Sunday Morning Sermon: The Way To Greatness Is Commitment To Failure.



                         Many people trying to learn any instrument seldom are attempting to learn anything because they are attempting to succeed. Music is not a goal or contest of superiority, it is an activity born out of the deepest parts of the human soul. That sounds great, but if that is true; then that means music is available to every human being. Furthermore, if its in our souls, its in our brains as well and studies have shown that 2 hours a week of practice can actually grow certain regions of the brain, that means that if you practice:

  • 17 minutes a day 7 days a week 
  •  24 minutes 5 days a week
  • 20 minutes X 23 days a week

You can get better no matter what. So what is stopping you?

            Motivation must come from within and you must practice to fail, play fast enough that you can play under a little duress and fail all over the fretboard. Doing this activity is what your personality needs to let go of disappointment. In my years of experience as a guitar teacher/coach, I’ve heard millions of bad reasons and explanations for why they failed at a certain chord shape or techniques. I’ve heard that their hands were too small, too big, stupid hands, or bad genes. I’ve also heard that “they don’t really care if they do it or not” or “they aren’t trying to be a rock star or go on tour anyways”. I have no problem with a player/student that just wants to have fun and learn at a leaisurely pace, but plots forward towards their goals; even if it’s a goal like: improvise solos over Comfortably Numb on Saturday night at your friends house. Some of the best students I ever had were not always the technically best, they were people who were motivated intrinsically, had goals, and were inwardly prepared to meet the hardships ahead.

                 Disappointment is the attorney in court prosecuting you right now about your playing and why should you be taking lessons/ practicing/bother even trying.It seems to me that the problem is never stupid hands or bad genes, rather a commitment to success without being interviewed by failure who is the gatekeeper to success. Stop looking past failure and acting like you are not afraid of it! Its time to face it and laugh at ourselves to return our natural wonder and awe of the instrument. Disappointment needs to be eradicated and replaced with slow and careful handling of your musical phrases (whatever they may be ), but it can’t stop until you deal with that little devil that makes you question yourself and rob you of your passion.

                 Remember, the more you let disappointment rule you, the more blood, passion, and sweat it steals from you and those are the ingredients to success.Make your practice structure and your motivation and discipline spiritual. Motivation comes from within like a pilot light, now go! Turn yours on!