You’ve been up late practicing all week. The repetitive click of the metronome has been scorched into your eardrums. Your fingers feel like you just ran them through the garbage disposal.
Despite this adversity, however, you’re not suffering. On the contrary, these are battle scars, indicating you’ve just put in real work, and you have a sick new lick to show for it.
As guitar players, most of us have an innate urge to perform for other people. We yearn to show off our skills, share our abilities and engage with an audience, even if it’s only an audience of one.
Some guitar players can get a little nervous in these situations, but after all the practice you’ve put in this week, nerves aren't going to be an issue.
You proudly march out to the living room where your significant other is residing, prepared to deliver one of the finest guitar masterpieces ever witnessed. You plop yourself down next to her and casually pronounce, “Hey honey, check out this lick I’ve been working on.”
She agrees, and the moment of truth has arrived. You recall the many nights of practicing, knowing it has all been for this single moment of glory. You don’t crack under the pressure; you soar above it and execute your lick perfectly. As you strike the final note, your head jerks up, searching for approval. You’re overflowing with pride. The only thing that could be more exciting than what you just played is an enthusiastic “WOW, that was amazing!” from your audience. You wait anxiously for her reaction.
She begins to speak, and you can hardly contain yourself.
“That was cool! Um, but, have you heard that song 'Blank Space' by Taylor Swift?”
It takes a second for the words to fully sink in, but when they do, there is no worse feeling to endure. You listen helplessly as your girl goes on and on about the guitar prowess of Taylor Swift. You don’t have the mental strength to even fathom an argument. The only thing you can do is stand up, collect what is left of your dignity and walk away in silence. This is how guitar players suffer.
Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win (opens in new tab). His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.