*Normally I use all guitar-y type pictures, but since I am writing all about refreshing yourself as a guitarist in this blog, I wanted to use pictures from my recent trip to Boston. This trip left me feeling totally inspired and excited to come back to playing guitar!
You know what is a feeling I weirdly love?
When I’ve had a bad day, my husband always suggests something fun to take my mind off it. This usually leads to us playing with kittens at the animal shelter, eating nachos, and then sitting on our apartment balcony with wine (kinda like the two old people in the notebook). And ya know what? This almost always works for me! It helps me put things back into perspective so I can keep doing what I love with joy and excitement. I think the thing about this process or these types of days that really refreshes me is remembering I am not alone in this, that what I am feeling is normal for everyone, and it reminds me to lighten up a bit!
I think guitar playing should be this way too. I’m not saying that any time you aren't getting a lick or song down go eat some nachos (in that case I would eat like my weight in nachos every day), but instead you can be kind to yourself in your thoughts and have patience when you aren't getting something immediately.
The biggest thing I have needed a refresher on lately hasn't been playing guitar so much as doing my blog/ Instagram. Since it's grown a lot in this past year, I have made so many new friends from Instagram, learned a ton about video editing and blogging, gotten better at teaching, had some amazing opportunities, and learned way more on guitar. I have been so thankful and it's truly been the most exciting time of my life!
However, I have also had to learn how to shake off negative comments. When my Instagram was smaller, I was able to have a really good read on who my followers were and it was a tight community. Since it's grown, I've gotten a lot of new IG friends, but it's also opened to doors to some rather mean comments from random accounts. I never really pictured this happening, since I originally started my blog as a way to encourage guitarists to feel comfortable in their own skin and stay in love with playing guitar. Most all of my interactions with people are really positive, but we all know sometimes that every now and then mean or gross ones can put a damper on things. Even though I know this happens on Instagram, it hadn't happened to me before and I found the negative comments really did hurt.
Knowing that God has a purpose for me though, and having all the encouragement from my friends, fam, and hubby has made me think that what I am pushing toward is really worth it. This has given me a newfound ability to shake things off. I'm obviously still learning, but it's been an amazing lesson that I'm really thankful for, because it gives me an ability to be confident in myself and not worry about pleasing everyone. Also using the ole "block" button on Insta is handy too :).
My recent trip to Boston also helped refresh me and I'm really excited to be back to everything (and that it's almost Fall!). You may not have this exact kind of discouraging moment, but I think we all face things sometimes that make us worried we aren't cut out for something.
This blog is going to be about celebrating you and pampering yo self so you keep loving guitar and keep staying excited about learning new things! Here are my tips for staying inspired:
1) Remind yourself It’s ok to be where you are now
It can be really easy to start getting annoyed with yourself when you aren’t getting a lick or song down. I almost never think about all the licks and experience and time it took for that guitarist to work up to writing that part. Remembering where you are and having no expectations of what you will get down that day makes it easier to not give up because you are focusing on learning, and not on feeling like a failure if you don't get the whole part down the first time you try.
2) Do a physical activity
If my fingers won't move as fast as I want them to, I get this feeling of being trapped in my own body. Weird, I know! But going for a run or walking my dog just to reset and clear my mind almost always helps!
3) Remember who needs you
Last month I auditioned for this country band and when I got there, I immediately realized I was not going to get this gig. My look was not even remotely similar to the vibe of the other players, and from what they guy was saying, I could tell I wasn't going to really thrive in that type of band. I didn't get the gig and moved on with my life! This month, I got to play with one of my friends who's creating a new EP. I had played on her last record and she's just an amazing human. We totally get each other's visions and she is so complimentary of my playing style. If something doesn't work out for you playing a gig, playing in a band at church, or playing on a record you want, remember there is absolutely another opportunity coming. I love the quote by Hillary Scott "One door closing, is not all of them closing."
I hope that these 3 simple tips are helpful and I would love to know your thoughts on this below!