As I frequently mention in my Guitar Mastery Blueprint speaking presentations, I have been coaching guitarists pretty much full time for 20+ years. After spending this kind of time, 30-40 hours per week with all kinds of different personalities that have an almost identical goal in mind, it really becomes quite easy to start identifying certain behavioral patterns and traits that invariably lead to VERY specific results – either positive (rarely) or negative (much more often…)
So, I will start a series of posts dealing with the issue of being a self-taught guitarist. However, before I continue, I want to make 2 very important clarifications

1)      This post refers to people that are self-taught by CHOICE – not for any other reason

2)      I am referring to those that wish to become excellent at the specific art form – not to people that are cool with being “just ok” with it, play a few songs for their friends etc.

So, I get very often the question about whether is it possible to learn guitar by yourself – that is be Self-Taught. We are talking about reaching a high-quality, contemporary level guitar playing, similar to the skillset of the top professional in the field, people like John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, Paul Gilbert, etc… You get the idea.

The problem with this question is first of all the PHRASING of the question. Let me illustrate.

Just a few weeks ago, I read that during the last 25 years, around 20 (more or less) people have survived jumping from high flying airplanes, either WITHOUT a parachute, or (in most cases) with a parachute that FAILED to open.

These people SURVIVED (having sustained various heavy injuries, obviously).

So, it is very clear that, it is POSSIBLE to jump from a flying airplane without a parachute and survive

Is it PROBABLE to survive this, though?  Not really…I forget the exact statistics, but I think I remember the chances being roughly around 1 out of 200,000 to survive this kind of thing. Which brings me to my next point…

Is it ADVISABLE to TRY this? Obviously, the answer here is DEFINITELY not! And , if you are wondering, think what you would say if your child, or any person you love came to you and told you that they are planning to jump out of a high flying plane without a parachute…. 😉

“But”, I hear 4,672 self-taught guitarists cry, “I have heard that Yngwie/Marty/Steve were self taught!!! How do you explain that?!?!?!”

Guys (and girls)…these are the ones that JUMPED and SURVIVED.

Before you start “cheering” of the validity and efficiency their method – PLEASE inquire about  the vast numbers of those that “jumped” and did not survive…

The same argument can be made about all kinds of really dangerous stunts and even totally freaky stuff, like running multiple times across 8 lanes of traffic blindfolded or shooting yourself in the head.

A (very) small percentage of people will survive these activities (even being shot in the head)…

Feel free to cheer for them and make them feel really good for themselves that they made it.

But don’t forget the ones that did not…

To be Continued


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