Call today to book: (646) 485-7244

In Guitar (And Life) Sometimes The Best Part Of A Good Strategy Is The Part Where You Keep Going

In Guitar (And Life) Sometimes The Best Part Of A Good Strategy Is The Part Where You Keep Going

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.

Dan Emery is dedicated to Coaching Personal Greatness, One Lesson At A Time. He is the founder of NYC's friendliest and fastest growing guitar schools, New York City Guitar School, Brooklyn Guitar School, Queens Guitar School and NYC Guitar School, East, and the author of the Amazon best-selling Guitar For Absolute Beginners and six other books on learning guitar and deliberate practice. He coaches new entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator program and especially enjoys helping other Educational Entrepreneurs. He has a Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, extensive performing experience as songwriter and guitarist for The Dan Emery Mystery Band, a wife, three kids, a cat and some juggling equipment.


Get the Latest Tips & News from NYC Guitar School!