English: Singer and guitarist Johnny "Gui...

English: Singer and guitarist Johnny “Guitar” Watson in Paris, France Français : Le chanteur et guitariste Johnny “Guitar” Watson à Paris (Bataclan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Numerous guitar music lovers look up to top professional guitarists of both long ago and current ones, speculating on just how they rose to become master guitar musicians. Many people think such profound greatness comes from a simple natural endowment. However, many would be dumbfounded to find out that a high number of these artists did not really have that natural ability in order to rise noted players, some of them never even thought of being first-class musicians from the start. On the other hand, there are many young masters who display awesome feats when young that do not always mature to being well-known master artists later in life. Indeed far more of the top prodigy players go barren as they become older for one reason or another.

So why does one guitarist become great and another one not? For some it could have been good management, big publicity or just simple luck. Although for most all of the top guitar players in existence, one key item that shows itself as the driving catalyst to greatness is the passion not only to become a better player, but also a superior artist. Many outstanding talents have the right skills (perhaps the right lineage) to become a good guitarist, however they do not necessarily have the vast desire to be unsurpassed in their craft. There exists even a bigger risk for prodigies to loose stake in their ability as they get worn of being “sensationalized” during their younger years.

Those who may just have some talent yet also have the exact amount of bent for guitar playing may possess a far more likely chance to becoming great, considering that they would have the passion that drives them to their goal. One should hold or develop a strong enough desire to instill enough of a discipline that will keep one doing one’s work. Naturally, passion by itself would not make one a great guitarist immediately, since key steps need to be taken to do so.

Firstly, one should learn from a teacher or a mentor. Why there are some rare cases of do-it-yourself successes, great guitar players more often than not have learned from great masters as well. There are millions of things that only a teacher can impart. Not even thousands of volumes of books and online lessons can replace the vast knowledge a teacher can give.

Secondly, an aspiring great guitarist has to dedicate unrelenting hours of practice over many several years. It is very true that even the great guitarists of today still practice a lot to make sure that they do not let their hands get rusty and their minds not tarnish. Even if you have the best mentor in all the world, you would not develop or improve your guitar playing much if you do not practice. But it would also be futile to practice aimlessly without a teacher telling what to practice, so these two keys are inseparable.

Thirdly, an ambitious musician should have great forbearance and a realistic self-evaluation. One should not expect astonishing advancement immediately. The road to superb guitar play is a lengthy one indeed. There will be times of quick advancement and those times that are slow. While you should be greatly encouraged when progress is quick, you should not give up hope during those times of many mistakes and moments that you think you are not learning too much.

Fourth, start the steps to greatness as soon as possible. Procrastination, as in almost every instance, is detrimental. So too it is in the music world. As much as possible do not put off lessons and practice sessions. Dedicate a special portion of your daily time to practices and lessons.

Many numerous steps exist to become a superb guitarist, but these ones mentioned above are the foundations to help get to master levels. It takes hard work and long time to become a great player but if you are dedicated to the craft, you are just a few inches behind to greatness.