No Secrets, Just Practice

Anthony Stauffer of recently wrote an article titled No Secrets, Just Practice providing his thoughts about what it takes to get better, responding in part to my article The Secret to Becoming a Better Guitarist. In that article, I posited that there actually are no secrets; Anthony agrees, but says that there are shortcuts:

My thoughts on this are similar with one exception. There are shortcuts. I spent hours, upon hours learning the things I teach here. I can tell you more in a one hour lesson than I learned in 6 months. But here’s the catch. During that 6 months, I was playing. A lot. So while I might not have had as much information as someone with my lessons will have, that forced me to play all the time just to make something sound good.

I agree with him. Finding a good teacher will help immensely. Whether it be online lessons like Anthony provides at Stevie Snacks, or in-person lessons with an instructor at a local music store, I highly recommend finding a teacher that you can relate to. However, regardless of whether you find a teacher or decide to learn by listening to albums, it’s going to take time to improve. While I’m extremely grateful that you’re visiting this site and reading what I write, I can only provide information. I can’t play for you (nor would you probably want me to!). If you want to get better at playing the guitar, you’re going to have to play the guitar. It’s that simple and that hard.


  1. says

    Absolutely. If you practice with both your hands and your mind, you will get better. Others can show you shortcuts, but they can’t magically input “guitar godhood” into you with a magic “secret”. Too many people spend their time looking for magic pills instead of doing the necessary work in life. And that goes for more than just playing guitar.

  2. says

    I agree, I’ve always thought of it like exercising, a “magic pill”, sitting at the juice bar, or actually working out 1 day a week won’t get it done! If you’re passionate about guitar you’ll want to put your hands on it every chance you get.

  3. says

    I must say this is a pretty good point. Playing hard and playing long is one sure-win secret to improving. Just that sometimes, it helps to re-packaging that tip into a “magic pill” that andre mentioned.

  4. says

    It’s important to exercise the mind and body in general. When it comes to music you can be a very plain and uninteresting player if you only exercise your fingers.

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