Updated: May 2, 2022
Today's article is about expectation vs. reality. Don't be afraid of a long journey friends, you have the time. Life is long. And the juice is worth the squeeze. I have had several beginner guitar students recently start on their journey with me and on Day One of picking up the guitar, their energy is always inspiring.
"What SONG are we going to play today?" the little Cindy Lou Who will say.
I can see it in their eyes...all the same things that drew me in to music. The glory, the stardom, the instant TikTok Fame! The crowd goes wild, and everyone is losing their minds as they can barely wait to hear your next string of notes! We must NEVER lose this attitude! It gets us all charged up, ready to play, and is SO MUCH FUN!
Then Cindy Lou Who will go to touch the guitar and play their first note and without fail..."Ouch! Wow that hurt". Then they try again "Oweeowwwooooeeeeaaaaahhhanouch" You see, guitarists know that all new guitar players must build up a callus before even practicing with any regularity at all becomes possible, and it can be frustrating because it requires....PATIENCE.
The problem is that the music will attempt to beat the patience out of us at times. Staying patient on the path is never easy, especially when the goal is "playing a song" and the reality is...you can't play one note yet. Maybe the goal is to put together a band, and you are the only musician you know.
Maybe the goal is to put together a massive international tour when you've never been played outside your parent's basement.
Musician's have big dreams, and it's important to never lose the fantasy! The fantasy will lead you to amazing places with your music, one day at a time. The key is to be patient enough to wait for your moments, and confident enough that when the door opens, you are ready to step through. To me music is a metaphor for life in many ways...it's a long winding path that anyone who continues to walk will eventually get where they want to go. Most people stop long before they reach their goal, telling themselves it wasn't possible to begin with.
I have achieved successes in music that I never would have thought possible, but I never created music for the money, the fame or the accolades. I do it to try and best myself each and every day. Music taught me how to grind, how to never give up, how to reach goals no matter what. The show must go on!
Every day we try to get a little bit better, a little bit more proficient. Wherever you are now, we are trying to get you to the next lily pad of understanding. Soon you may find you are hopping from lily pad to lily pad, and now you are in a whole new river of understanding. That river will lead to an ocean, and on, and on.
There are no shortcuts to actually doing the work, which is why it FEELS SO GOOD when you get there! If everyone could do it, everyone would do it. To the little Cindy Lou Who's of the world I will explain that playing an entire song is much more difficult than you think. Your mind will try to give up, to weasel out of it, to cheat, to make excuses, and basically do everything short of doing the actual work.
But when you achieve your goal through doing the work, you will be more proud of yourself than you ever thought possible. All your goals can be achieved if you truly want them badly enough. You are on your path. You'll get the girl, you'll have the radio hit, you'll play the big shows, and most importantly, you'll have the most fun doing it.
If you're someone LOSING your patience trying to learn music, we should talk. I can give you new perspectives on the same old-same old information that will have you understanding music in a different light.