The journey of mastering an instrument such as the guitar has growing pains, highs of accomplishments and periods of lows. It demands the hours and powers of will to get better at. It demands that the seeker of mastery learn to master his/her self-alongside.

Turning the knobs to set the guitar into tune can also turn one’s life around to hit right notes; strengthening the strings of virtues that hold one together and stretching one to do things thought not possible before.

Eventually, the learner of the guitar will come to stage (quite literally) wherein he/she will have the power to move the world with the musical skills honed; the same can happen with all the instrumental (pun intended) skills necessary for a life honed while learning that very instrument.

Patience is the Key (Note)

To say that patience is required to learn to play the guitar is an understatement. There will be many instances of one picking up the guitar but being unable to pick up the intended skill. The good news is that every time it’s put back, one will be closer to locking in on that note like it’s meant to be. Carrying on helps to make it a reality; the wait would make it worth it.

quote about patience
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Life has many such situations wherein what we want doesn’t come to us immediately; it demands our patience. The guitarist can be well placed to handle such situations due to the patience developed during guitar training. The tenacity brought about in the person reminds him/her to continue with efforts even when the required success doesn’t seem to be in sight, leading to avoidance of being filled with frustration.

Two Good

“It takes two to tango”: and it takes two hands to play the guitar as well. A one hand virtuoso virtually doesn’t exist as it literally can’t happen; one hand can’t simultaneously play both the ends of the guitar. To eke out the best from the guitar requires both the hands to be working in tandem.

two children walking together
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It’s not possible, likewise, to go all alone in life. We need others’ help to create and live the life we want to and get things done. We need to work on our communication and understanding over time, as the music can be brought about when both the hands play with communication and understanding developed over time.

Tuning Out

Tuning is the setting of each string to produce a particular note individually, matching an established set. No guitar sounds good if it’s not tuned right. The unwanted sounds produced by a detuned guitar will absolutely ruin the entire experience and make all the efforts put into that performance worthless.

It’s similar to being focused while performing a task; focusing on the task produces the required results. Being distracted is similar to being detuned; only unwanted results will come from it and it will reduce the efforts to nothing.

Variety Works Wonders

A typical guitar has six strings and each of them vary vastly. They are different in many ways: composition, thickness, pitch of the notes produced, tension required to be tuned, and so forth. It truly is a wonder how such diverse set of strings come together to create the ephemeral enchantments each time they are struck. They even complement each other when played individually and in different combinations.

An important take away from this is that variety is the spice of life and that the world is a wonderful place because of it. A guitarist can learn to appreciate the variety of ways in which people and nature exist and function, setting aside biases while contributing in his/her own way to enhance the wonderful music of all life.

Goals Have Holes

Playing the guitar just to achieve goals like being able to play a song or becoming the fastest player, etc. leaves one empty at one point as there is no emotional joy obtained during that journey. It becomes a technical and monotonous exercise that will eventually burn one out.

man writing the word "goals"
Image Courtesy of Jphotostyle

Life is, similarly, to be enjoyed at every moment and be taken as a path to achieve one goal after another as that too will be an empty one devoid of any emotional long term contentment.

Treat your guitar lessons as ‘life lessons’; they really are. Don’t let the spark go; stick to your practice routine, let the fields of patience lay fruit and make a better human out of you a few years down the line.

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