Growth takes time – helpful tips to help you on your guitar journey!


It takes time for you to grow as a guitarist

Firstly, I do not want you to get the wrong idea.

I am not stating in this section that your guitar playing should grow slowly.

I’m simply stating that sometimes, it takes a little bit of time for things to grow properly and it takes a little bit of time for things to develop well!

So I am all for fast growth and I’m all for the idea of getting there as soon as possible.

However, it does take time for things to truly grow and truly expand.

If we think about a mother with a baby, it takes 40 weeks for the baby to mature in the womb before the baby comes out.

So there is a growth phase, there’s a phase where the baby grows and it is absolutely essential that you understand that in your own musicality, it will take time for things to grow.

For someone just starting to learn the guitar it will take time to learn how to pick the strings accurately.

Whenever I coach a new guitar student and I often see him or her pick the wrong string, especially when a certain passage requires string skipping. (They may pick string 2 when they should have picked string 3 etc..)

Whenever I see this, I always think of this as wonderful.

This is someone learning how to play an instrument, someone growing and I expect mistakes.

I do not get upset with my student for making the mistake, I just realise that it’s part of the natural growth process and it’s part of what it takes to develop your guitar playing.

Rome wasn’t built in a day; success does not come in a day.

You have to put in the required effort to develop your playing!

You have to do whatever it takes for you to become a success and this will often require you to be willing to take time out to make things grow.

If we take the example of the farmer who patiently waits for his seeds to sprout, we realise that growth is an essential part of everyday life.

Yes, we can even see this wisdom in the food that we eat on a daily basis.

We often take for granted that eating a salad will consist out of a number of vegetables that had to be grown in a number of regions over a long period of time.

We will not take into consideration that the food that we eat in minutes took years to get there for us to enjoy!

To enjoy a single glass of wine, years of hard work and intelligent planning took place.

From the wine picking day until the release of the wine to be sold takes 48 months! (According to Sandrone Luciano)

So, yes quality takes time!

In your music, you need to be willing to take whatever time is needed to make your playing grow!

Just like a seed takes time to grow and sprout, just like that you need to give your guitar playing ample time.

It is however, very important that you do not only give it time without effort.

If you do not practice a certain amount of hours per day, you can never hope to become a great guitarist.

The time you will dedicate to your practice will definitely change over time.

When you are just starting out, you may initially start with 15 to 20 minutes and later you could take that up to 45 minutes or even 60 minutes.

At a more advanced stage, you can even dedicate 2, 3 or 4 hours on a daily basis.

(Should you want to achieve virtuoso status, you will need to dedicate about 5 to 6 hours a day for a number of years!)

The time that you will dedicate will also change over time.

You will actually become more productive as time goes along.

You will become more dedicated as you achieve greater things in your music.

It is important that you understand that effort, multiplied by the amount of time that you practice is what is going to make you great on your instrument.

So as you learn and as you practise, make sure that you give your practise time enough time to grow.

Just like seeds need to have water, just like that, you need to have the courage and strength to grow your musicality and you need to have the courage and strength to be willing to do whatever it takes to develop and to get there.

If you do that and you practice consistently and even increase your amount of weekly practice as you’re making progress, you will be pleasantly surprised – actually you will be ecstatic at just what you can achieve.

But do keep in mind the example of the farmer with his land or even a business owner looking to grow!

When they have growth phases, they often invest over a number of years for things to grow and to develop.

They create a long-term plan that includes minute details to help them grow.

So buy out the time and learn how to do things properly and put in the time to become great.

It is vital that you do that because without putting in the time and the effort, you will not achieve what you have set out to achieve.

You simply have to be willing to invest your time, effort and resources to take your guitar playing to the next level!

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Learn to think right and get rid of false ideas surrounding your guitar playing!

facts vs myths

Society has created a number of myths surrounding the learning of an instrument as an adult.

These myths have grown proportionately very large in comparison to the ‘actual scientific facts of learning’ out there.

That is why it is absolutely essential that you develop your psychology and way of thinking around playing the guitar as well as what it will take for you to become a great musician.

