You Can’t Be Anything You Want to Be

guitar tips

But you can be a lot more of who you already are.

When you put most your energy into developing your natural talents, extraordinary growth is possible.

There is no way I could become the next Michael Jordan. For one thing, I am only 6 feet tall. My genetics have made it extremely hard for me to make it into the NBA. That coupled with the fact that I am a white boy who can’t jump really slims my chances of being an All Star down to almost zero.

Your efforts are much more effectively spent leveraging your own talents. You don’t have to learn country guitar if you are a heavy metal shredder. You do not need to master acoustic folk songwriting if you are a funk machine. Of course it doesn’t hurt to be exposed to new things and styles. After all, you may discover a hidden talent or passion within yourself. But if you know you aren’t something, then don’t waster your time trying to be whatever that is!

There is a great formula in the opening chapters of Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder 2.0:

Talent X Investment = Strength

Talent: A Natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving

Investment: The time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base.

Strength: The ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance.

Building your talents into strengths requires practice and hard work. If you are born with the ability to build large biceps, but you do not exercise these muscles regularly, they will not develop. Much like mastering the guitar. You may have an uncanny talent for music and guitar, but if you don’t practice and strive to improve, you will never maximize your guitar potential.

So what are your talents? What are you passionate about? Are you sure you aren’t trying to be something that you are not?

More Tips From Jeff Beck

I don’’t understand why some people will only accept a guitar if it has an instantly recognizable guitar sound. Finding ways to use the same guitar people have been using for 50 years to make sounds that no one has heard before is truly what gets me off.
-Jeff Beck

Take 15-30 minutes and examine your playing style. Are you still copying those Van Halen or SRV licks? If so, it might just be time to branch out and expand your musicality.

All the most influential and recognized players have become so by being just a little bit different, original, and exciting. Sure if you can play every note in Flight of the Bumblebee just like John Petrucci, you probably are a badass. But, discovering your own creative individuality is a million times more exciting for you, and your fans.

See if you can name 3 things that distinguish your style from anyone else’’s. What’’d you come up with?

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