25 May 2011

Maybe This Question Could Help You Learn Guitar Better…

Sometimes as we learn guitar we intimidate ourselves with the pressure we create thinking of all the things we "should" do and learn as guitar players. Pressure creates fear, fear that we're not good enough, not doing enough, won't learn enough. Fear stops us from practicing and trying new things, because... well because we're just not4119454234_d26563b2ef good enough, are we?


Typical goal setting only makes this situation worse, it makes us focus on all those things we can't do yet. So, instead of worrying about hard-to-get goals, here's a simple and flexible solution that can help you move forward without fear.


The other day I came across an article on 20 Life Lessons Worth (Re)Learning which aims to capture a set of “things I wish I’d known earlier”. I read lesson 6, below, and was struck by how useful it could be to help me continue to learn guitar:


“For me, dreams are the current of life.  Maybe I could start a business?  Maybe I could get a small role in an indie film?  Maybe my book will be a best seller?  Dreams are what keep me occupied when I’m waiting for the plane to arrive and excited about the future when some other thing hasn’t gone my way.  I don’t worry about achieving all my dreams–that’s not the point.  It’s how we keep childhood enthusiasm alive when hide-and-go-seek loses its thrill.”


I guess all of us guitar learners are dreamers in some way. This could be a much better way to think about all those things we’d love to do, but haven’t got around to yet. It would make a nice change from beating ourselves up about them instead.


What Are Your Maybe’s?

Maybe you could learn a new chord this week? Maybe you could learn a new song this month? Maybe you could learn to play the major scale in all twelve keys in the next three months?


Asking "Maybe...?" turns all those hard goals into endless possibilities. And because the possibilities are endless there's no reason to beat yourself up because you're not doing something. “Achieving all the dreams is not the point.” Instead of thinking you're bad when you haven’t achieved something, realise that maybe you just haven’t achieved it yet.


Maybe one day you will do it, if that's what you need or want one day. In the meantime there are plenty of other maybe's you could choose and work with. Maybe you could even leave a comment to share your “maybe’s” with us…


Photo by Tsar Kasim.


BlacknickSculpture said...

This post came along at exactly the right time. Yesterday was the first time since I bought my guitar several months ago that I didn't practice. Maybe I'll be able to learn the F chord this week ;)

Gary Fletcher said...

Hi Blacknick, Maybe you will, if those monsters don't get you... ;)

osiris said...

It's difficult when you don't have much time to practice - you really want each minute to count. And then it's easy getting stuck in the deep pressure/fear pit... I started playing quite late so my fear can be summed up into something like "will I be any good in time" (presumably before I die). A friend told me the best advice: make sure you are having fun and the time spent will never be wasted.

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