You may think to yourself that your mindset does not matter that much, but nothing can be further from the truth.

The truth is that negative thinking and wrong thinking will definitely keep you a enslaved.

It will stop you from truly reaching your full musical potential.

To reach your full potential, you need to take a look at yourself and what you can do and believe things about yourself that are truthful and not negative.

To do this requires an extraordinary amount of effort on your part mentally.

Now if we analyse the myths that have been surrounding learning of music as an adult, we will notice things such as – “you cannot learn how to play the instrument properly as an adult”.

We will discover things such as “children learn faster than adults” and discover things such as, “I wish I’ve started sooner.”

You will discover a whole host of objections as to why you cannot learn how to play properly.

Among them will also be “you can learn how to play, but you will never be able to develop monster technique as an adult because your hands are not flexible enough”.

So that will be some of the things that you’ll be faced with.

Other things that you would be faced would be that children have got much better, more flexible mental facilities than adults.

Although some of these things might be slightly true – for example the physical part – it does not stop the human will and human spirit to actually go out and do it.

So it is vital for you to develop and train yourself to THINK IN THE RIGHT WAY!

It is absolutely vital, because if you do not think in the right way, you will not be able to do the things in the right way.

Therefore, make sure that you focus a lot on the right kind of thinking, as the wrong type of thinking will stop you from reaching your ultimate goals!

It takes a lot of courage and strength to develop the right kind of thinking.

So it’s imperative that you decide to once-and-for-all stop believing myths and ideas and start believing in yourself!

It is vital that you do that.

It is vital that you develop your mental facilities to be able to achieve that.

Your mind plays a big role in learning how to excel at playing the guitar because it is in the area of your mind that you will have a battle.

Your mind will be the battlefield, your mind will be the thing that will tell you that you simply cannot do it; your mind will be the area that needs a lot more work, not the physical ability to do it.

With each of us, we’ve got more than 100 lifetimes of potential within us, so we all have the ability of genius.

However, largely due to the false belief system, we do not always benefit from this ability to think in a lateral way.

That is why it’s so important that you learn how to conquer the battlefield of the mind.

If we listen to some of the greatest success speakers of the century such as Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, we realise that if we can break through in the mind, we can just achieve anything and that’s why it’s so important that you do take this very seriously and you do decide to work on yourself to become the person that you want to become.

You will note that this kind of training also applies to everything that you do in your life – in your career and in the success you want to achieve in your own career and guitar performance.

Your success also depends largely upon whether or not you are willing to do whatever it takes to believe in yourself.

If are willing, then you can achieve extraordinary success and you can become the musician and the person that you want to become.

It is essential to focus on that.

It’s essential to work on that.

It’s essential to study, develop your mindset and do WHATEVER it takes to become great!

Yes, it will take a lot out of you, it will be a lot of time and effort that you need to spend, but if you are willing to spend the time, then you will also reap the reward.

Remember, just like a farmer has a farm with land that he needs to cultivate and grow just like that, you have a land inside of your own mind that you need to cultivate and grow.

You need to make sure that you develop your mental facilities to be able to grow your capabilities and be able to think about things in a logical and clear manner and this requires an extraordinary amount of effort on your part.

However, if you’re willing to do that, you will definitely increase your development speed.

So the first thing to do is to work on your mind, work on your mindset and work on your ability to believe in yourself and believe in the fact that you as an adult can master the guitar!

Do not believe false myths, do not believe the negative ideas that others want to put into your mind.

Remember, you are interested in facts, not ideas.

The world is largely dominated by several types of ideas.

Ideas in themselves are not bad; however, ideas are not going to take you where you want to go.

You have to be willing to go beyond the ideas of “natural people” with ideas and suggestions that are based on myths and hearsay.

In order to do this, you will have to work hard on yourself and on your mind-set.

Make sure you put the time and the effort.

You will be well-rewarded.

You will be repaid in leaps and in bounds.

It will require you to have a mind-set that is different from the norm as the normal individual does not generally have the courage to achieve greatness.

