I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “ohh, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar,” or the classic, “I’m too old to learn guitar.” As Salma Hayek famously said in the 1997 film Fools Rush In, “Excuses, excuses, excuses!”
Having taught guitar for over 10 years, I’ve heard all sorts of pretexts on why a person can’t learn to play guitar. Let me tell you now that the only thing from stopping you from learning how to play guitar is *drum rolllll*: your mindset.
So in an effort to encourage hundreds of people to start playing and stop laming, I’ve compiled a list of the top five excuses I’ve heard on why people can’t play, and have included my responses to their self-imposed obstructive beliefs.
Here we go!
1. “My hands are too small” – I love hearing this one. In case you didn’t know, there are guitars out there with smaller necks to meet your needs. Furthermore, even if you have no hands at ALL, check out the inspirational and goosebump-inducing video below of a man who plays guitar with his feet. Prepare to cross this excuse off your list…
2. “I’m too busy” – This is pretty much the universal excuse for anything, right? As a PR professional by day and a guitar teacher by night, I’m insanely busy. And even when I get to play guitar, I spend most of my time learning songs for my students rather than for myself, but I still find ways to spend some time with my guitar. Here are a few tips to get your guitar workout regardless of how busy you are:
- Allot time at night and play yourself to sleep. You’ll probably go to bed with a Mona Lisa-like smile.
- If you have an office, keep a guitar close by and pick it up on your breaks. It’s relaxing plus it breaks your monotonous work routine.
- Wake up early, plain and simple. Brew your morning coffee and strum a chord or two – you’re guaranteed to start your day off in a great mood.
- Be disciplined. Maximize your time and sacrifice some time away from Facebook and Twitter to spend time with your guitar.
- Keep your guitar in plain sight instead of away in a case. If you see it out, it’ll be harder to resist and you’ll want to play it.
3. “I’m too old” – Says who? I once had a 62-year-old lady as a student, and she was one of my best. Age is just a number, so pick up a guitar before you dwell for the rest of your life saying “shoulda, coulda woulda.” Also, check out this 85-year-old lady who just had surgery rocking out. What are you waiting for…?
4. “I have no talent for music” – How would you know if you haven’t even tried? And if you did try, maybe you had a terrible teacher. Give yourself the opportunity and don’t set yourself up for failure before giving it a chance. Remember, it’s the mindset you take on, and to give you an example, just take a look at Jessica’s Daily Affirmation in the video below. “You can do anything good…”
5. “I can’t afford it” – You can’t afford free? Nowadays anyone can learn on the Internet, although I do recommend meeting at least once or twice a month with a great teacher just to keep the motivation going and also to be corrected if you’re doing something wrong. Also, entry-level guitars are dirt cheap, so swing by your local pawn shop or second-hand store and pick one up for fifty bucks.
6.- From prissy girls “I don’t want to cut my nails” – Thanks to my good friend (and photographer) Natalie Serhan for reminding me about this one. Natalie actually attempted to take lessons with me at one point and time, but she refused to cut the nails on her left hand. To all my prissy girl friends, this, too, is not an excuse. Just take it from Dolly Parton who quite miraculously manages to play with, well, claws (with the help of a capo). Click here to watch Dolly strum away with enormous nails!!
That’s it! Let me know what other excuses you’ve heard in the comments section below.