Inside the mind of the Guitar Student

Hey Guitar Freaks,

When I sat down at the age of 14 to practice on my little nylon stringed guitar, I was the only person in my room. However, I was not alone. I was always joined by my friends Fear, Doubt and Negativity. They would constantly bully me and call me names while I was practicing. They would tell me things like: “You’re useless and playing it wrong” or “You’ll never get it” or “You’ll never be a good Guitarist Mark”.The Mind Image

When a new student sits down in front of me for their very first lesson, I can tell they also have the same friends. And this is the case for every student, talented or just enthusiastic. Thankfully, I never have enough seats for any extras in my little guitar room.

My job is to be the encourager and the cheering section for the student. The guitar information is important too, but they won’t receive that information if all they can hear is their ‘friends’ bullying them.

Your job is to be your own cheering section. To carry on playing or learning, even though your ‘friends’ are telling you to give up.

The Mind

Here’s a little secret that not too many people realize. Your ‘friends’ (Fear, Doubt and Negativity) don’t want you to learn the guitar. The mind doesn’t like to be forced to learn or practice or be disciplined. It’s like a spoilt child sulking in the corner with its arms folded. The mind would rather be distracted by unimportant, useless stuff like TV, games, Facebook, funny youtube clips, and drama.

It will do everything in its power to try and prevent you from doing something incredible and worthwhile. Don’t believe me?….What are you doing right now?…Distracted by this blog post?

I’m not an expert on this, but I do recommend that everyone reads The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Presfield. It’ll change your life in every area and help you realize what we’re up against when doing something that requires a strong resolve.

The Good Guitar Student

Your role is to be a good Guitar Student. So what does that look like. You have a time, place and material to practice. You do it! Regardless of whatever else comes up to stop you from doing it. Maybe it’s the first thing you do after work between 5:30 and 6pm. You disappear into your happy place with your guitar and don’t come out until the time is up. What do you do? You play!

Playing guitar is the most important part…not reading about it, watching endless videos of it or talking about it with other guitarists…you PLAY! That half an hour is spent playing guitar.

And after that session you can feel fantastic. Why? Because you overcame your three useless friends Fear, Doubt and Negativity…until tomorrow when the war starts all over.

Mark TheGuitarGuy

Learn more about on his Google profile.


  1. Abe

    thanks for the kind works, its the little things that keep me motivated. checking out that book now

  2. Gail Bodnar

    Thanks for encouragement. I just want to play. Been trying since I was young. Retired,,now have the time. Just once want to finish learning before I can’t anymore. I have always loved the guitar since I was a child. It’s just a great expressive instrument that only requires you to play it. That’s what I’m going to do. For me.

  3. Gene Hawkins

    Thanks for your words of inspiration Mark. You truly a good instructor. By the way I finger a c chord the same way you do. Just saying. G.

  4. Steven Lemoine

    Thanks Mark. That was a great post.

  5. ange

    wow! thanks .. that inspires me ,, 🙂

  6. Karalan

    The song ‘The Climb’ by (pre-twerking) Miley Cyrus is inspirational, not so much for the music as for the message.

  7. Robert J. Cummiskey

    Even though I was interested in this blog…it is really good stuff….Robert

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