitar delivered by email or to your RSS reader.


Unknown said...

Great article...I was just thinking about a new guitar that would sound a play better...but you're right...I've heard my current guitar played better by someone with more skill...dang it - guess I'll have to wait on that new guitar I didn't really need!

Gary Fletcher said...

Brandon, sorry to spoil the party ;-) As a consolation, you can promise yourself the new guitar as a reward when you've reached a playing goal...

Subscribe in a reader

Not Playing Guitar

All content copyright (c) 2007-2018, Gary Fletcher. All rights reserved.