9 Reasons We’re not Guitar gods Yet
Are you aspiring to be better at guitar? Maybe even guitar god status? Read on to find out why you may not be there yet…
I suffered from low self-esteem. I suffer from low self-esteem is more like it. Do you suffer from low self-esteem?
There has been much evidence that says that we never become who we want to become because our self esteem is low. We have a poor self-concept.
I wrote the following article as a way to remind myself of the path of the virtuoso guitarist and what we can do as guitar players to enter the world of guitar gods. Its gonna be a long hard haul but I think its gonna be worth it.
We must work on our self esteem. Even players and successful people with high self esteem can increase their self esteem even more.
Did you know this?
Yep. Its true. Even if your self esteem is high, you can increase it even more.
This is usually done with ACTION.
Hopefully you gain something from it…
Here are 9 reasons why I believe we guitar players never realize their full potential…
We havent decided that we will be. We keep thinking “I don’t have enough time, I should’ve started when I was younger.” Bullshit. We should seek out a teacher, or a better teacher. We have to carve out more time from our day and put it into the guitar and we have to change our mindset. Deciding that we will be great is very important. The appropriate actions must be taken. You think it’s going to take too long? So what. The decision in our minds that we will be of a very high level of playing must be first. We have to be able to see it. Then and only then can we win at this game of guitar.
Victorious warriors win first, then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then decide to win. – Sun Tzu
We arent practicing til our fingers bleed. Falling asleep with the guitar around our necks and the lights still on in our room is not happening. In fact, we’d rather watch a Netflix series instead of practicing guitar, learning a new melody or learning some more theory. Basically our priorities are backwards. It’s going to take pain and sacrifice, we are going to be uncomfortable. Feeling like practicing isn’t going to be a common theme on this journey. Those thoughts must be ignored and we must execute anyway. This life, the Internet, people, and all sorts of other distractions will keep us from doing the things that we most love to do. It’s a fact of life. Let us Fight the distractions off and stay focused.
We keep playing by ourselves. We tend to think we can do it all on our own and we never play with other guitar players. We never reach out to other guitar players because we think we can do it on your own. This is a fallacy. I was guilty of this for a very long time. Take the advice or learn the hard way, either way, we’re better off playing with someone else that is at our level, close to our level, or better than us… we want to have these 3 types of players around us.
We’re okay with “sloppy.” Complacency is a common theme amongst us. Those who are not complacent with an average lick will do well and the rest of us will die off slowly. This enemy that goes by the name of sloppy, seeps into our guitar practice when we are tired, or when we are not paying attention. Staying focused and paying attention to detail is of utmost importance. Don’t aim for perfect, aim for clean and pristine. It will be tough to nail every single section of a song or solo without being sloppy at all. Whether or not we decide to pay attention to the parts that could be played “tighter” will separate us from the average player. The average player doesnt concern him or herself with fixing “sloppy” sections. Most of the time, they dont even notice. But you and me friend, if we want to reach guitar god status, we must be keenly aware and honest about what sounds okay and what can sound really, really good. Perhaps we need another half hour or so working this section of the song or solo. Do it. The average player won’t put in that extra time that it takes. We should stop making excuses and just get it done.
We think theory will cut off our creativity. Guitar gods know their theory. They know what they can pull off inside of a key. They know also how to bring outside notes into the key and still blow your mind. Theory, in essence, gives us OPTIONS! Theory is not rules. It simply gives us a multitude of options that we can choose from so we dont sound like the same old us time and time again.
We don’t really know what guitar God means… Or what tools or techniques we need to master. Virtuoso guitar players know their guitar. This means they know their notes on the neck. They know how to implement their favorite techniques and can do so at high speed. Most great guitar players, if not all, use or have used a metronome extensively. They know how to practice to one and they know how to use it to improve their skills. If you never use a metronome you are only hurting yourself. It gives you a better sense of timing and makes you aware of all the mistakes you are making. This is why most people dont use it. It reveals the holes in our playing, I dont care who you are. If the pros use metronomes, what makes us think that we dont have to?
