I’ve been playing for a long time; since I was 10 or so. And for about 10 years, it was great. Lots of learning, new techniques, new styles.
But then I went stagnate pretty much playing the same way for the next decades.
And then I ran across Dick Gordon Jr.’s preview for his presentation at the upcoming 2006 Tulsa Guitar and String Show. It talked about resources for creativity. Not emulating someone else’s sound, but developing your own.
This really appealed to me. And I couldn’t wait for the show. I called Dick and he spent time to discuss his philosophy, what I could expect, and what he would expect from me in the way of dedication.
I think I have been taking now for about a year and a half, and he has delivered on his promise.
I certainly do have more resources available and that allows me a fresh look at songs, even those I learned as a beginner. He is connecting the dots of theory; putting into context the assorted fragments I picked up along the way.
And I am challenged. I make a lot of mistakes. but by pushing through the assignments, I am able to do things i never thought I could. And techniques that start off seemingly impossible, start sounding pretty good, and then become almost effortless. This type of growth is especially gratifying for me.
Every year, one of my resolutions is to become a better guitar player. And I have not made that goal most years. But I can say without a doubt, for the last two years, I have significantly improved. And more importantly to me, guitar playing is fun again.