How To Become A Great Guitar Player - Part 2 - Top 3 Things That Prevent You From Becoming The Great Musician You Want To Be And How To Overcome Them

by Tom Hess

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What is the biggest obstacle in your path towards becoming a great guitarist? Is it your lack of technical skill? Your inability to be creative on the instrument? A lack of natural talent? Your age? Your amount of practice time? If you think these things determine whether or not you will become a great musician, you’re dead wrong. Whatever you struggle with in your guitar playing right now are merely symptoms, caused by much deeper reasons that prevent you from reaching your goals.

5 Easy Tricks You Can
Learn In 10 Minutes
Five Easy Tricks You Can Learn In 10 Minutes e-Guide

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In part 1 of this article I explained the #1 factor that determines if you will achieve your guitar playing goals. Now in part 2, you will learn 3 main obstacles that stop most guitarists from achieving musical greatness (and how to overcome each one).

Reason #1: You Make Excuses That Bring Your Guitar Playing Progress To A Screeching Halt

Take a minute and think about what an “excuse” actually is. If you think that an excuse is merely a reason to do or not to do something, you are wrong. Excuses are really nothing more than self-defense mechanisms that exist to justify a certain fear or bad habit. Fact is, all excuses are BS. If you trace an excuse all the way back to its source…you will see what I mean. Of course, you will always face various challenges and obstacles on your path to musical greatness. Imagine how your life would be different if you stopped your excuses (instead of letting your excuses stop YOU). For example, instead of saying, “I don't have enough time to practice guitar”, take action to learn how to practice away from the guitar or readjust your priorities to make more time for practicing during your day. Instead of believing that you simply “don’t have any talent for music”, adjust your mindset and learn to believe in your infinite potential to achieve musical greatness (more on this below).

The biggest enemy your guitar playing progress will ever face is yourself. But you can overcome this in 2 steps:

  1. Recognize what excuses you have been making to yourself. Oftentimes you are making excuses to yourself without even realizing it. These can be especially tricky to discover, but you can start by making a list of everything that you think is holding you back from becoming a great guitar player (examples of this are below). Then ask yourself if these are legitimate reasons or excuses. HINT: These are almost always excuses.

How To Become A Great Guitarist

  1. Do everything you can to overcome these excuses and avoid falling prey to them at all costs. You can achieve this by:
  • Surrounding yourself with people who have empowering mindsets and can help hold you accountable when you make excuses.
  • Remembering that every time you refuse to give in to excuses, you move yourself one step closer to your ultimate goal - true musical greatness.
  • Treating your excuses like a bad habit (the more you avoid making them, the easier it will be to not make them again).

To make this process a LOT easier, work with a proven guitar teacher who can instantly notice when you make excuses that damage your musical progress and help you overcome them faster than you ever could alone.

Reason #2: You Make The Wrong Decisions

Every decision you make each day is the single greatest predictor of your future. Many people let their circumstances become their decisions (this cripples their ability to become great musicians). Understand that your circumstances are never a valid reason for NOT doing something…they are just “circumstances” (things outside your control). You are never a product of your circumstances, but you ARE a product of your decisions. I often hear guitar players say things like:

  • “I wasn’t able to start playing guitar when I was younger”
  • “I didn’t have someone to buy me a guitar when I was a kid”
  • “I didn’t have anyone to teach me guitar”
  • “I cannot practice many hours each day”
  • “I cannot afford guitar lessons”
  • “I don’t know how to practice guitar effectively”
  • “I don’t know how to find the right guitar teacher”
  • “I work a demanding and stressful job that leaves me no energy to practice guitar”
  • “I have a family to spend time with and have no time to practice guitar”
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Guess what? These people just allowed their circumstances to become their decisions, and by doing so, doomed themselves to never becoming great guitarists. You deserve better. Realize that YOU control your circumstances, not the other way around. From today forward, make decisions that move you closer to achieving your musical goals, instead of justifying your failure to do so. Make the decision to study with whoever you need to study, learn what you need to learn, practice what you need to practice, and train your mind and your hands to do what needs to be done to become a GREAT guitarist.

Reason #3: You Have The Wrong Mindset

Your success will follow your mindset, NOT the other way around. If you want to achieve true musical greatness, you need to DEMAND it from yourself first! The world’s greatest guitarists (such as Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and many others) all possess a winning mindset. You might be thinking: “Of course THEY don’t make excuses or think negatively…THEY have already achieved musical greatness. It’s easy for them to be positive, to not make excuses and take action…they are already world-class musicians.”


If you think this, you have it all upside down, inside out and backwards. Their winning mindset came FIRST! In order for these awesome musicians to reach their level of guitar playing mastery, they FIRST had to stop making excuses, start making the right decisions and implement an empowering mindset that enabled them to achieve musical greatness. In order to reach the level of guitar playing greatness that your favorite guitar players have achieved, you must reject and refuse anything less than absolute musical greatness for yourself. Know that you CAN and WILL achieve this success. This is what each and every champion did before he/she became a champion…not after! So start adjusting your mindset by:

  • Destroying all of your negative thinking and replacing it with positive and empowering thoughts that enable you to reach your musical goals.
  • Adjusting your belief from “I can’t become a great guitar player” to “I CAN, I MUST, and I CHOOSE to become a truly great guitar player”.

My Personal Mission: For every guitar student I teach or train, every musician I mentor and every music teacher I coach: My mission is to breed CHAMPIONS! THE BEST!

I want and expect you and every single person I teach, train, coach and mentor to succeed. No matter who you are, where you live or what your background is, you too have the potential to:

  • Become a great guitar player
  • Become a successful professional musician
  • Become a successful guitar teacher earning AT LEAST 6-figures per year while teaching less than 20 hours per week

A great guitar teacher (or music industry professional) will not help you reach your musical goals if you are someone who makes excuses, consistently makes the wrong decisions or possesses the wrong mindset. He/She may try once (maybe twice if you’re especially lucky) to help you. However, after they see that you have a negative mindset, they will adopt a “screw you, you loser” attitude and refuse to help you any further. Thus, your own attitude, decisions and mindset will make or break your guitar playing future.

Excuses do not describe your limitations, they ARE your limitations! Stop thinking you cannot be, do or have what you want. Stop listening to the little voice of doubt in your head that says "I can't do it.” Start thinking, believing and acting with certainty that you WILL become a great musician…and you will be on your way to playing guitar the way you’ve always dreamed about.

To take the biggest shortcut towards your musical goals, learn how to find the right guitar teacher who will help you become the guitar player you’ve always wanted to be.

Learn how to reach your musical goals as a guitar player by studying with me in my online guitar lessons.

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