The Secret 

As a musician and music teacher, I see a growing trend in music that involves a lessening of actual musical ability & understanding. Music is a craft that has to be developed over time. Consistent practice and study of music is very important in order to obtain the skills that are necessary to be a good musician. Practicing music insures muscle memory and development. Study of music theory and music history develops the mind to be able to utilize the skills obtained in practicing to the fullest.

What I see with some of the musicians that I interact with and many students is a search for the secret that will unlock the possibility for them without effort. When there is no secret. It is only through a consistent practice regiment and study regiment that you're able to obtain a level of proficiency in music. That's the secret!

The problem with this answer is that many people do not have the time in their lives right now to be able to put forth the kind of regiments that are necessary in order to attain these goals. And so, many people are sucked into this kind of mentality that involves searching for an easy answer to this problem. This has brought forth a lot of different things in our world of music such as books on how to learn the guitar in one day or Internet sites to claim to teach you how to play the guitar in only a few weeks of training. An entire cottage industry of quick learning music education businesses have sprung forth from this.

When someone asks me how long would it take for them to be able to play guitar as well as I do, I tell them about 31 1/2 years because that's how long I've been playing the guitar! I have never stops learning and/or practicing the guitar and, if I don't practice, my skill level goes down. All the greatest musicians that have ever lived have considered themselves to be a student until the day they died.

Does this mean that you have to quit your day job and start practicing 8 to 10 hours a day? Not necessarily, not unless you want to be a concert violinist or the top studio guitarist in Nashville, Tennessee. But, if you were a concert violinist or the top studio guitarist in Nashville your day job would be to practice and study music continuously! All I am trying to say is that if you want to be a musician, you have to make practicing and studying music a priority in your life in someway. Even if it's only for a few minutes every day or even an hour if you have the time! Do that and you will find your abilities in music will become much better and that you will enjoy playing music so much more!


James Murrell