Dear NYC Guitar School Community,
For the past two decades I have devoted myself to making learning guitar as absolutely accessible, achievable and easy for my students as possible. “It’s easy to play guitar!” I shouted. “Anybody can learn to do it!” I strove to make every chord, every progression and every piece of theory as easy as possible as NYC Guitar School grew from a single room to thousands of students.
But one day one of my teenage students came in and taught me a valuable lesson. He said, “Hey, Dan—I just realized something.”
“What?” I asked.
“Sometimes guitar playing is just not easy” he explained. “Sometimes it’s just hard, and you just have to keep working at it until you get it, and it takes a lot of time and effort.”
I felt like I’d been hit by a thunderbolt. He was absolutely right. And in my effort to make guitar accessible to people, I’d actually been doing them a disservice by intimating that it was always easy to play guitar. No wonder my students sometimes got discouraged when it wasn’t!
For example, for most beginning guitar players, the G to C change is a giant and inconvenient pain in the phalanges.*
Theoretically, it is easy to get comfortable with the change—after all, you simply need to practice the change somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 times. But, practically, practicing changing from G to C between 1,000 and 2,000 times takes a lot of, uh, practice.
And sometimes that’s not easy!
So let’s not play pretend. Whether we’re learning guitar or chemistry, or getting ready for a concert or an interview, sometimes the most important part of a great strategy isn’t the strategy–it’s the part where you keep going!
And when you get tired, when your fingertips are sore, when you lose your focus, give yourself a pat on the back! In life and guitar playing alike, persevering may not always be easy—but you’ll be glad when you can say “it was worth it!”
On To Greatness!
*A phalange is one of the digital bones of the hand or foot.