Have you ever heard someone drool over a guitar player they adore?
It goes something like this: "That guy just pours his soul out, what a gift he was given" or "It just comes natural to him" and here's the biggy; "I'd give anything to play like that, but, I just wasn't born with it."
Maybe you know someone who picked up a guitar for the first time in their life and played music so soulfully that goose bumps marched up and down your spine. No? Really ... no?
It didn't "happen" to anyone, noooobody, uh uh ... not Hendrix, or Clapton, or Sergovia, or Atkins, ... not even the guy at the get-together, that mesmerized everyone, and had people begging for more.
These "Lucky People" applied both parts of the secret to playing guitar effortlessly.
Let's take a moment to explore the second half of the "secret" first.
Maybe you born with a gift, and could read "War and Peace" while you were a toddler? No? Do you know any one that could?
I'll bet you can read it now, or maybe you already have. You weren't born with it, you learned how to read it.
How did you come this far; to be able to read without thinking about it? Can you remember?
First we learned letter shapes, then came forming the letters, pronouncing them, reading tiny words, printing tiny words, reading bigger words, printing bigger words, spelling words, reading sentences, building sentences, learning all the letters over again for hand writing, forming paragraphs, writing stories, learning grammar ... O.K. ALREADY ... there's more, but, I'll stop.
Would you be reading this right now, if you missed most of those lessons? Seriously!
Becoming a guitar giant follows the same process, and if someone skips most of the needed lessons, they'll waste countless days trying to play "War and Peace", when they should be learning "See Spot Run".
Conclusion to the Guitar Playing Secret's Second Half Learn your guitar up and down the neck. The best way to do that is from following good lessons, and the better your lessons are, the better you'll play, and, years sooner.
Follow Good Lessons!
Have you heard the legend of Jimi Hendrix and his guitar?
I read somewhere that he never stopped practicing, to the point that he even slept with his guitar all night. I wouldn't doubt it. Jimi breathed guitar.
He never stopped reaching, and never quit exploring.
Or how about Chet Atkins?
Did you know? Chet is the most recorded solo instrumentalist in the history of recorded music?
Here's a clue to the secret, in Chet's own words:
"I just had an insatiable appetite for the sounds of a vibrating string of a guitar. I don't know why, but I was completely taken by it. Some of my first memories were when I heard a chord strummed on a guitar." ~ Chet Atkins to Bob Anderson, Pickin Vol. 6, No. 2 March 1979
Here's another clue from Chet talking about his brother Jim and Jim's guitar:
"I idolized Jim when he sat and played. When he wasn't playing it, I touched it a lot, rubbed my fingers lightly over the top, savoring the silky varnish, and picking at the strings ever so lightly. The steel strings felt cold and magical to my small fingers." ~ Country Gentleman with Bill Neely, Ballantine Books, New York, 1974
Are you catching the drift?
Want it, need it, play it, allow nothing to get in the way.
The Formula for Guitar Dominance is: Your Desire + Your Commitment = Your God Given Gift
Your desire plus your commitment will equal your God given gift; and following good guitar lessons will explode your musical fluency and save you much time and effort.
Hold it a second you say? You don't want to play like a guitar God, You just want to play enough to have some fun?
That's a fair question. The answer is still the same, it just reads differently:
Your Desire + Your Commitment = Your Guitar Playing Abilities
P.S. A top quality guitar also helps a lot, but, that's another story.