question #1

"I can't seem to get
beyond the basics.
Everything I try to do
beyond strumming
simple chords
still seems difficult.
Is it me or the guitar?"

- Jason Lanier in Boulder, Colorado

I can almost guarantee anyone that has ever achieved anything with a guitar has had similar feelings at one point or another. In fact, your story probably isn't all that different from anyone else...

A person interested in playing the guitar will listen to a guitarist that is playing and think: "I can do that."

The problem is that, initially, you won't think (or care) about how long this guitarist has been practicing and studying. Therefore, it's easy to get discouraged when you discover that switching simple chords is difficult. And even after six months pass and you can string a few chords together, often times the dismay increases because you're still nowhere near where you think you should be and you may even feel kind of dumb.

But you persevere. And somehow, after a period of time, you begin to notice enough of a difference in your playing which motivates you to really see this thing through.

Although even when you feel like you can do something with your guitar, it still feels like everyone else you hear can do more, which isn't exactly inspirational. In fact, if you let it, it can be down right disheartening. Especially when someone says to you, "Why don't you stop wasting your time with that thing, you're not doing anything with it anyway." This obviously doesn't help because until you really get comfortable with how you play it's much easier to see all the people against you than for you.

But as time passes you stop listening to what people have to say. You really begin to figure out what you want to do with a guitar. You go beyond playing little bits and pieces of things and really start making the kind of music that can only be found inside of you.