Our vibrato stinks. Therefore, this means that we never practice our Vibrato all that much, if at all. We never practice it in isolation and we never practice it in context. We never apply it to our licks. We never hone in on the details of what type of vibrato we are using, for how long, and how wide or narrow it should be. We also never pre plan it. Pre-plan where exactly you are going to implement the vibrato and you will be much better off than just winging it. Because up to now… we’ve been winging it. Take the extra time to compose it in guitar pro or in pencil on sheet music or a sheet of tab. Print some out and have them handy for ideas that come to you on the fly. Are there other better notes you could apply vibrato to? We must ask ourselves this question.
We care what other people think and our self-esteem and confidence are low. This is what I was talking about at the beginning of the article. Self esteem has a huge part on how good we will become. Our concept of ourselves is what? Do we hold ourselves in high esteem? Can we see ourselves playing like guitar gods do? Do we take the actions that a guitar god does? What is your reputation about yourself in accordance with yourself? What I mean is that we all have a good or bad reputation but what is it when we think of ourself? Do we have a good reputation or are we always looking at ourselves as if we have a bad reputation?
Our playing is stale and lacking emotion. We need to practice performing and performing with emotion. We can’t be afraid of making mistakes. We have to practice so much that we don’t get it wrong. Not so that we get it right, but so that we don’t get it wrong. Its one thing to be able to play a riff or a lick. Its another thing to be able to play that same riff or lick with a bunch of emotion. Our playing must sound juicy. It must effortlessly flow from our fingers, through the guitar and into the air.
This is accomplished with a lot of repetition.
If I were to pick one of these reasons as to why we will never be as good as we want to be a.k.a. guitar God, it would be low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is a killer.
Read Nathaniel Brandens books on the subject and watch your self-esteem rise.
Then, as Eric Thomas says, “rise and grind.”
Is it achievement and success that lead to self-esteem, or is it self-esteem that leads to achievement and success?
Answer: Both, there is a symbiotic nature.
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:
1. Living Consciously
Being conscious or aware of reality.
Acknowledging reality and being responsible to it, and for your actions or inaction. Having your beliefs and values congruent with your actions. To act on your beliefs and values, to admit mistakes and not avoid uncomfortable situations or putting thing off that should be dealt with.
Self-esteem is something that we experience, while self-acceptance is something that we do.
Self-acceptance is the first and most important step to building self-esteem. Self-acceptance is a refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with oneself.
To take responsibility for your choices and actions and attainment of your goals.
You are responsible for the achievement of your desires, your choices and actions, the level of consciousness you bring to your work and relationships, your behaviour with other people, how you prioritize your time, for the quality of your communications, your personal happiness, for accepting and choosing the values by which you live, and for raising your self-esteem.
Self-assertiveness means honouring your wants, needs, and values and seeking appropriate forms of their expression in reality.
It is the willingness to stand up for yourself, be who you are openly, to treat yourself with respect in all human encounters.
To live purposefully is to have goals and to take action towards achieving them.
To be productive on a regular basis. “Productivity is the act of supporting our existence by translating our thoughts into reality, of setting our goals and working for their achievement, of bringing knowledge, goods, or services into existence.” What am I trying to achieve? How am I trying to achieve it?
Living purposefully and productively requires that we cultivate within ourselves the capacity for self-discipline. Self discipline requires the ability to defer immediate gratification in the service of a remote goal. This is the ability to project consequences into the future – to think, plan and live long-range.
Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs – and behaviour.
When our behaviour is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match, we have integrity.
When we behave in ways that conflict with our judgment of what is appropriate, we lose face in our own eyes. We respect ourselves less.
You can read the rest of the book here.
His other book that I really like and am reading for the 2nd time is “How to Raise Your Self Esteem.” Filled with actionable sentence finishing exercises that will have you going back to your inner child and rekindling those desires and dreams you know you have deep within you.
Another book I have from Nathaniel Branden is Honoring the Self. You can pick this one up to.
Ive read Honoring the Self and How to Raise Your Self Esteem and Im reading it for the second time. The 6 Pillars of Self Esteem is next on my list and I can say that I already have seen a great improvement in my overall self esteem.
- Decide that you will be great
- Practice til your Fingers bleed
- Play with others
- Dont settle for sloppy
- Study theory
- Figure out the techniques in your genre and master them
- Practice your vibrato
- Improve your self esteem
- Practice playing with emotion
Thats it for now…
Stay tuned for more articles. In the meantime, check out these 5 badass books.