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Is This Holding You Back from REALLY Playing Guitar?

Video Transcript And Relevant Links:

Hey there, I'm Tomas from Real Guitar Success. I’ve owned a music school here in San Francisco Bay area and we just finished our yearly annual recital. Hundreds of kids and a lot of adults too are performing on stage and it really struck me. It was wonderful to see the results of, you know some time, a whole year of practice or at least a good part of that year. It was great to see the students play something that in some cases they've been working on most of the year and to feel that excitement as well as some of the fear that was going on. It also reminded me when I was growing up and learning to play guitar.

I remember a story. My girlfriend walked in one time. I was teenager and I was practicing my guitar. And she kinda looked at me and I thought it was a bit of a strange look. It wasn't like a happy look and she'd say anything at the time but later on she says something to effect “Have you thought of maybe studying to be a lawyer or a doctor?” And even though she didn't say it I got the message. I think it really struck me not just because of her. It was more because she had struck a chord inside myself. I had a fear that I was maybe wasting my time or I was somehow not talented enough to do anything with this. In fact, it's like something I've had to deal with pretty much all my life around playing music and other things too. I also realized that this is something we all share and it's not just about whether you're going to be or want to be a famous rock star or just play for your family and friends. So it's this innate fear that “God, maybe I won't be able to do this”. 

Do not let your fears hold you back from being the person you want to be. 

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We can take that fear and kind of deal with it one or two ways. One is we gonna let it hold us back. In other words, feeling the fear was uncomfortable so we don't practice. We don’t maybe make our lessons or we don't even bother taking lessons just kind of winging it from YouTube video to whatever little pieces of information we can gather and kind of set ourselves up for failure in a way or we can use this as a challenge and say “Gee I'm gonna prove them wrong.” I'm gonna go out there and do something and them could be an imaginary there or it could be somebody real that maybe has told you “You'll never make it.”

The other thing I realized watching these students is, I would have never been the same person if I had let the naysayers so to speak kind of pushed me down and not really go for it. And again, I'm not talking about being a professional musician but just expressing my authentic self. Something that I felt strong about and that's something I felt I have to give to the world and whatever however that looks whether it's just playing for family parties or playing on stage or jamming with friends or whatever.

I want to encourage you and challenge you to think about that and not let your fears or anything or anybody else's telling you hold you back from being the person you want to be. And if it's playing music then do what you need to do to get to where you feel like you're expressing yourself. You're expressing that music inside you and sharing it with the world. Again even if it's just for one other person so this is my challenge to you. If you feel the fear, go for it anyway. Use it as a challenge and practice extra hard. That doesn't mean spend all your day practicing but if you don't feel like practicing use this as a challenge to go in there and do it anyway even if it's 15 minutes out of the day. Use that negative self-talk that you hear inside your own head sometimes as a challenge say “Thank you for sharing but I'm gonna be the person that I want to be not the person that I would default to out of fear”. And that means going and doing something about it practicing, jamming with friends, taking lessons and keeping at it little by little.

That's it for today. Thank you for listening and I hope this has been some inspiration and maybe even a little motivation for you. Go out there and give it your best. I'm Tomas Michaud from Real Guitar Success. Bye for now.

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  1. This is so true! I try my hardest not to be a person who is holding themselves back and my music teacher tells me regularly that I am progressing well and that I am too critical of myself. I appreciate these words of encouragement and take note. It’s finding the balance between “You’ve still got so much to learn and techniques to improve” and “You’ve learned such a lot in 5 years” that is difficult! Your lesson helps. Thank you!

    1. You’re very welcome Shelagh. It’s a constant issue even for myself. The better you get the more you see is possible. -Tomas

  2. Hi Tomas, I just wanted to say that I thought your video clip was truly inspiring!
    I recently lost my husband a few weeks ago and I have three children at home.Two teens; boy and a girl, and another girl who’s 9 yrs old. I have always wanted to learn the guitar but I’ve gotten quite frustrated each time I’ve tried because I have 3 figures on my left hand that were in an accident that now curve to the right, one in particular finger- my pinky is very crooked and dosen’t like to obey especially when its curved around the guitar and hits two strings because its so badly bent at the end of my finger. So I wondered if you knew another way I could learn the guitar like playing it from above on my lap or something like Jeff Healey in the 80’s except not that steel guitar sound. I love the beautiful sound of an acoustic guitar!
    Do u have any lessons for that way of learning? Or know who may have some good lessons online?
    The other reason I ask is my 9 yr old has been showing signs of great interest in the guitar too and singing and I think that it would be therapeutic for us both to try and learn this instrument that seems to be calling out to us right now. i think this would be a great outlet for our recent loss and all the intense emotions inside of us. So if u have any good videos for kids that are about 9 yrs of age or could lead me to some I would truly be grateful!
    May I ask one more question? My daughter who is 9, what size of guitar should I be trying to find for her to start out? I know mine is too big for her, it feels a bit big for me even. If u have any advise I would love to hear it!! And what price range could get her a decent guitar with out spending a lot. Money is an issue because my husband was our sole bread winner and things
    have to drastically changed but I feel so strongly about this that I have to make this happen. This letter wasn’t suppose to ramble on like this I’m sorry! I just really want to do right by my kids and show them how music can be great for the soul especially in hard times like this. My husband was very musically and was an amazing accordion player and I can play by ear on the piano and flute but the guitar has been a desire since I woke up one night when I was a very little girl, not quite old enough to pronounce guitar properly even. I woke my mom up looking through the closets, and flipping on lights asking my parents “where’s my guitar!’ I didnt have a guitar I had just had a very vivid dream about it that I was convinced I had one.I still have that dream and I have one now so I feel like the music bug is burning with in myself and my children to come out and I hope you could give me some advise. Sincerely, Your friend, Tonya Shermam (and fan from Magrath, Alberta Canada).
    Thank you for reading this long letter to the end!💙

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