Guitar Blog

How to feel fulfilled in your guitar playing… without having to be “the best”

Dave Tran

Playing the guitar has taken me a lot of places.

I’ve toured around the world with my own band. I’ve played on stage with my heros like Jared Leto from Thirty Seconds to Mars. I’ve created almost 300 Youtube guitar tutorials that have been viewed more than 15 million times.

But are all those things what make me happy about playing guitar? They’ve definitely been super fun! 

But none of those things have lasted (or will last) forever for me.

At the end of the day, after all those awesome experiences, I keep playing guitar for one reason:

I enjoy it. No matter where it takes me (or doesn’t take me). 

I still practice, I still try to get better, learn new songs, write my own.

But somewhere along the line I realized that I reached a point where I truly enjoyed playing guitar. 

Not enjoying it for “where it could take me”.

Not enjoying it for “how good I could be” years down the road. 

Not enjoying it for “how many people I could impress”.

I enjoyed playing guitar for its own sake. I enjoyed my skill for what it was. Yes, I even enjoyed listening to my own music (not in a narcissistic way).

I got the same kind of enjoyment and appreciation out of listening to my own playing as if I were listening to any other artist or band I liked. Without always picking apart my playing. 

And I can even (this might sound kinda weird) admire my own skill! Even though I’m not “the best” guitar player. 

Here’s a “revolutionary” idea that, when you really truly understand it, will totally change the way you pursue guitar:

Your enjoyment of something doesn’t have to be based on whether or not it’s the best. 

If we only enjoyed the best of everything, we’d be pretty disappointed almost ALL THE TIME.

The same goes for your own guitar skills. You can truly enjoy and be satisfied with your guitar playing no matter how good you are compared to someone else.

This leads into your second Sage Stage advantage:

Sage Stage Advantage #2: Your Maturity

Here’s the thing about these young guitar wiz kids we’ve been talking about:

Most of the time, they are desperate for people’s attention and approval. And that’s often a primary motivation for getting really good at stuff, like guitar.

So they have a harder time enjoying playing the guitar (or anything they work really hard at) just for its own sake. And that’s not really their fault. They are just naturally less secure in themselves and aren’t mature in their sense of identity yet. We all experience that at times.

On the other hand, the older you get, the more comfortable you become in your own skin. 

And the more you’re able to enjoy your hobbies for their own sake, without always feeling unfulfilled because you’re constantly seeking approval and validation from other people.

Or because you can always find someone better than you.

Now, of course I’m speaking in generalities here. Yes, there will be some kids who don’t care as much about getting attention for their skills. And likewise there will be some adults who crave it all the time.

But in general, the older you get, the more capacity you have to enjoy playing guitar or restoring old cars or playing golf or woodworking or photography on a deeper level.

Is jamming on stage and playing in a band and recording music and touring a lot of fun?

Heck yeah!! I freaking loved doing those things. And if that’s what you’re shooting for, I wholeheartedly tell you that you should make that your goal.

But just remember that it truly never is too late to learn guitar. 

And if you’re worried that it will take you forever to make serious progress in your skills with the small amount of freetime and limited motivation you have, I’ve designed my guitar learning system to be the easiest, most efficient way you can learn guitar based on my 10+ years of experience.

And it will help you avoid the “bodybuilder” syndrome of being lopsided in your skills and full of bad habits that are difficult to reverse.

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