“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Last week I was talking about Mr Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies and this week it’s Bruce Lee.
You might be thinking, “What has Dan become some sort of a kung fu warrior instead of teaching us his wily ways of learning guitar?”
No, don’t worry, my guitar-wielding friends, I’m still here teaching the instrument, but I love this quote as it applies to the guitar in many ways.
As musicians, we all know we have to play things a LOT to get them to sound good.
Most people don’t count the number, but I bet it would blow some people’s minds how many times they have to do a movement before it becomes effective.
By effective, I mean, so it sounds good, feels good, and uses smooth technique (so when you speed it up it will still be smooth).
Many of you who have played for a while are okay with repetition and practising over and over.
Some people lack a bit of patience though, and that’s okay. We live in a crazy, fast-paced world where everybody wants things now.
Things we had to wait for, for weeks 10 years ago arrive on the same day now, we get uber-fast internet whereas when I started learning guitar it was the ancient “dial-up” method, and heck, now we can even get a slap-up meal big enough to feed a family the size of the Klumps from The Nutty Professor movie delivered to our door in 20 minutes or so…
The thing is though, patience is key.
Just like the best meals take time to prepare and cook, we need to take a leaf from Bruce Lee’s book and realise that all the movements, all the precision takes repetition.
One thing done well is far better than many done badly.
It’s not only repetition though, but accurate repetition.
Chord changes, scales, riffs, solos, fragments of songs, picking patterns, all of it, we need precision, and then numbers.
Of course, there are things you can learn quickly, and fun things you can do right away, but we are in it for the long haul.
Personally, I want to play till my last dying breath and I don’t really know anybody who wants to pick up the guitar for a few months and then leave it at that before moving on to the next thing.
I’m sure there are one or two on this list who are like that, but they don’t last long.
The rest of you though, are no doubt in it forever and rightly so, and that to me is exciting.
…Because, when things click, and your technique works for you and not against you, and you have fun every single day, playing guitar is easily one of the most joyous things you can do.
…And then the art of the 10,000 “kicks” Bruce Lee talked about becomes a pleasure and all things become more fun from there.
The best thing is you don’t have to wait for 10,000 kicks to get to a fun stage on guitar. This can happen quicker with a few tweaks in thought processes, a proper plan, lessons to guide you on all the basics, support as and when you need it, and a hearty dose of fun stuff…
Combine that with the long-term Bruce Lee 10,000 number and you’ll have a blast with your playing.
If you want all this, the place I recommend most is the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.
Those who aren’t playing guitar for the long term probably wouldn’t want to be part of it, but they’ve probably stopped reading this already.
For everyone else, if you’re up for it, you’re welcome aboard and one thing I’ll say is that when you join, other members will attest to this, I will totally have your back.
Have a great day
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.