What it Takes to Play Guitar
Musical Instruments, Music Education, Music Lessons
In the late 1950’s, there was a working-class lad from England. He was really into blues, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and rock and roll. A couple of his mates were forming a band and asked him if he wanted to join. The lad said “yes”, and got himself an old, used guitar.
Back then, there were no videos. There were almost no private lessons. There certainly wasn’t an Internet, so you couldn’t just download tabs of your favourite songs. And there weren’t live tapes of every show from your favourite band. There were single records, either 78’s or 45’s, depending on the artist, and albums. Most people didn’t even have anything to tape the radio with at the time.
At the time, the best way to learn how to play was to hang out with someone who already knew how and have him teach you. If you could learn what the person taught you to play by the next time you saw him, he might teach you a little more. If you didn’t learn it, though, you usually didn’t get a second opportunity.
So, this lad found himself a slightly older mate to teach him some songs. The problem was that it didn’t come easy to him. He literally had to practice fourteen hours to learn things that most players could learn in a half-hour. But he really, really wanted to play guitar, and he spent every waking hour trying to learn the most elementary of chords, licks, and songs.
Even when his local bands started to become popular, he was still somewhat understated, and still had to practice a lot more than anyone else. But he was handsome, and such a nice guy that people wanted to help him out. Eventually, he carved out a pretty nice career in music.
His name: George Harrison. Even if you are very young, you may have heard of him. He played in a popular band called The Beatles.
George Harrison had more of one thing than maybe any musician of his era: desire. He wanted to play guitar more than he wanted anything in the entire world. It doesn’t take obsession to be a guitar player, but it certainly helps.
If you really want to play and are willing to put in the time, you can play the guitar. We’ll talk more next month.
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