Natural talent – do I need it to play the guitar?

At some point we all struggle to break the barriers of our technical abilities – we can not improve chord changes, the speed of scales, legato or it takes us a very long to master certain things. This is when this thought creeps into our mind. “Maybe I’m not talented?”

Having a natural talent is definitely a great thing. Everything comes easily, memorising is a breeze, technical difficulties almost don’t exist. We look with envy at all these great musicians ripping off the neck, playing the scales with lightning speed. How lucky are they to have these abilities? But maybe it is not talent, maybe it is a hard work? Maybe you can trigger your talent by practicing the guitar the right way?

A long time ago I had a student. He came to one of my lessons with two of his friends. He was definitely the one that did not have “it”. He was not quick with memorising and it looked like everything was a struggle. The group class was not fun for him. What others played with ease, he struggled with a lot. After few months they decided to quit as a group. Something came up and they could not make it together anymore. They decided to take lessons separately.

To cut the long story short, the two of his friends who were very very good, after another couple of months quit. But the guy who was struggling kept coming back. We worked on basic strumming, simple scales, on songs, …. There was a lot of frustration and a lot of fun. Guess what? After a couple of years, he really had a breakthrough. He really became a good guitarist. He took it at his own pace, he did not compare himself to others, just worked on his thing. I was amazed. Persistence and the will to play the guitar pushed him to a place nobody thought was achievable.

His friends don’t play the guitar anymore – how do I know it? The second person from the group became his wife 🙂 So I had the first-hand experience.

The question is. Maybe he developed his talent? Maybe hard work triggering something inside of him?

Natural abilities make things faster, but I have observed one thing. People for whom things come easily, usually quit very quickly. They don’t know how to deal with big struggles. On the other hand, the ‘struggling’ person is surrounded by difficulties from day one. He learns how to deal with struggles, so somehow he develops this 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. But I love it. I hope you will also persist, keep practicing and never give up! The reward of being able to play the guitar is priceless.


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