He sat down for lesson #1 with me.
As he played riff after riff, pulsating lead guitar, and a mesmerising solo, I nodded and smiled.
I was impressed, but I knew he was lying through his teeth about something…
His name was Dave, and he was a dentist.
Dave told me he had played “On and off for about 2 years”.
I had no reason not to believe him… until he started playing that is.
The thing is, I was certain what he was playing was definitely not the playing of someone who had played for just 2 years.
He was further down the line than this, and the jam we had was great.
Both of us were ripping “call and answer” style blues leads and riffs and jamming the hell out of the style…
…but I knew he was full of B.S. when he said he had only played for 2 years
I complimented his playing and dug deeper.
When we got down to it, he told me he’d actually been playing for about 10 years, had a short break for a bit, but had practised solidly for a few hours a day for about the first 8 years.
The “2 years on and off” thing was true, but he’d failed to tell me about the previous 8 years!
This was a bit annoying, as it’s a bit sneaky, but also in a practical sense, not being straight up, could have made it harder for me to teach him properly.
I see this a lot in the music world.
He wasn’t being malicious with it.
It’s just some people try to be “too cool for school”.
Almost like they are trying to be like the Fonz of guitar playing or something…
…and make out guitar comes easy to them and that it’s almost effortless.
For some reason, people don’t like to tell you about the hard work, perseverance, self-doubt, and frustrations they’ve had.
Yeah, sure, some people get an easier ride than others for a whole host of reasons, but there ain’t no one I’ve met who’s gone from total novice to skilled intermediate without some hiccups or hurdles along the way.
It’s always good to remember this if you ever come across a guitarist who tries to make out learning guitar is/was easy for them.
I have no doubt if a guitarist can impress with their playing, they worked hard for it.
Hard work should be celebrated, not hidden away.
Anyway, I hope you found that helpful and keep at it no matter where you are on your journey!
P.S. One way to really develop your skills is to learn and master the blues. It’s a great style that allows you to build layer upon layer on top of it. Dave had a great grasp of it. If you want to get started with the blues, you may want to check this out…
P.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.