There are a few things you should know if want to master the guitar... it may not be as easy as you think.
So you want become a master of guitar, eh?
Wanna be a guitar god?
Have everyone hanging on every note you play?
Well listen up, my little guitar-crazed fiend... I'm gonna drop a few bombs on you in the next few paragraphs... so pay attention.
Do you wanna know why 99% of guitar players don't make it to "mastery"? I know you're looking for some sort of forehead-slapping revelation here, but get ready to be disappointed with the obvious...
99% of guitarists don't make it for one reason...
I know... shocker... right? But what did you expect me to say? If it were easy, everyone would master the guitar and then no one would give a crap how great you are.
Just like everything else worth pursuing, you have to put hours, weeks and years of painstaking, agony-filled practice into your guitar playing to get even close to mastery.
So how do you become one of the ones that do make it to this level of awesomeness and master the guitar?
I'm glad you asked... there may be hope for you after all.
There are really only 3 steps on the road to mastery:
3. More Practice
This is pretty straight forward, right? Nope, not even close. Practice is one of the most misleading little devils you can come across on your path to the guitar hall-of-fame.
It can take you years just to learn how to practice. Yes, you read that right... years... just to begin to understand how to practice the guitar, let alone master the guitar.
And try as they might, no one really ever figures this out on their own... so get a teacher, a mentor, someone who understands the ins and outs of a good practice routine and soak up their every word like a sponge.
In other words... learn to set goals. What do you want to do with your skills? What type of guitarist do you want to be? Figure out if you like being behind the scenes (a studio musician), or in the spotlight (full-fledge rockstar).
This is where you begin to explore your musical passions and develop a borderline psychotic attention to detail. You have to know what to practice and how to practice it in order to live out your dreams of guitar glory.
Once you understand how to practice and develop a vision for yourself, you have to do whatever it takes to get there. This is where you spend time experimenting with what to practice to reach your vision.
You've got to weed out the things that are a waste of time for your particular goals and interests. And in order to know what truly matters, it takes an endless tweaking of your strategies... along with... you guessed it... more practice.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.
But be smart about it. You have to know your limits and avoid burnout. Daily, consistent practice is a must, but even more important... YOU MUST BE PATIENT.
It's not the 10 hour practice sessions that'll lead you to master the guitar... it's the accumulation of these practice sessions (no matter how long or short) from day to day, week to week... over many... many years.
Most of all... (and I'm sure you've heard this before, but it's worth repeating) YOU HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS OF BECOMING GREAT.
Without the process, there is no end result. No payoff for all of your hard work and dedication.
And that, my fellow guitar slacker, is why most of us don't make it to the hallowed halls of guitar legends, and probably never will... including yours truly.
But I've made my peace with that fact. I'm happy just to be a wondering nomad on the path of greatness...
...and to know enough to know what I don't know (please excuse my weak attempt to be philosophical)
Everyone's path and ambition are different... not everyone is meant to go down in history... but don't let that stop you from enjoying what you do and sharing your music with whomever you wish.
One Final Word of Advice
Oh yeah... there is one more small, but essential detail that will be invaluable to you on the path of excellence... Be likable.
That doesn't mean be a spineless goober who just agrees with everyone and has no principles to stand by.
But just respect other guitarists (and people in general for that matter)... respect that they are also putting themselves out there and have many of the same fears and ambitions as you do.
You can be the greatest guitar player that ever lived, but if no one wants to work with you... you're screwed.
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