Its All About the Blood, the Sweat and the Tears When it Comes to Shred Guitar
Its more like the blood, the sweat and the years. It takes years upon years upon years and then some.
If you’re not bleeding, or you’re not sweating or you’re not crying or whining about the fucking shit that you have to do, you’re not getting anywhere.
You’re committing insanity. Insanity is doing the same old shit day after day and then crying at the end of the week because you don’t have any results. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but if you’re practicing 20 minutes a day and you think you’re going to get somewhere that’s complete and utter bullshit. Get your head out of the clouds. You’ve got to get a move on. You’ve got to move your ass Sonny boy.
what you’re doing…It Ain’t Enough
I just got done doing about two hours of working on a lesson for my teacher but I don’t feel great, because I know I need to put in more time. I know I need to put in a few more hours a day. 4 hours or more if I want to be a virtuoso with technique like those players that are living it up right now before our very ears.
What makes you and me think that we’re going to get anywhere with that kind of practice. It just ain’t enough. What makes me think that I’m going to get anywhere? The simple fact is that no one is going to get anywhere with that amount of time in the practice room. If pro players and pro virtuosos practice from 4 to 6 hours a day, what the hell makes you and I think that we’re going to get anywhere in 20 minutes a week? Your jokin me Johnny. It just ain’t enough.
I’m talking to my dad 5 minutes ago and he’s got this thing that he likes to repeat that he’s got a bad heart and bad knees. He told me he can’t really work out and that he can only eat healthy. So I told him that those were excuses and that every athlete on the planet has bad “something.” Yeah, maybe he’s got a bad heart, OK, but the doctor actually told him that he can walk and exercise.
So I know that these are excuses. You’re full of excuses. Excuse 1 2 3 and and all the way up to 99. You got 99 excuses. What you need is only 1 reason. Just one reason. Your reason should be to be free.
If you want to be a guitar player you got to be free. How do you set yourself free? How do you do that? You do that by putting in the work. Putting in the 4 to 6 hours a day.
How many hours did Arnold Schwarzenegger put in to the the greatest? How many times and how many hours in a day did he put in? How many hours did Steve Vai practice today? What about when he was coming up on the scene. It was an insatiable amount. He was always hungry. What about Randy Rhodes, Yngwie Malmsteen?
Think “I Can”
You can buy all the courses and all the instruction on planet Earth but if you don’t put in the time that it takes you won’t make much progress. See most of us put in just enough. We do just enough because we have a job and we have this and we have that but you need to be putting in more than. More than enough. More than enough is what you need to work for. When you’re done, you’re not done. When you begin to fatigue, you are just starting to make progress.
If you could understand this one little concept, you’d be just fine. Muhammad Ali said something that I’ll never forget. You’ve probably heard it. He said he would start counting sit-ups, not from when he started but when he started to feel the burn. Thats when the real progress happens. You’ve got to fall in love with the process.
I don’t know what your way is but you got a find a way. I found a way to put in 4 hours a day. Have you?
You need to be thinking “I Can.”
What’s Your Agenda Look Like
That 20 minutes a day bull, leave that for the newbies, the beginners and the hobbyist. That’s not you. You’re here for a reason that is bigger than that. If you don’t become a pro player that’s okay, but care about whether you die and never tried.
You can increase your skill to the day that you die. Why not do so?
Your neighbors, what are they saying about you when they say your name or see you? Do they mention the word “guitar,” or do they mention where you work or some other bull.
What are you known for? What are you going to be remembered for? What are you associated with? Who do you hang out with? Who do you run with? What are you doing during the day? What do you listen to? What do you read?
Are you practicing…”day after day”?
Is that not on your agenda?
You need to secure your agenda and stop letting other people run your agenda. “You Got a dream? – Protect It.”
It’s all about the blood sweat and tears. If you’re not crying, bleeding and pleading, or sweating by the end of the week you’re not doing enough.
All week I’ve been with anxiety. Why? Because I haven’t sat my ass down in the chair. My composing chair, my practicing chair.
You’ve got to start singing your own praises and stop waiting for other people to praise you.
The champion is a guy bent over sweating and out of breath and there’s nobody around to witness it. That’s the vision of a champion.
Become a champion.
You become depressed and work all day. Why? Because you made certain choices. Choices that you really didn’t want to make.
You have the choice today to set time aside to do what you really want to do.
You have the choice today to make time for practice. You have a choice today to change your strings, put new strings on and record your guitar.
Stop singing if you’re a guitar player. Stop playing bass if you’re a guitar player. Stop playing piano, stop playing other instruments and focus on the one thing that you want to be good at…the Guitar.
Whether you are good yet or not… doesn’t matter.
Only that you keep at that 1 thing.
That’s what you want to be good at? Good, forget everybody else. Your thing is the guitar. That’s your thing.
Stop learning every cover song that comes out from your favorite band. Start writing your own stuff. You don’t see it now, but they are distractions.
Be yourself and work on your own material. Work your own songs.
Learn from a good teacher.
You can do it as soon as you stop sitting in your fucking room all the fucking time wishing and hoping that you were doing something else, wishing you were better.
Find a way to get the money and pay the teacher that’s going to take you to where you want to go… because you’ve gone off the beaten path.
