The biggest killer of your progress

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The enemy of our dreams

There's an element in the human psyche that destroys more dreams than any other single factor. If you're not consciously aware of it, chances are you will become a victim of it. In order to understand the mechanisms behind it, you need to know the following:

For two hundred thousand years, human beings have been 100 % dependant on each other. We don't have a thick fur to protect us from the weather. We can't run faster than the animals we consume. We have no sharp claws to defend ourselves with. The only thing we have, is each other and our intelligence. Left to ourselves, we're very vulnerable and almost defenseless. So whether or not we belong to a group is a matter of life and death. Even though we live in a totally different world now, this is still the basic programming of our mind.

The tall puppy syndrome

In Australia they have a concept called "the tall puppy syndrome" - If you're too ambitious or become too good at something, we cut you down to size. Not because we're evil or bad people. But because we don't like to loose you. We subconsciously react to anything that could threaten the group by trying to keep everyone in it. This is why the people we care most about, often becomes the biggest obstacle to our success. Not all people react in this way, but many people do. And when it happens, you must be aware of the mechanisms behind it, or you will fall prey to "the tall puppy syndrome"

The inner demon

But the people around you are usually not the biggest problem. What goes on inside you can be a much bigger challenge. What happens if you develop those insane shredding skills? Will you still enjoy playing with the guys you're plaing with now? Maybe you will, but are you really sure? Sometimes our brain refuses to become better, because it fears the possible rejection from other people. There are a lot of amazing benefits to becoming insanely skilled but what are the downsides? Could there be hidden fears inside of you that hold you back?

The special talent

Many people don't need others to hold them back, they cut themselves down to size the minute they sense the desire to become more. They talk themselves into becoming a guitar super hero, and then they talk them selves right out of it again. I remember someone talking about how Mike Stern was a very fast guitarist and how they really wanted to learn to play that fast. I told them that I could play as fast or even faster than Mike Stern (hoping that they would let me teach them) and they ridiculed and rejected me completely! Why? Because of two things: 1. The belief that it requires some special talent or skill to play that fast 2. The tall puppy syndrome. So when you become incredibly skilled chances are that you'll run into a lot of people who'll reject you. It's human nature.

You remove other peoples excuses

Another element is standards. What happens if you, the guy from next door, suddenly plays like the best? If you're just like us, and you can do amazing things, then we must be able to do amazing things as well. That sounds great right? You become better and more skilled and you lead the way for others, and people love that right?! Nope, not everyone is going to feel that way.

If "little ordinary you" can do extraordinary things, then there are no excuses for the rest of us. We wont be able to tell ourselves that "we haven't got the time, the talent, the money, the what ever" because you are just like us and you did it anyway! That puts demands on us! Most people react with anger when you remove their excuses. Because these excuses protect them from having to do something new. It's easier to be "not talented enough" or "to not have the time to practice" because those stories keep us from acting and putting ourselves on the line.

Someone has to lead

I know that all this isn't new to you. But bringing this to a higher awareness will enable you to counteract these destructive elements and seize your right to ultimate killer terror guitar skills. So the ultimate cure and way out of this is to just do it anyway! Maybe people don't approve and maybe you do feel uncomfortable getting so much better than them. But you do it any way. Someone has to lead and it might as well be you.

E-Minor Harmonic Diminished Sweeping Lick

Tapping the high E-string gives you an effective way to turn around an arpeggio. It's a nice variation to the straight up and down motion of the sweep and it's fun to do!