What comes to your mind when you think of somebody with a natural talent? You probably envision a person with no difficulties learning, mastering and applying ideas on the guitar. Memorising is a breeze, and technical difficulties almost don’t exist. It might feel like natural talent makes everything easy.
It looks like a person with natural talent has some superpowers in comparison to typical guitar players who struggle with chord changes, learning new things, not to mention playing fast guitar licks. This is when this thought may start creeping into your mind: “Maybe I’m just not talented?”
A long time ago, I had a student. He signed up for my private guitar lessons (Guitar lessons in South West London) with two of his friends. They were total beginners and wanted to learn the guitar together. Two of them were fast learners, the other guy was the definition of a person that ‘doesn’t have it’. What others played with ease, he struggled with quite a lot. I was convinced that he would be the first one to quit.
After a few sessions, they decided to quit as a group as something came up, and they could not make the guitar lessons together anymore. They decided to take lessons separately. After a few months, the student that ‘didn’t have it’ was the only one still taking lessons with me, as the other ones had stopped. With this student, we worked on basic strumming, simple scales, and songs…. There was a lot of frustration and a lot of fun.
He gradually became a really good guitarist, and after a couple of years, he had a breakthrough. I was amazed. Persistence and the will to play the guitar pushed him to a place nobody thought was achievable. He took it at his own pace and did not compare himself to others.
He was definitely not a person with a natural talent to play the guitar, but maybe he ‘developed his talent’? Maybe hard work triggered something inside of him? One of the reasons he was eventually successful on the guitar is that he made playing the guitar part of his lifestyle. He fell in love with practising and made room in his daily schedule to pick up the guitar, even for a few minutes.
Natural abilities definitely can help develop great guitar skills faster, but I have observed one thing. People for whom things come easily usually quit very quickly, as they don’t know how to deal with bigger struggles. On the other hand, the ‘struggling’ person is surrounded by difficulties from day one. He learns how to deal with those obstacles, so somehow, he develops a mindset that keeps pushing him to the next level no matter what.
I am not naturally talented. It took me a long time to achieve a certain level of guitar skills myself. But I love it. I hope you will also persist, keep practising and never give up! The reward of being able to play the guitar is priceless.
Don’t forget to make learning the guitar part of your lifestyle – pick up the guitar every day!
Darius | Guitar Couch Lessons