You’ve gone off the beaten path because of fear, because of what others say, because of what they are trying to sell you on the internet. Maybe its a lack of money.
Whatever, get back on it. Get in your lane and stay in your lane.
It’s all about the blood, sweat and the tears built through the years.
You’ve got to take risks and you’ve got to sacrifice.
You’ve got to sacrifice other things that you like to do for things that you really really like to do. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t get it. You have to sacrifice what you like doing for what you really, really, really love doing.
That’s it, that’s the bottom-line.
Habits, Sacrifice and Discipline
You are going to have to go through the pain of sacrifice.
You are going to have to go through the pain of sacrificing some shit that you already like for something that you really, really, really like.
For example, you might like that show on Netflix. But what do you really, really like? That show or the show you put on when you pick up your guitar. See when you die, no one cares about the show, they will remember the show you put on yourself. That movie where you’re the actor and the actor is a guitar player. Thats you.
There’s no 2 ways about it. That’s it, that’s the shit right there. Blood, sweat and tears.
You’ve got to build habits and you’ve got to build discipline.
If you don’t build habits and you don’t build discipline then you have nothing.
You can always be more disciplined and increase the intensity of your habit.
You ever have a bad habit?
I know some of you have. Did you ever notice how the intensity of the habit kept getting more and more intense? It kept getting harder and harder to lose the habit.
Now you need to employ the same ritual to good habits.
Really the habit is sitting your ass down in your chair and picking up the guitar and hitting that first note. Once you do that it will send a signal off in your brain. A good one. One that will make you want to play and practice more.
Touring musicians say it all the time. I remember Chino Moreno from the Deftones said once that touring is really hard but when you hear that first sound, when the music starts, it all makes sense. Or something to that effect.
What he was saying was that your reasons come back to you once you hear the noise.
Play the first note of the diminished scale and you know what it’s going to sound like. You’re more than likely going to play the rest of the scale, improvise with it and probably have something cool. And the best part about it? It will probably be that only 5 minutes have passed.
Happens every time, without a doubt. “Sin fayo” (in Spanish) means without failing… it happens every time.
Some of you will read this, close the page and go on about your boring life.
Now I’m not condescending your life I’m just reiterating what you tell yourself.
Im not being judgmental. Im really not.
Be an Action Jackson.
Only some are you are action takers.
After all the things that you’ve learned, after all the stuff you know, you’re still going to sit there, close your computer and go home to your boring life.
Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s because you don’t believe in yourself. Maybe it’s because your dad put it in you, that music isn’t the path for you.
Maybe you got a bad teacher that didn’t believe in you.
Maybe a past or even current girlfriend thinks you stink, or she doesn’t really dig your music so you put it aside in order to please her. Sadly, that’s not really what either of you want.
If you feel like you stink, even though you probably really don’t, all you have to do is start putting in the work.
Put in the Work
The construction guys down the block have been there how long now? Cus they’re building something. Building something great takes time. They know that.
And so do you.
So put in the time.
The only thing that makes you better is constantly challenging yourself and constantly working.
Most people think that you get better because of talent.
Yeah sure you get better because of talent, but talent still has to work hard and still have to work on things whether they like it or not. If they don’t their talents will not increase.
“Yeah he was born with talent bullshit,” you’re fucking lazy.
That’s why you don’t have any talent.
There is a book called talent is overrated and it’s been proven time and again that the violinist who had talent played better than the violinist who was considered not to have talent. Here is the key though, here is the fucking coin flip, here’s the rest of the story…
The ones who were said to have talent, on average, practiced a hell of a lot more than the other group.
Sit on that for a minute. Sit on that for the rest your life. Doesn’t matter how long you sit on it. The only thing that matters is that you act.
Here’s a little poem for you:
It’s all about the blood the sweat and the tears
Fuck your fears
Look them in the eye
And wave them goodbye.
Questions, Final Thoughts and staying in your lane
Can you read music? Why not? Can you play barre chords? Why not?
You’re missing out on the fruits of music here.
You don’t know what you’re missing. That’s probably why you’re on the verge of giving up. That’s why you switch from project to project.
Do you know the missing link? You’re going to have to stay on track. You’re going to have to stay the path.
You’re going to have to stay in your mother fucking lane doing your mother fucking thing.” – Speaker lady I heard last week.
Some of you jump ship.
Some of you look out in front of the lane your in and you think, “oh shit, ;( there’s too much traffic, let me turn the fuck around.”
What you didn’t know was that in about 5 measly minutes she was going to let up and you were gonna cruise on through.
Stay in your mother fucking lane. Forget everybody else.
You need to be tunnel vision; and right now you’re everybody’s vision.
You’re confused because everybody’s trying to impose their vision on you without you even knowing it.
Subconsciously they do it.
Let it go and start to deal with your own shit. You don’t need anybody else’s shit. Who told you that you need that shit?
Start bleeding for your dream. Start sweating and work hard, work until you can’t possibly work anymore.
Make it happen. Keep going until you start crying.
Then when you’re done crying’ wipe away the tears.
Become ferocious and determined.
Live your dream.
If you have questions or comments leave them below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.