I want to get lessons, but before I do, let me get a bit better before coming to see you.
I get that often, or people who ask: “I would love to take lessons so I get better, but what should I know or work on before I come to see you?”.
Isn’t that a bit the same like asking: “How much weight should I aim to lose first before I start the diet?” or… “Which fitness level should I work towards by myself first before I seriously consider your work out program?”
What is the reasoning behind this question?
Isn’t it rather absurd to think that you would get “less” out of the lessons if you’re not much better yet before you start the lessons?
Isn’t it when you still have a lot to learn, that you get the most out of taking lessons??? 🙂
This to me in many ways is REALLY exactly the same like this story I’m sure you heard before:
A woman gets this really gorgeous necklace from her husband, and decides: “It’s so pretty and precious, I will save it for a very special moment or occasion.”
Life, as it does for all of us, flies by, plenty of cool occasions pass by, but woman keeps promising herself that she’ll save it for that one special occasion. She occasionally looks at it because it’s so pretty.
Then one day… she gets sick…
and a couple of months later…
her husband is standing in church at her coffin, where she gets to wear the pretty necklace on this… very special occasion.
Might seem like nothing more than just a story, but I kid you not: I actually DO know people who bought really expensive beautiful living room furniture, but who keep it covered to “keep it nice”, and instead sit in the kitchen at the kitchen table most of the time. Not making this up. What’s the point of not enjoying what you have?
How is this pertaining to learning guitar?
Well… you have this drive, passion and desire to get to the point where you can play all your favorite songs on guitar, or where you can play impressive guitar solos, or where you can write your own songs, or where you can play in a band, or whatever your goals are, but you will never get to enjoy or develop that fully, if you keep postponing getting started with lessons trying to figure everything out by yourself instead.
Hence: the question “how good a musician should I aim to become first before I will take lessons” is having things a bit backwards.
Like the woman in the above story who kept wondering: how good an occasion should I wait for before I can enjoy my beautiful necklace?
Postponing lessons in favor of doing some self-study first, is like waiting for the right moment to start taking lessons, only to eventually end up missing out completely. (Again: the woman and the necklace)
People who inquire about getting started before they get started, never get started. They only end up with regrets down the line.
Like the woman who never go to enjoy the beautiful things she had, because she kept postponing till a better time, which never came.
This self study trap is a waste of time and talent, and hence defeats the whole purpose of taking lessons, which is: progressing 10-15 faster than you could achieve by yourself.
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Have fun! 🙂