Being the music nerd that I am, I follow numerous magazines, blogs, and Facebook pages. The other day, one of the pages that I follow posted a video guitar lesson, something they do on a regular basis. The lesson: how to play Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. I noticed it in my feed but didn’t really give it a second thought, I was on Facebook to respond to a work related message.
After responding to the message, I jumped back out to the news feed, where I immediately noticed something unfortunate. A bunch of musos had begun trolling the post with condescending commentary to the effect of “if you need a lesson for that…”
I doubt you’ll be surprised to know that I find that kind of commentary arrogant, pompous, and outright disgusting.
Most of the people who would make a comment like that are either still really insecure in their own playing, or have been so far removed from the learning process that they can’t remember what it’s like.
Learning an instrument is hard. The first part, the movement from complete unknowing to beginner is the hardest. The last thing you need is some idiot coming along and telling you that the thing that seems so daunting and unfathomable is so simple and easy that it doesn’t even merit a lesson.
It’s easy to get separated from the beginning. I have played the drums for well over twenty years now, and certain parts of it are so intuitive to me that it’s hard to remember when those parts were hard. But, I have a personal agenda to be a lifelong learner, to be an overcomer. So, I try to never quit learning.
A couple of years ago I began trying to play the guitar in earnest. It was rough. I kind of sucked at it. My saving grace has been that I already knew how to count, already knew how to keep time and play with a metronome. Playing scales on the other hand – oof! I was all the way back to the beginning.
It’s been good for me. It would be good for you, too.
As an adult it’s easy to stop learning. It’s easy to rest on what you have already mastered. It’s hard to humble yourself, and be terrible again. It’s uncomfortable.
When you are young, you have no option. Learning is is the only choice. As an adult, your choices multiply, and if you want to continue to grow, you have to choose it. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Do it, do it, do it!