Do you remember what first got you interested in guitar? How about what first got you excited enough to buy a guitar and start investing the time into improving your guitar playing day after day? Was it a song you heard on the radio or when you saw your favorite band perform in concert? Dig into your memories. Find that moment or series of events that sparked the real and raw desire in your soul to want to be a musician and play guitar. Got it? Good. Now don’t forget it.
Over the years I have been able to work with a lot of guitarists to help them improve their skills, from complete beginner to very seasoned advanced players with decades of experience. I can’t put a number on how many because I honestly have no idea. I’ve seen what I assume to be every type of guitar player with every distinct goal. Those who just want to play for fun and those who want to be professionals. What I want to talk about today is one thing they all have in common. One reason why they started and why they continue to do it. There are many reasons depending on the person, and everyone has different reasons, except this one we all have in common. One that we should not forget. One that fuels and is embedded within all the other reasons we have. Do you want to know what this very simple reason is? By now I am sure you do or you would have stopped reading. I’m actually delaying the response, just to make you wait a little longer. Haha. OK, here it is.
You are doing this for yourself! Pretty simple, right? Let’s not stop there, because we can learn more from this reason and find new and invigorating motivation. Do you want to get even more excited than you’ve ever been to improve your guitar playing?
Everyone gets discouraged at various points in the process of practicing and playing guitar. It isn’t as easy as playing a video game, but the rewards of practicing your instrument far, far outweigh the very momentary rewards of a video game or even sports for that matter(it’s been scientifically proven, but that is another discussion).
At this point we really need to remember that we are doing this for ourselves. This is YOU time. You are strengthening your mind and skills so you will be able to have fun and feel the excitement of music for the rest of your life. Even if you are playing just to share music with others or to brighten up someone’s day, you are doing that because you feel it is the right thing to do and it makes you feel good to do it. Maybe you want to play so you can share music with your kids, still this is because you know it will benefit them and your family, which will make you feel better and you know it is a very good thing. Maybe you just want to impress a girl, which really means you want the girl to like you more. You get the point. You are doing this for you regardless of the specific personal reason.
Practice should never be seen as a chore. It often is though, and the reason why is that the focus and the reason is forgotten. Your reasons will change over time, but whatever they are, remind yourself of them overtime as you practice and you will experience the hunger of wanting to practice rather than the dread. This is what has fueled me for over two decades. This is what has fueled every musician in the world.
You are doing this for you and you should be. Don’t forget it. Enjoy it.