Don't Fall For These Guitar Playing Myths
Let's debunk some of the most common myths about playing guitar.
Myth #1: You are either born with innate musical ability or not.
Clearly, excelling at a musical instrument is easier for some than others. But anyone that is motivated can learn to play guitar. You might never be as great as a musical prodigy. We can't be Clapton or Hendrix. But do you need to be? Everyone can learn to play guitar. Your level of proficiency will depend on the effort and time you want to put into it, your passion for it and your motivation.
Myth #2: The best guitarists learn and master all guitar styles.
It can take a lifetime to master one style. You might be able to master two styles if you take up two genres that have some crossover potential, such as blues and rock, but that is the exception.
When you are beginning, pick a genre and style you're passionate about and concentrate on that. Don't feel like you have to learn acoustic guitar and then move on to bass guitar lessons, then blues, etc. and expect to conquer that genre as well. Don't get distracted with other music styles. Most guitar legends are that because they mastered a genre. Few will crossover their from their area of expertise and excel at more than one.
You can take up different styles to expand your horizons and have fun, but don't feel you have to master and learn all styles.
Myth #3: To sound really good, buy the best guitar you can afford.
Sure the best gear is nice, and yes, you would sound better, but until you are a great player, the difference will be marginal. Initially, I'd suggest buying a very basic guitar, even one that is used, or borrow one. Some inexpensive or beat up guitars can sound pretty good when played by a decent guitarist.
Spend your energy getting proficient and, if you can afford it, reward yourself in the future with a better guitar. We've all heard of musicians who can afford the best, but really love the sounds of some beat up old instrument that they learned on. The best violins have some serious age on them! And frankly, listening to a novice plunk away on a very expensive instrument is sort of embarrassing, isn't it? In the end, the guitar is only as good as the person who plays it.
Myth #4: Only the most talented guitarists will succeed.
Well, first, what is your definition of success? Did you take up the guitar for fun and recreation or is it a profession for you? Regardless, stop comparing yourself to others. What is important is that you are setting goals and trying to make them happen. There will always be someone who plays better than you, but who cares? Use them as an inspiration, but not something to beat yourself up about.
Ultimately, the best guitar player are out there having a blast, and loving what they do. Their audience feels that and it is a joy to watch and listen to. Enjoying yourself can only help; the rest will fall into place.
by: Deane Alban
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