“Oh, you can’t play it? You’re not that good then.”
Raise your hand if this has happened to you.
Let me be a bit more specific. Someone finds out you play guitar. Let’s say you’ve played for a while. You play both electric and acoustic. You know how to strum out acoustic ballads and can also pick out a solo or main riff from known ‘70s bands – you know your way around a guitar. You can play plenty of songs that you have chosen to learn, yet when a person who recognizes that a guitar is an instrument in a song asks you if you know how to play a particular song (that you simply haven’t put forth the effort to learn) and you don’t know it, you’re suddenly an old hat. Unfair, right? It’s part of the guitar lifestyle.
Let me try putting it a different way. What if I found out that you are like to cook. I ask you, “can you make me some meatloaf?” You mention that you never have tried to make meatloaf, and boom! I peg your cooking abilities as lackluster and boring. Unfair, right? You might be one of the best cooks I will ever know. But simply because you did not satisfy my desire you are now unimpressive to me.
I suppose we’re only as impressive to people as much as the people want to be impressed.
It makes sense. If someone does not even want to be impressed with someone or something, I doubt that they actually will. It takes an open mind to be impressed by that to which you do not relate. If I work my butt off to learn a guitar solo in a genre that nobody wants to hear, I might be wasting my time if my goal is to impress people.
Perhaps it’s all about marketing. I mean, you won’t want to try to sell your new EP of Lady Gaga cover songs in a biker bar, no matter how banging “John Wayne” is from her latest album, but that’s another story.
So what could be the takeaway? Well, that is entirely up to you. Here are some suggestions, though:
- Don’t judge a guitarist if they don’t know your song
- If you want to impress the people, give the people what they want.
- If you want to impress the lovers of a particular genre, get your content in front of them.
- Stop trying to impress everyone.
- Do it for yourself.
That last one seems a bit selfish to me, but remember, I’m talking about guitar as a hobby/lifestyle. Do it because you enjoy it, and not to try to impress everyone with your ability.
Not everyone will care.
But you should!