The Importance Of Setting High Goals In Your Guitar Education
Starting out with us, new students very often are just beginning to grasp the concept of playing this wonderful instrument. As their teachers, we are always excited to see that student's instant improvement in their playing. While a large part of being a great teacher, involves inspiring and motivating our student, we usually like to ask our students this very important question before we start teaching their first lesson:
Why do you want to play the guitar and what are your guitar goals?
Due to my long career as a guitar teacher and a musician, I worked with many guitar players and lots of different personalities from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and skill levels . These experiences taught me many things about music, about people, success and talent.
But there is one particular very important indicator of success that I learned about, which to my surprise, many people keep underestimating the importance off. After many years of observation, I have learned that the success of a guitar student's musical dreams and goals, is heavenly dependent upon what sometimes seems to be the most overlooked secret to success: knowing clearly what you want!
Yes: it helps to have a vision of who you want to be as a guitarist and what you really want to learn. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is quite common for students to only have a very vague idea about what they want to learn or why they picked up guitar in the first place. That is totally fine: because it is our job as teacher to point that out to you, and to help you develop your musical goals and direction.
However: while you might think that having a vision and direction is enough to insure a journey of great results and progress in your guitar playing, there is one more final ingredient that needs to be added to the mix. Without that one really important aspect, your vision will never amount to anything beyond mediocrity in results. It's simple:
There's a really great book written about this: "The Magic of Thinking Big". That's right: the higher you set your goals and standards, the better a guitarist you will become, the sooner you'll get there, and the more you will get out of your musical journey.
Some people want to learn the guitar just for the sake of experience or to impress a girl/boy. These students are typically content when they know enough to play their favorite songs, maybe even perform a song or two during school programs, or play in family gatherings or at a campfire.
And that is totally fine of course: these students genuinely really want to learn how to play the guitar. But very often, they lack a vision or idea of what they want to achieve past a year or two after the initial excitement of the beginner's mind, which is the reason why many of these students suddenly get stagnant or drop out loosing the drive to learn guitar altogether.
Again: it is totally ok to have more humble ambitions. Not everybody feels the need to become the next rock star, or to surpass Eddie Van Halen"s or Jimi Hendrix" skills on guitar. If you just want to learn a song or two so that you can play in your room or perform during special occasions, I can honestly say that is good reason to want to learn music.
But if you really want to develop yourself fully through the wonderful art of music, and feel the exhilarating joy there is in the exiting ability to learn any new song in only 3 minutes instead of 3 days, or the profound feeling of achievement when you feel like you just wrote the best song you ever heard"
None of these experiences will ever be felt or understood by the person who did not set high goals for himself. It is the person who thinks big, who also lives the more exciting, more rewarding, more adventures, and more confident life.
In order to truly experience all that musical magic and reach that musical nirvana, your reason for playing guitar must be a lot deeper and meaningful than "impressing chicks/dudes" or "being a rock star".
Again, nothing wrong with that though: but don"t forget that the chicks/dudes are all the more impressed the better your guitar skills, and the rock star in you deserves for you to think bigger and more highly of yourself.
In conclusion: knowing why you want to Learn to play rock guitar and setting your goals highly right from the start, really helps your progress. Without proper direction and vision of what you want to achieve, you will have a hard time keeping up the focus and dedication needed for you to grow as a guitar player.