My original guitar teacher had a real positive attitude about being able to do anything with the guitar, that he passed on to me.
Tonight, I was watching the ChickenFoot DVD with a friend. We are admiring Joe Satriani’s guitar work when he said “To me, YOU sound like that”. I smiled at the compliment, because I’m not as good as Joe or most great guitar players who spend 8 hours a day playing (I have a day job!) but I look at it this way:
Anything, no matter how complex, can be broken down into it’s smaller and simpler pieces. You master one piece at a time, one after the other, until you finally can do the whole thing. After all, a marathon is only putting one foot in front of the other (yeah, I know – for 26+ miles!).
I didn’t say the end result was easy or not requiring hard work, patience, perseverance, or most importantly – desire. Being a great guitarist, runner, computer programmer, or writer comes with looking at the small things first, then gradually put them all together.
In this sense, I never limit what I can do on the guitar (unless it’s physically impossible for my hand to stretch too far). For me, a new skill on the instrument is only a question of how much time it’s going to take me.
Keep it simple, and you can learn anything from how a nuclear reactor works to how Joe Satriani get’s those crazy runs on the guitar.
Keep enjoying the summer…