This post is inspired by guitar students who often tell me they need to take a few months off from guitar. It usually happens in a summer time when the weather is nice and there are so many other cool things to do. I receive emails from them saying that ‘work’ is busy and they have lots of ‘other commitments’ and they need to take a time off from guitar for a few months. When the summer comes suddenly a lot of people forget why they originally started playing guitar and what they wanted to achieve. No surprise that after the summer they still suck and feel bad about their progress or actually lack of it.
There is no such thing as taking a break from guitar. Did Jimi Hendrix take any break from guitar in his life? or BB King? or Steve Vai? The answer is no! How can you take a break from living your own life? Playing guitar is more than just playing few chords on every other weekend or evening when you have nothing better to do. It is a way of life. Guitar requires your constant attention and dedication.
Guitar is a way of life
Guitar will never feel natural to you unless you don’t make some necessary lifestyle changes. By that I mean playing every day, not making excuses to practice, not making excuses to come to guitar lessons, not making excuses to meet other musicians. Not making excuses to take your guitar with you wherever you go. Not making excuses to keep your guitar out of the guitar case( that is ridiculous but some people actually hide their guitars and forget that they play it)
If guitar was easy everybody will be a rockstar!
The reason why people fail at guitar is that they give up too early or they don’t put enough effort. Guitar takes a lot of time and practice and people can not put up with that especially when there are so many distractions around. Becoming a guitarist is a matter of choice. To become one you need to invest hundreds or thousands of hours of deliberate practice. You need to make sacrifice. Where would your favourite bands be if their member took time off from making music? Where would Jimi Hendrix end up if he didn’t play guitar non stop? Probably he won’t become an iconic guitar player for next generations after his death.
Action Plan There is only one thing to do, you need to keep playing as much as you can and never skip practice sessions as this develops a bad mental habit. Plan your holiday around guitar, take your guitar to the party and play for your friends. Invite friends to jam with you. Join a band or start one. Go to gigs and read guitar magazines. Never forget the reasons why you originally started playing guitar.