I’m feeling extra playful tonight, so why not reflect and laugh at some of the things I experienced as a newbie 2 1/2 years ago? If you’re a beginner, I hope this helps you realize that you’re not alone. If you’re an advanced player, let’s reminisce together.
ONE – Pain: In the beginning, your forearms and fingers will hurt unlike any pain you’ve ever experienced. It’s the strangest form of fatigue: It’s not the “feel good soreness” after working out but it doesn’t hurt bad enough to see a doctor. You are certain that something’s wrong and you’re on the verge of injuring yourself–do not be alarmed. Despite what you feel, you’re (most likely) doing everything right. The pain will pass when those muscles adapt.
TWO – Sitting down: Please, please, please, do not spend the first year practicing while only sitting down. The time will come when you’re confident enough to jam with your friends and you’ll panic when learn first-hand that standing while playing is not the same.
THREE – Unwanted spotlight: People will constantly ask you to “play something.” It will be awkward to “politely” say no because you will appear unconfident and maybe even rude (depending on the situation/person). But most importantly, when the opportunity passes you will feel like wimp. It’s terrifying as a beginner (I know), so learn an easy song for situations like those because you never want to decline just because you’re nervous. It will not make you feel any better, trust me.
FOUR – Guitar envy: One guitar is not enough. Yes, you can only play one guitar at a time but if you truly think one’s plenty, just wait ’til you play for a while. Over time you’ll learn about different body styles, fretboards, pick ups, etc, and eventually you’ll daydream about blowing your paycheck on another guitar.
FIVE – Ruts: You will go through a phase when you don’t like anything you’re playing or writing. You may even get bored of practicing but just do it. Don’t quit, it’ll pass. These plateaus serve as a precedent to grow as a musician and separates the good players from the talented.
What advice do you wish someone told you early in your music journey?