The normal individual does not have the strength to achieve greatness and that’s also why it’s wonderful that you’re reading this article because you are doing what most people are simply just not willing to do.

You are studying, searching and looking to improve yourself in every way possible!

By doing this, you are automatically separating yourself from the herd who are not willing to take action to reap the reward.

Remember, success comes to those who work exceptionally hard.

Success comes to those who rise beyond the challenges of daily life.

So in order for you to become successful, you need to go beyond the realms of being a mediocre individual and a mediocre thinker.

If you get your thinking right, then the rest will follow.

If you truly believe that you can become the greatest guitar player that you can be, then you will benefit tremendously from this advice.

By thinking right, you will act right.

Your actions and habits will then help you to become the guitarist that you’ve always wanted to be!

So once and for all, get rid of the ideas that others want to place on you.

Get rid of false ideas and that will keep you from achieving your goals and decide that you’re going to become the best that you can possibly be on the guitar!

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You need a cognitive understanding of what it will take for you to become truly great!

Man Thinking

A lot of adult guitar students approach learning the guitar with the idea that they can learn how to play their favourite guitar solo somewhere in the region of six months.

I often get enquiries from students who want to become great guitarists within a period of a year.

It is possible to become great in a short period of time, but unless you have a tremendous amount of hours to dedicate on a daily basis, you will need to set your time frame longer than just a year or six months.

A lot of people want to have impossible results overnight.

We live in a world that celebrates speed – fast food take-away from your favourite restaurant to your house, Amazon Prime same-day delivery, get-it-all-this-minute convenience even mobile guitar instruction!

We live in a world that celebrates the idea of getting things fast and easy.

Yes, speed is a tremendous advantage, but I honestly believe that unless things have been sought-after with time and effort it is usually of an inferior quality.

We live in a society that wants-it-all-right-now.

This creates the idea (in some circles) that one can actually study with a master guitarist and get to learn the instrument in a few months.

Although I have no doubt that it would be possible to seriously increase your abilities within a few months and to change the way you play within a few months, I also firmly believe that you’re not going to achieve the greatest success within only a few months.

You’re going to have to stick with it for many years.

This may sound even negative for a beginner just starting out, but the truth is great things take time and therefore you need to have an understanding of what it will take.

You do not need to have a complete understanding as dreaming about playing is also very important!

Dreams are what keeps you going and keeps you motivated, so there is no issue with having several dreams or visions about your musicality and what you can achieve, but you must not fall in the trap of being totally unrealistic.

A sentence to remember: “You often engineer your own frustration and disappointment due to unrealistic expectations on your part!”

You see, children often learn how to play an instrument over several years.

But because of the fact that we do not see the children practising the instrument, we only observe when they play; we think that they’ve just simply picked up the instrument and learned.
This is very far from the truth.

If we take a child learning how to play the guitar, let’s say at age 10, by the time he is 15-years-old, and he can really play very well – well he’s a teenager then.

But the point is he would then be put into the category of, “Well, Johnny can play. He learned how to as a child… not as an adult”

The problem with this approach is the fact that nobody talks about the five years of intense study that he completed having anything to do with it!!!

Nobody even mentions it and this is what creates this false idea that you need to learn as a child, because as children, we also do not also question anything.

So make sure that you do not have false ideas about it.

Join a great guitar school whether it’s online, or whether it’s in-person, but make sure you choose the right guitar teacher. (See my article: the 5 qualities of a great guitar teachers)

Now to the next point.

Children do not ask themselves, they only do.

When children learn how to play a musical instrument, often they would have to learn the instrument at their parents’ request.

I always believe it’s good for children to learn a musical instrument out of their own passion, but sometimes it is necessary for adults to tell children that they will need to study X, Y and Z in order for them to get to X, Y and Z.

It’s therefore, imperative that you understand how children learn.

The typical child learning how to play, (let’s take the example of the piano as most children learn the piano) would learn the most important foundational elements of the piano with an instructor and then they would spend six months on just learning the first few notes of the instrument.

As an adult, you would achieve the same skill within approximately three to four weeks.

