When you are an amateur in any field, you are not really immune to the baseless myths that are fluttering around and as a result, you sometimes take the wrong turn which could negatively impact your endeavors. An amateur guitarist is also open to such risks. As a guitarist, the foundation that you develop is what decides how you will be shaped in the future. And if this foundation is based on myths or lies, the building above is meant to sway and eventually crumble. And sometimes these myths even make you question your capabilities and restrict you from pursuing your own interests. So, let us just put a stop to these myths and enter the world of guitar while keeping such misconceptions at bay.
- The guitar is most commonly played because it’s easy.
These days, the guitar is one of the most popularly played instruments. From your relatives, friends, to neighbours, you might personally know a lot of people who play the guitar. And if you go on social media, somehow everyone knows how to play the guitar. Now, if you thought the reasoning behind this is that the guitar is the easiest instrument to play out there, then you are wrong. The guitar is everyone’s favourite, because of its charm and not because it’s easy. Every professional guitarist would agree that learning a guitar demands a lot from you. From having to memorize the chords, learning the chord pattern for different songs, training your fingers to move smoothly along the fretboard and the amount of pain your fingers undergo while pressing the strings is a lot, playing the guitar is anything but easy. It’s as they say that “All beginnings are difficult” but once you ease your way into and master the basics it’s an amazing and comparatively easier road ahead. So, don’t lose hope and stay at it until you get it right. That’s the mantra.
- There is a right age to learn the Guitar
It’s like saying that there is a right age to acquire knowledge. Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds. There is not a right age but only the right passion that you need to learn the Guitar. And some legendary guitarists have proved it to be the case. Wes Montgomery; the famous American Jazz guitarist started when he was 20, Chuck berry; popularly known as “The Father of Rock and Roll” laid his hands on a guitar for the first time when he was 29 and James Lewis Carter Ford started when he was 58. Do you still think that your age decides if you are the right fit to play the guitar? If you are willing to passionately engage with the guitar and dedicate your time towards learning the guitar then you can be 10 or 60 and still master the guitar.
- The length of your fingers determine your ability to play the Guitar
This one is actually quite funny. Don’t you think? If you go by this then God and your genes have been quite unfair in deeming you unsuitable to play the guitar by giving you small fingers. But that is not the case. Think logically, kids these days are really good at playing the guitar and do they have long fingers? No! The length of your fingers determines the kind of guitar you should use and not if you can play the guitar or not. You should just know how to pick the ideal guitar size for yourself. Although the size of your fingers could indeed determine the style of your playing, it doesn’t impact your ability. So, the fact of the matter is that the guitar is not discriminating against people with small hands.
Even though today you can learn how to play the guitar from plenty of online sources, nothing could replace a teacher. It’s like how kids need the guidance of teachers to systematically make their way into the world of learning but adults can still pave a way for themselves. Similarly, amateur guitarists need a teacher who will guide them in the right direction. Once you have formed a strong foundation for yourself, you can very well go and polish the skills on your own but in the initial stages, professional guidance is recommended to avoid any mistakes which could hamper your growth. And a professional will also expose the baselessness of these exact myths that we are talking about.
- An expensive guitar enhances your skills
We all like expensive things, don’t we? And as an aspiring guitarist, you must also have an eye on an expensive guitar but do you believe that an expensive guitar can enhance your skills. If you think so, then let me tell you it’s nothing more than a myth. Prince’s Hohner Madcat, Brian May’s Red Special, Billie Joe Armstrong’s Fernandes S-style were all quite inexpensive but did that stop them from becoming great guitar players? No, right! The fact is that to become a professional, all you need is a decent, perfectly tuned guitar and your dedication. Saying that you couldn’t enhance your skills because you couldn’t afford an expensive guitar is nothing more than just an excuse.
- Great guitarists are not bothered by rules
Guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Alan Holdsworth, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix are known for their unconventional ways of playing the guitar. They experimented with their style and reached the heights that they are at today. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the rules. To begin with, to break the rules and come up with something of your own, you need to understand the rules first. These great guitarists that you look up to first strengthened their foundation and they began to experiment with it. So, the next time someone bothers you by saying that your style of playing is conventional, let them know that learning the conventions is how you acquire the material needed to curate a style of your own.
So, these are some everyday myths that you would definitely hear while planning to learn the guitar. Now, that you are aware of them, you can be wary of them and not let them misguide you.