Monday, 2 August 2010

Seeking the Truth (part 2)

Yet again the debates on the music radar forum have given me sufficient cause to assemble my thoughts on another topic very much important to making progress when studying the guitar.

When it comes to making real and valuable progress when studying an instrument, an open mind is essential. I've been playing and teaching a long time but I didn't realise until relatively recently how much some people are very protective of their knowledge, and close-minded in both their playing, and their approach to learning. Where it may seem strange to some people, I actually make a point of taking lessons with pretty much anyone who I feel I can learn from and I've made enquiries with some people from the music radar forum (Sir Axeman, who declined, and fantastic blues/slide guitarist Lewy), and in time I'm hoping that at some point I will get around to taking a lesson with Clarky, Lewy, and Thing (other music radar forum contributors and great players in their own right) because these people do things and play the guitar from a different musical and cultural background from myself.

Where nothing more than my own blinkered view of the world is informing my playing, my potential to grow and develop as a player will forever be unnecessarily limited unless I explore the guitar with an open mind. My own playing is very much informed by what I've learned from others which is directly related to taking a very open-minded attitude to playing and learning. My approach to teaching is very similar, and if I have any students who take an interest in a style of playing or particular technique which I know some very good other local teachers specialize in, I'm sufficiently well networked with them to always have a referral option if people want to study with a through and through "purist", (similarly these teachers refer their own students to me if they feel that they want to explore the kind of things I do).

While I'm of the strong opinion that there is more about music that we don't know than we will ever learn, I'll find it difficult to accept that any one teacher will ever be able to offer anything more than what they have learned (which by it's very nature will be limited), and let's face it, who want's to limit themselves when it comes to learning how to play the guitar?


  1. Good stuff and I totally agree, to the point that the better you get, the more important that you explore outside your comfort zone. Ego's often get involved and that just closes your mind to new stuff. Guy

  2. Well said. Keeping an open mind is very important. Never thought of taking lessons from anyone from the Music Radar forums, though...

    Have you taken any lessons from any of the contributors yet?

  3. Not yet, but I'm sure I'll get around to it! I could do with a slide lesson, so I might be making some enquires with Lewy some time soon...