However, because we question the process, it hurts us and because of this mental strain and mental idea that it’s difficult, this makes us want to give up and stop.

Children do not question they simply attend their weekly musical lesson without prior thought.

That’s exactly what you also need to do.

You need to go to your teacher, not question everything, not ask yourself, “am I making progress every week?”

No, you simply need to learn how to let go and let time do it’s work!

And if you do that, you will automatically become successful with the passing of time…

So it’s important not to ask yourself all the time, “am I progressing?” That is actually going to be detrimental to your success.

From time to time you can look at your progress, but I would recommend once every three to six months because it takes about three to six months for you to develop a new musical level.

Things don’t come over night when you learn something as complex as the guitar or any other musical instrument.

Having said this, you do need to study with an excellent guitar coach and you do need to have top-notch education because excellent quality education is what will set you apart and make you a great musician in time!

As an adult learning the guitar, you can become great if you believe in yourself and if you do the things you need to do in order to become great.

So therefore, make sure that you study with the right teacher, make sure that you get top-notch education and go for world-class training.

Do not consider the lesson fee as the primary objective because going for a ‘value’ fee will inevitably usually result in mediocre quality guitar lessons and you will most probably get a terrible result.

Rather, choose a teacher with a solid reputation even if the fee may seem a bit steep initially!

Make sure that you select the right type of guitar mentor for you that will take you forward and will give you the results that you are looking for!

Remember: results rule period!

Dispel mythical notions and get rid of false ideas.

Do not question everything that you do, and do not question whether you’re making progress at every lesson.

If you do that, you will simply set the clock back and the more you ask, “am I making progress?” the less progress you will actually make. (As you will be too busy thinking about your progress than actually making progress!)

To make progress, you need to simply do because it is a long-term journey. (A great journey – that you SHOULD enjoy!)

So enjoy the journey, see it as a pleasant learning curve, rather than a pain.

Do not see it as something that you will try to accomplish within only a few months because it will not take a few months.

It will take several years for you to become (truly) great at playing the guitar.

However, when you get that point, imagine the joy that you feel when you pick up your guitar and play!

Imagine the pleasure that you will get out of playing your favourite guitar solo and playing the things that you’ve always longed to play.

You will feel tremendously successful having achieved things that you’ve always wanted to achieve.

Just remember, success comes in time.

Success is not something that comes in a single day. It takes time to become a successful musician; it takes time for your success to show.

Success does not show just in a day.

Success comes over time with lots of effort.

Eventually, your guitar success will be evident for everybody to see.

You do have to work on yourself, you have to work on your mind and you must not question everything.

Be like a child and just learn, just do.

The questioning can come later.

If after four years you don’t really go anywhere, then you can seriously question what’s going on.

But if after four months, you feel that you’re not getting very far, remember, it’s just the beginning of the game.

It takes several years to get there and you’ve got to be willing to put in the time and effort required to become great.

You’ve got to be willing to go for it.

You’ve got to be willing to lay aside all objections and find ways to keep developing your guitar playing to the standard and level that you want to be at.

So be like a child, do not ask and just do.

Then you will actually realise that you do make faster progress than a child (on aggregate) and you’ll be very surprised at the speed of development that you will have achieved.

Now, just go out and do it.

Do not give up, do not lose heart and do not get discouraged.

Just go for it and you will become a success.

You will be the one of those rare success stories who will be able to play difficult guitar solos and people will say: “Wow! Listen to him or to her.”

“Are they not amazing?!!!”

“Are they not out of this world with their guitar playing?”

That’s exactly why you need to persist and just practice diligently on a daily basis!

You need to be willing to put in the required effort and then you will be able to reap the rewards that you deserve!

Just by reading this article, it proves to me that you are a deserver of great guitar rewards! (On the condition that you actually follow and act upon the advice given in this article)

You are someone who is very serious about developing your guitar playing!

You are someone who wants to do whatever it takes to become great on the instrument.

So make absolutely sure that you follow the advice given you and go for it with everything within you because then, you will achieve greatness.

Remember you have the power within to achieve YOUR boldest dreams!

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