The Myth Of Perfection

“The things that I have learned in my guitar lessons so far is really cool. I need to master this stuff before I learn anything else though.”

Have you thought this, or said it before? If so, you are not alone. Many guitar players have thought like this. On the surface, it sounds perfectly reasonable right? Take the things that you have learned and perfect them before adding more things to your plate? Makes sense right?

Wrong! You do not want to take this approach to learning how to play guitar. The reason is that if you spend the amount of time it is going to take to master any one guitar playing item in isolation, when you go to play anything else that isn’t that item, you are going to quickly realize that you now have to start over with this new item and perfect that only to find out that something else will need the same treatment. You will repeat this over and over and it will literally take decades to get to your ultimate goal. How frustrating would that be?

I’m going to use a non musical example to further illustrate this point.

Say you were planning on becoming a professional body builder. You hit the gym for your first day of training and you’ve made your plan on how you are going to become this awesome body builder. You decide that the best way to reach this goal is to only work on one muscle group at a time until you built that muscle group up to where you wanted it. To break down how insane this is even further, let’s say that you only want to build up that particular muscle group on one side of your body only? After working out for a few months, how weird would it look if you had a huge left bicep and the right bicep was tiny? How would that bicep look in comparison to the rest of your body?

Pretty silly right? Yes it is and this is exactly what you are doing by only focusing on “perfecting” one aspect of your guitar playing while completely ignoring everything else.

Instead of focusing on perfection, focus on improving your guitar playing from week to week. If you are a better guitar player this week than you were last week and you have a way to measure this, every week. You are on the right track.

The mastery that you are looking for will come and it will come faster if you focus on improving multiple areas of your guitar playing at the same time instead of pulling each single item out and trying to master them in isolation.

All the best to you and your guitar playing.