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Attitude It Can Be Your Key To Success part two

In the pursuit of music, most students have to struggle against the fear of copying. I have noticed this particularly among composers of original music, arrangers, and those trying to develop a personal style. Although much can be said for originality and innovation, they should not be so enshrined as to prevent the development of technique or material.

People afraid to use the licks, chords, ideas, or even melodies they have learned from others or think they have "heard somewhere before" are often stymied in their efforts to create music. We must continually remember the amazing fact that from a scant twelve sounds an infinity of music has and will continue to flow. This is not to promote plagiarism, but to put before you the notion that it is clever manipulation of sound elements we all know that results in the "new-sounding" final product.

Persons too vulnerable to the criticism of others may find themselves unable to progress upon their instruments. In every musician's life there are encounters with people (even teachers) who ridicule and belittle for various motives. Siblings and other family members often inadvertently or purposely retard a persons progress with mean or embarrassing remarks about his or her "talent". The old "tone deaf" joke is a persistent menace to self-confidence. Ego-sensitive persons attempting to learn music walk a hard path.

Even the beginner is often placed in a position of having to perform, and it seems there is always someone (often a non-musician) who is not aware that most people do not start life as musicl prodigies. Anyone in the spotlight is vulnerable to ridicule, and must be prepared for the inevitable moments of humiliation when mistakes are made and criticism unleashed. Students should minimize and underplay these moments and if possible - transform them into motivation for improvement. Musicianship is a constant effort to rise up to new levels of achievement, and these humiliating moments should be seen as part of the "dues" paid by all "up and coming" musicians.

One of the most damaging obstacles to excellence in even the most ambitious students is "lack of practice". It is best to call this inefficiency and see it as a psychological rather than a physical handicap. Just as some persons cannot clean house or be on time, other lack an ability to get organized and settle down to practice.

But remember, this IS an ability that can be learned. Of course, there are many extremely busy music students, but those who succeed manage to set aside some minimum time for daily practice. The student should analyze his or her daily activities and discover some regular time to erase from the "waste" column and write in the "practice" column. It may mean nothing more than sacrificing a daily television program for the cause of practice. This is a good device since the time of the program is a regular reminder of practice.

If you love food associate your daily practice with breakfast. Although you may regret having to play with stiff morning fingers, you will have managed to develop a regular time for practice, and as a result do it every day. Closing thought: The dedicated take care of their time and time takes care of the undedicated! If you really want to play the guitar you simply must find time to practice.

Mike Hayes is a guitar teacher, author, performing musician and session guitarist with over 30 years of professional experience. Find out more about how to learn guitar fast with his popular free ecourse, available at: => http://www.GuitarCoaching.com


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