Perseverance - the Key to Guitar Success...

Most guitar players will feel a little guilty as they admit that they lack perseverance. All of us do. And, most players would agree that a lack of perseverance is an area that could stand improvement. 

After all, it's hard to deal with the ups and downs of guitar practice. However, through dedication, determination and perseverance we can most certainly work on ourselves and from that work, we can become a superior type of guitar student...

Is there really such thing as “developing perseverance?” Is it really possible to create this personality trait within ourselves, or is perseverance something that only "some" people are born with, and others will never build into their personality? Or, is perseverance only there when other things are along side it to reinforce its existence?

Within most people, perseverance is there when knowledge and understanding are present. If however, knowledge and understanding are not there, if ignorance is there instead, then perseverance will not be there either. When there are combined elements that allow for variables in how we relate information on perseverance we should be able to have this trait grow within us. These variables need to be taken into consideration if we are ever going to fully develop our skills with rapid success.

I've heard far too many guitar players say “I get frustrated when I practice. I have no patience.” No, it is not patience they lack, it is perseverance, knowledge and understanding.

To grow past this, the guitar player needs to understand the cause and effect relationship of all the elements involved in building more perseverance. The guitarist needs to understand about preparing for study time, working in their practice time frames, and how, over the months ahead, these "techniques and systems for practice" can mature and create the ultimate music practice routine.

Guitar Players need to understand that part of our job (during musical study periods) is to cooperate intelligently with a set of natural forces that have their own power, work on their own systems, and do it all on their own terms and timetable. These are controlled largely by our personal thoughts - which are resting upon our belief systems.

Of course, there are things we can do to optimize the conditions in which these forces are working (so that they are more beneficial for us and produce better and perhaps even somewhat faster results). This is all part of being a well balanced guitar student.

When we sit down to practice, (which is at the core of building skill on the guitar), we are working with, or against, a set of natural forces that come from our beliefs and from all of our personality traits. If we understand these forces, if we know how to work with them, we will find our skills growing day by day, as a result of all the study efforts we make.

No part of the process should surprise or dismay us. We can't expect things to happen that are impossible to happen. There's no need to have fits of anger, or feelings of despair just because we are not seeing the results that we want fast enough. Also, just because when we know how to practice correctly, we can't expect that we will always achieve "perfect" results.

Once we move past these feelings of "expecting" our minds to behave in certain ways, we  will still require patience, and we will always need perseverance because there will be always be skills that we want to attain. This is nothing to become impatient about.We just need to be aware of it happening and learn to control it.

When most guitar players practice, there are times when they do nothing but fail, over and over, hundreds, and even thousands of times. Often, when we are trying to do something, and we just can’t do it, the entire process can drive us crazy. But, what we do with those feelings matters the most.

During a practice session, you may think that you have it down solid, and then you go to play it with a drum loop or record it, and it falls apart!

Should you start yelling? Would it help to start crying?
No, of course not. Just keep going, or maybe just take a break and come back in 15 min. Start fresh, learn to break away and begin again. It's healthy and it works wonders.

When it comes to guitar study make a pledge to never lose it. When you have a problem,  study it. Whatever it is, whatever has happened, whatever you just messed up study it, objectively, like a scientist.That's how you get more and more guitar breakthroughs.

Work hard to understand the cause and effect relationship of how your practicing the music, and how you are attempting to do every detail of it (including; fingering, positioning, etc).   Begin to experiment with new approaches based on investigations.

You'll want to do this because there is a cause and effect relationship between your efforts and your results. If it’s not working, then there is something that you are not seeing yet, and instead of “losing your mind” instead focus your attention more strongly, look more closely to see what you are obviously missing.

By learning to fail and learning how to deal with how that feels, what you're actually doing is reprogramming your mind to learn to never fail. It may take you weeks, months, or years, but over time you'll always reach your goals.

This all comes down to attitude. Perseverance is simply a result of your "knowledge of the process" for which I you are engaged, that’s all. We can define “perseverance” in this way:

"A state of relaxed, alert, and expectant composure that derives from engaging in a goal directed activity of which we have complete knowledge and understanding of the cause and effect dynamics of that process."

That’s it. That is what perseverance is. To put it in simple language, “perseverance” is what you get when you are smart and can handle the control of your attitude and belief systems.

Perseverance is characterized by a continuation of effort toward a goal, based on our understanding of what necessary efforts must be made. The opposite is surrender, the ceasing of our efforts because we simply don’t know what to do.

For this reason, I say to all sincere seekers of guitar playing ability: learn the science of correct practice. Work hard at developing the knowledge and understanding of your own personal mental laws (that control how your fingers learn to make the movements). Once you have control over mental state and over your personal belief systems, you'll be able to develop your skills faster and you'll have better control over your ability to reach higher level playing goals.



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