Mar 20, 2009

Are You A Guitar Drooler?

This is something that doesn't get talked about enough, yet I know that the guitar players who baptize their guitars with their fluids of mastication are out their reading this right now, and yes, I said mastication, and no - its not something that you do in the shower. It would be very difficult to eat a cheeseburger while bathing, or would it?

Anyways, you either have drooled on a guitar before, or you've witnessed someone doing this and have laughed at them. I will admit that I used to do this all the time, and I wish that someone had documented it because it would have been hilarious to see. If I had this video, I swear to God that I would post it on youtube - honestly.

I'm getting ready to make a point here - no, this is not a bullshit article like maybe you thought it would be.

First of all, if you've ever made fun of someone for accidentally salivating on their guitar neck while they were practicing, then you should keep your mouth shut :)......*bu-dump-tisss* - I bet you went home and did the exact same thing.

So lets break this down. When you drool upon your guitar, what does this tell you about your current physical state? It tells you that your mouth was open for a period of time and that you forgot to swallow and that you stupidly allowed the fluids to flow out of your mouth, and onto Lucille, Betty, Mom, or whatever you've named that thing.

Now what does this tell you? It tells you that your mind was elsewhere. In fact, it tells you that your brain was so distant that you couldn't even control your basic motor functions - careful! don't make a mess in your pants!

Why was this happening? because all of your mental energy was being funneled to one place. Where? your hands of course. I could be wrong, but I would bet you that more beginning to intermediate guitar players drool on their guitars than advanced guitar players.

Advanced guitar players rarely find something so challenging to work on that would cause them to bathe their guitars in saliva. Sometimes it still happens though ;)

I feel bad for the advanced players and good for you if you are at the beginning of your guitar journey. Why? because what you are displaying when you have this "accident" is the shear mental power that you need to keep thriving in order to reach a certain level of guitar playing.

Perhaps you even get a headache after practicing guitar - that's great! this tells me that you are able to blot out everything and make true, and worth while progress on the guitar.

I'm telling you this because you need to be aware of this kind of mental dedication to your craft. I can't tell you how many times I have said, or have heard said "I play it perfectly, but as soon as I think about what I'm playing - I screw it up!". Does that sound familiar. Thinking hard about what you are playing is not the same as mental focus.

This may be the cause of your lacking of progress with a certain lick or song. I'm a strong believer that guitar evolution is 50% mental and 50% physical, and I talk about this a lot in my book, The essential guide to guitar virtuosity.

A strong sense of awareness is a very, very powerful tool for the guitar player. This is also why it is so important to focus in the right way. I don't know about you, but every time I'm recording a piece, its me - I'm their - I feel my inner spirit, but then when I go back to play the recording - it sounds like someone else played it.

This also tells you that the brain can really cloud your judge meant when practicing. This is also why it is so important to be somewhat self critical, but in a healthy way. You have to be honest with yourself in order to make progress. Dimebag Darrell for instance, used to carry a tape recorder around with him when he was a kid and play back what he had previously recorded. He was always asking himself "how can I make this better?" - "it seems to be a little bit off" - "I need to work on my fretting hand strength", etc.

So if you're having trouble getting into that "zone" sometimes, without the use of narcotics, then think about all the times that you drooled on your guitar. It can be a difficult thing to isolate the parts of the brain that you need, but it can be done, and perhaps you've done it in small instances.

Be aware that this is the mental place that you need to put yourself in.

Keep your head up - hardy har har.

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