How To Be The Best You Can Be In Guitar Playing By Kiran Roy
One difficult phase of playing the guitar is when you reach a point where you are stuck in a rut, you reach a point where you are not improving. You’ve reached a plateau and finding it difficult to burst through it. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, all face the same problem at some point in time. No matter how hard you are trying to master that 32nd notes peed picking passage, you are unable to get hold of it. Becoming the guitarist you’ve dreamt of is far harder than it looks. But when you are ready to throw in the towel I want you to hold back and realize that you are just about to break through the plateau. If you only fight that last mile when most of the guitar players give up thinking that they would never be able to master it. That is where I want you to not give up like a loser and fight through it. Success awaits you. I promise you that. I remember as an eighteen years old budding lead guitarist and an engineering student, I had reached a fairly decent level by then, I was working on a 120 beats per minute legato pattern in 16 th notes and 32 nd notes combined Song by Joe Satriani). But no matter how hard I tried to get hold of it, for months together, I was just not able to get it. I was getting frustrated thinking I may never be able to master it but deep down I truly wanted to play it very badly so I continued playing it everyday to such an extent that immediately after waking up early in the morning I tried that for 30 minutes before leaving for college, immediately after coming home tried it for half hour before leaving for classes, again 30 minutes before leaving for gym and then finally after coming home in the night a good 6 hours. This routine continued for 3 months with me still not being able to nail it. One day after having a really hard day in college (I was suspended for planting a firecracker in the classroom because I wanted to come home early to practice!) when I came home and plugged in my guitar and started to play, Whoa! I cried out in joy! I realized that i had nailed that piece I had been working on for months day and night! I had busted through that plateau not choosing to give up until I succeed! After that my confidence reached a new level altogether to the extent that I was ready to take on any difficult phrase thereafter. This is what I mean by saying don’t throw in the towel. Success is just round the corner but not realizing that most guitar players choose to take the comfort zone and give up. Nothing is comfortable in life my budding guitarist brothers that is if you choose excellence in life. If you are happy with mediocrity you can choose the comfort path. But excellence is what you are looking at in guitar playing; you have to work terribly hard in order to achieve anything.
So many people and so many of my students across all of my branches ask me, what is the key to your playing and success and how can I play good? Well I have no one answer but there are some concepts that I have stumbled upon by personal experience over the years that can actually help all of you to break that barrier that keeps you from reaching your full potential. My purpose is to help you reach your goals. I want to give back what I did not get. But effort has to be yours. Nobody worked on my behalf; I have painstakingly done it myself over the years. Same applies to you too. You just give me courage and I on my part assure you that I will transform your playing.
Firstly one thing, contrary to popular belief, you have to know that you don’t need to be naturally talented or that it has to be in your blood to become a great guitarist. When I started out, I was always told that I won’t make it as a guitarist as I don’t have it in my blood and that I am not naturally talented enough. I never ever believed them. Take it from me firmly that the only three important things you need to have in your armory is interest, dedication and commitment. I can bet that you’ve never met an amazing guitarist who isn’t passionate about music. And I can also bet that they didn’t get to that level they are at by being apathetic and lazy. They took the bull by the horns to go out and try to learn something new and to make a difference in their playing. They were not happy by whatever they had achieved. They wanted more and they chose to grind themselves in order
to achieve it. I myself locked up myself in my room for hours and hours altogether, all day long practicing guitars, when every regular guy my age were chilling out at Barista, partying, bowling, playing pool and going out for movies! I also skipped all important occasions like Diwali celebrations, New Years Eve when the entire world was partying, locked up myself in my room with my guitar thinking that practicing the piece I am working on is more important than wasting time celebrating when I have yet not reached the level I want to reach in guitar playing. I had also promised myself that the day I reach my goals I would be partying harder than all of these guys put together have ever partied in their lifetime. And Yes I have kept my promise!
Now another thing you need to keep in mind is that the guitarist who dares to challenge himself always takes the risk of failing. That happened to me hence I will explain you that. This is where many musicians lose their battle with low self-esteem and quit. I wouldn’t say that they failed in their effort but it’s just that after just one failure they decided that they would always fail and didn’t pick themselves up ever again. My first lesson I am trying to deliver is that you realize that failures are stepping stones to success, that failure is a part of growth and that it takes many failures to get that elusive success in your quest to be the ultimate guitarist. Through trial and error and countless hours of practice I have a few concepts that I believe every guitarist should try out and do. I repeat ‘Do’. Execute it! Not just read it. Thoughts and attitude are important but in the end it’s what you do that counts in the end. Let’s get started to become the best you can be as a guitarist:
My Tips For Success…
Learn something new
11Educating yourself is the first step to becoming a better guitarist. Whether you choose to believe it or not, there’s always something new to learn and master. If you are currently studying music in a music school, academy or from a seasoned teacher you will find that learning will come easier to you. If not, I highly recommend that you get in a program. While I believe in teaching yourself, I also know from firsthand experience that motivation and encouragement from a teacher is priceless. Once you conquer the subject that you were learning, push yourself to learn something that you’re not quite comfortable with.
Learning within your comfort zone often results in mediocrity. Challenging yourself gets out the best from you and possibilities which you never thought existed emerge. For example the first solo I learnt to play after completing my Mel Bays Grade 2 was ‘November Rain’. But immediately after mastering it I tackled ‘Hangar 18’ by Megadeth knowing very well that I should be doing songs of November Rain’s level. It took me 6 months but I mastered each and every note of all the solos and later even performed it in front of thousands! More solos followed and I was able to tackle them with immaculate ease. So would you.
Make your time count
On a parting note remember: Enjoy yourself and the rest will fall in
place. I assure you that! I want you to Win and I know you will Win!But Yes; There’s No Easy Way Out, There’s No Short Cut Home!