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> Fear And Progress In Guitar
Ben Higgins
post Oct 8 2014, 10:18 AM
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How many times in our lives have we found the advice we needed, applied it for a short while and then forgot about it.. only to look for the next thing ?

I've talked before about how we secretly love to be distracted because it takes us away from the real hard work.. the stuff that, deep down, we know we should be doing. It's not just guitar this applies to, this is the essence of life itself. But we all go through it... the key is to realise what's going on and correct it.

But how does it affect guitar playing ?

There will be loads of times where people are too uncertain to commit to learning a new technique, or a new approach. I think the fundamental fear is:

What if I put in all that time, weeks, months, maybe years... and it doesn't work ?

The secondary fear that goes with it:

Imagine how much better I could have gotten at the other stuff I could have been practising, instead of THIS !?

Now, with those fears swirling around in our heads, is it any wonder that so many of us don't commit to doing what the guitar teacher told us ? How many of us won't adjust our hand position or practise those legato shapes because of those two fears above ?

The hard thing about it is.. there is never any guarantee of anything. Clint Eastwood had a great line in "The Rookie". When asked to guarantee somebody's safety he said "If you want a guarantee buy a toaster" 0:19

He's exactly right. Guarantees are something you get when you buy an appliance.

The only way to know for sure is if you just do it. The chances are, if you practise anything for long enough on the guitar, you will become better at doing it. That's why people have managed to become great players using all sorts of weird hand positions and pick grips. Who would have thought it was possible to do what Allan Holdsworth does before Allan Holdsworth did it ? But he tried it and because he tried it he did it.

I'm not saying we have to commit to being a technical master, I'm just saying we should commit to that thing that we know we should be doing. You know, that advice you were given that you haven't bothered to stick with or the exercises that you've forgotten about. I'm saying this to me as well. Avoidance - we ALL do it. But some do it more than others. And if you want to truly improve on the guitar and I mean TRULY... then be one of the ones who does it less.

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