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Enjoy Your Progress

Musicians generally share the idea that they are never done; there is always one more piece, another
technique, an alternate phrasing etc… These ideas coupled with the selfish nature of learning an
instrument the tendency can be to focus on deficiencies instead of what we have accomplished. Why
is this? I know that I am guilty of it myself, yet when I am teaching, I focus on what my students have
accomplished because I can see in them that they only realize what they have left to do, learn or
accomplish.

Look back

Instead of always learning new music, go back. Revisit a piece you learned some time ago. By this I
do not mean a month, six months or even a year. If you have been playing long enough, go back three
years; go back to your freshman year of college or before. Pull out the study in B minor by Sor (or any
other piece) you learned because you were instructed to. Play it, learn it and enjoy it! My guess is that
you will enjoy playing through the B minor study or any other piece you learned and realizing how far
you have come. This time when you are learning try applying all of the ideas you have learned, hear
things in new ways, play it differently than you did then and experience how far you have come as a
player. As existential as this sounds, it is incredibly gratifying! I recently began working on the Sor
Mozart variations for fun. It is a completely different piece to me now that it was five years ago when I
learned it for my junior recital.

Never forget

We play guitar so we can play and make music. Connect with people in a different way than is possible
through any other form of communication. Enjoy the journey you have traveled so far, look back from
time to time and do not get caught up in where you are going all the time. It is incredible rewarding to
revisit pieces and can reveal how far you have come and possible make the path you need to continue
on clearer!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 December 31
    Douglas permalink

    Seth artical has a good point. I have just come back from my brother, playing around with guitars. My brother said to me I have stop enjoying playing my guitar. And thats because I am looking to the next level. So as Seth wrote look back in the past and remember the enjoyment you got when you first played your piece. So make time for the piece you have learnt in the pass.

  2. 2013 May 27

    This article make me think about the pass when I started to learn guitar, at that time I wanted to play alots simple rythm and now I made it, haha. Thank you so much !

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