Which beginner guitar player has never said, at least once in his life those words ” I am such a bad guitarist ” ? That is an unavoidable moment occuring pretty often within the first moments of an instrument practice. Finding yourself bad at guitar can translate into a decreasing motivation that can even lead to throwing your instrument away .. giving up. But if we think straight, could we really suck at playing guitar ?
The reasons : why do I think I’m a bad guitarist ?
Even past 10 years of guitar playing experience, it can happen you find yourself bad at it. That was, for instance, my case, soon after seeing this video of Steve Vai improvising. To be reassured, we can say that technical mastery isn’t all, and playing with emotion is far more important. One thing leading to another, you’re now facing a video of Jimi Hendrix, or Carlos Santan. Once again, you’re there… feeling like a bad guitarist.
What’s hard to comprehend, but which is crucial, is that guitar playing isn’t a competition. There will always be faster, funkier, or blusier player… In 2016, there is even that internet proverb saying that any performance you exceel at can be exceeded by a kid somewhere on the planet. It’s for example the case of the south-korean guitar hero Sungha Jung playing a fingerstyle version of Hotel California in this video :
Hard to believe right ? You see, guitar is not necesserilly executing with absolute perfection a song from A to Z, to shred like Yngwie Malmsteen or splashin’ the groove of John Frusciante. It’s about us. About our ability to feel the music and play accordingly.
The solutions : why, in fact, you’re not such a bad guitarist !:)
By practicing a little, don’t forget that you are always in advance next to those who don’t workout at all ! The knowledge of te guitarist doesn’t only consist in reading tabs or tuning your guitar. It’s also your ear that’s improving with time, a sense of the rythm growing where maybe there wasn’t anything before. So many uncunscious mechanisms turning you into a complete musician. That of course, pass thourhg hours of training, repeating the same melodies, scales, and chord sequences. It requires time and a will to hurt yourself a little.
But what if, instead of feeling sorry, you tried to act on ? Then, uncunsciously, your play will improve. You’ll know your favorite songs till the tip of your fingers, and, without thinking, you’ll play crazy solos. If Kirk Hammett masters so well the solo from Master of Puppetts it’s because he played it for more than 30 ans !
Don’t let your heroes intimidate you, focus on your own path and don’t burn the steps. You’ll succeed !
It’s almost guaranteed because of a phenomenon called muscle memory. While you play, your muscles record the moves you produce. With the habit, those moves get sharper and the thinking time you need to execute will go down. That’s how, from a day to another, you can feel that a song became easier to play.
In the end, you need to brace yourself ! There is absolutely no logical reasons to feel bad.. It’s only a matter of time invested in practicing. Good luck !