As with so many things, the truest and most lasting growth comes with balance. Balancing your tutelage with free-form exploration will not only make you a more rounded musician, but it will make you unique.
Playing guitar – much like piano, drums, and most other instruments – requires both hands to work together; sometimes in tandem, sometimes as opposing forces. As beginners it can be extremely frustrating to find ourselves very one-handed in the early stages of our playing, and the flawless synchronisation of more experienced players can seem utterly perplexing and unimaginable.
Anyone who has ever attempted to play a musical instrument will eventually reach the dreaded plateau. The state where you feel like you’re treading water, and progress seems to stop dead in its tracks. However, it’s important to recognise the beauty of this metaphor is that plateaus are, first and foremost, high ground. From a plateau, however long and flat, we can see both the valley below and the next peak in the distance.
We’ve all been guilty of getting stuck in our ways. It’s often easier and more comfortable for us as human beings to stick to convention, however, as musicians, do we need to be more careful about what we listen to; and, perhaps more importantly, concern ourselves with what we’re missing out on when we accept and conform to our existing musical tastes.
Know why your practise is important and you’ll find the when and how far easier to prioritise.