I remember a mother approaching me after her daughter had just finished a lesson.
“Does she have it?”, the mother asked.
I asked to clarify, “Have what, sorry?”
“Well, does she have it, is she going to make it? Does she have
I looked into the daughter’s eyes, perplexed. She was about 8, and I thought to myself, “this could be a big game changing event for her based on what I say next.”
It may seem to you the natural talent (someone who has a knack or ability without previous work or effort), appears to be generously laden on some and restricted from those who would most desire its use. Not fair, right?
It’s during these times that I refer myself back to those who have labored and worked hard for what they wanted, after MULTIPLE failed attempts (or shall we say, didn’t seem to have the natural talent at first glance):
• Thomas Edison – The Light Bulb
• Michael Jordan – Multi-Disciplined Sports Career
• Mahatma Gandhi – Freedom from British Occupation
One of my mentors Tom Hess recently referred me to a specific scene in a movie called Facing The Giants. In this movie, there is an incredible and emotionally charged scene where one of the main members of the team is “Pre-determining” their upcoming loss to a rival.
The coach, floored by the gaze from him and comment, takes the player, and puts him through a physically difficult exercise. This exercise requires one to crawl on all fours, without the knees or elbows touching the ground. If that weren’t enough, another teammate is required on top of the crawling player. For full effect, please watch the clip here:
I don’t remember the exact words I ended up telling the mother or daughter, but it was along the lines as follows, “If she wants to learn guitar, she can”. That simple. Natural talent – does it really matter? Not if you have a desire beyond the need for “Natural Talent”. Natural talent, then, is much more of an illusion and comparing yourself to someone else is not useful, and puts you at a lower potential of possibility.
If you want to be a guitarist, if you want to play like you have always dreamed with ease, clarity, comfort, it is going to take WORK, it’s going to take practice. At times you will be frustrated, you will want to give up, but when we have a reason and a vision for why we are doing something, that’s the exact fuel we need to help keep us going. Also, this is why having the right guitar instructor and coach will help your journey greatly. They will help you through your challenges, see you to victories, and provide you a great and rewarding experience.
About The Author: Jonathan Olson is a guitar instructor and is the owner of The Guitar Circle, a guitar studio located in the heart of downtown Everett, WA. Here he lives with his family, loves coffee, reading books, and most of all, helping people learn how to play guitar. Check him out at www.theguitarcircle.org