Ξ Leave a comment

“I Know Kung Fu…”

posted by

It’s a scene from the classic movie, The Matrix. The recently enlightened Neo (Keanu Reeves) has various skills/talents/abilities downloaded straight into his brain, one being the ability to instantly kick butt in various forms of martial arts.

…how do you expect me to solo over a song in the key of Bb!? You know I’m strictly Em!?!…

I for one wish I could download several kick butt guitar skills. “Where’s my Mixolydian/Phrygian hybrid upgrade!?”, “Super-speed shred download NOW!!!”.

Unfortunately for me, my in-built computer ‘Says No‘.

With the busyness of life; work, family etc, I find it difficult to find the time to practice, and any spare windows of opportunity I do get to plugin and play usually finds me experimenting with my amp settings and/or effects pedals, leaving little room for learning new riffs or techniques.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation.

To offer some encouragement to others who desire the ability to download numerous patches of black-belt guitar skills, there’s a couple of aspects to guitar playing progression that’s really helped me to be satisfied with my current abilities/inabilities, despite the ‘constraints of life’:

  1. Don’t strive. It’s far too exhausting (mentally as well as physically) to constantly be dissatisfied if you’re not reaching a certain ‘standard’. Take it one step at a time. There’s no rush; music is supposed to be fun (isn’t that the reason we picked up a guitar in the first instance!?).
  2. Don’t try too hard to play like your heroes. I for one openly admit I spent many hours copying Hendrix’ playing style in my early days of playing the guitar, and I found it so disheartening when I heard other guitarists nailing certain guitar parts that I knew would take me millennia to master. Furthermore, I’ve realised over the past year or so that I’ve drawn more inspiration from the guys I play music with on a weekly basis, that they’re my new guitar heroes! Who needs the likes of Hendrix when you have your friends to inspire you?

Sure, there’ll be times when I’m given the nod by the person leading the band prompting me to play a solo, and you can bet my mind will be racing with fear; “What, you mean now? But I’m not ready… I’m not in ‘the zone’, and besides, how do you expect me to solo over a song in the key of Bb!? You know I’m strictly Em!?! Arrrgghhhh!

But if you play with your heart, draw inspiration from the musicians around you, and play with enjoyment, you’ll probably find that you won’t long to plug into The Matrix.

Well, not that often…

Share This Article

You may also like...

Submit your equipment reviews

Do you own a guitar, amp, effects pedal or guitar accessory that you love (or hate!). If so, become a Guitar Jar Magazine Contributor and submit your reviews for other guitarists to read.

About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Search Guitar Jar Magazine

Facebook

Sign up to our Mailing List

* indicates required

I'm interested in: