First of all , thank you so much for stopping by and reading my thoughts on different things on this -not so frequently updated-website of mine. A few days ago , I wrote 6 lessons that I have been learning from my guitar and well , that article got noticed here and there . It’s crazy how I stopped writing at some point thinking that those lessons would not resonate with anyone. IMPOSTER SYNDROME , YOU SATAN .I am grateful that they resonated with a couple of people and that is my joy. The numbers can be good but receiving one or two messages back from a reader is everything for a writer .
Do me a favor though …..no….two. Just two . Share this post if you can , using the share buttons around here . The last article did so well according to the analytics and I believe it’s because Rae Kiragu shared it on her social media and a few of you . That worked perfectly . Two , my YouTube channel . You can also subscribe if you love this series on lessons from my guitar because I post guitar tutorials and acoustic covers there .
So , let’s keep going with lessons from my guitar. I hope these ones resonate with you in whatever journey you might be on .
Be proud of yourself , for stepping out of the boat
So I recently went on a 30 day social media break on my leave and spent more time with my guitar than human beings( laughs). I had hit a huge low by the time I left and to be honest , I could not see anything in myself to be proud of . In the middle of all that chaos in my mind , God reminded me of something . There was a time when I had no idea how to play a guitar but I could now do it . I can even read tabs and play random songs without any prior knowledge on how they go . I was listening to a song by Cory Asbury which is created as a prayer to God from a person who feels they are trying so hard and hitting a wall every time . The lyrics that awakened me go like this
And dear child
I hope you know how much I love you and I’m proud of you
And please believe
The thoughts I have for you will never change or fade away
And when you felt like giving up
I never did
‘Cause I’m not scared of imperfections
Or the questions in your head
Just know that you have always been enough
‘Cause you tried and you tried
And I saw you wrestle with
Every how, every why
I was right there listening
So just fall into the mystery
And I’ll meet you here in the melody
Try, just to try again
Oh, child would you try again?
My child, you can love again
That song has always crushed me because of the vulnerability around it but every time I remember that God is proud of me , that keeps me going. It helped me look at playing guitar as a huge achievement in my life . You know we live in a society that views things like graduations from university , getting married , a promotion at work , a new job , a new car , more money and more money as the standards for achievements . I am in my early twenties and to be honest , sometimes those things get into my head but I am learning to be proud of myself and making every achievement a huge deal in my life . I DID IT . I PICKED A GUITAR WITH ZERO KNOWLEDGE AND WORKED MY WAY UP .NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME .
Look at you . You started therapy after so many years of fighting and now you are learning more about yourself and you are healing from different things that held you back . I am proud of you and you should be proud of yourself too . You did it . You made that bold decision while in your room full of tears , dusted yourself up and went . In the Bible , Jesus talked about how God sees in secret and rewards openly . He sees how hard we try behind the scenes and he acknowledges our efforts .
If you have recently done something to better yourself and only you know about it , then change your perspective and know that God knows what you did . And He is proud of you . Smile at your little achievement and be grateful for it every morning and every night . Going for therapy , forgiving someone who hurt you , riding a bicycle , cooking a meal that you found hard to cook , spending more time with your loved ones , going to the gym or taking care of your body , finally going to church , getting rid of alcohol in your life , saving more money , etc. There is no certificate , degree , diploma or PHD that you will receive for these things and NO ONE will congratulate you for them. That might hurt , I know . You can’t even add -underwent successful therapy sessions / started loving myself / I forgave someone / I am now working out more / I am now going to church -in your CV . You just can’t . But these that aren’t added on our Linkedin profiles or our CVs are sometimes our most treasured achievements in life .
Look at your mirror today, point to that beautiful person on the other side and say this : I LOVE YOU AND I AM SO PROUD OF YOU (smiles).
As a man Thinketh
So, I am currently learning and practising barre chords . A barre chord is a type of chord on a guitar or other stringed instrument played by using one or more fingers to press down multiple strings across a single fret of the fingerboard (like a bar pressing down the strings).Just by that description , you can tell that it’s not everyone’s cup of coffee . Well , it’s not . But as I keep learning and getting better every day , I sit back and wonder -why was I so skeptical about going into barre chords ? I could have just stopped with open chords and use a capo to transpose ,right? But barre chords are turning out to be easier than I thought when I was on the other side. The problem? My thoughts .Whatever I fed my mind about barre chords WAS THE BIG PROBLEM
James Allen published the book As a Man Thinketh in 1903 and it’s still so relevant to this day . With the nail on top of the head , he says “Good thoughts and actions can never produce good results . This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn , nothing from nettles but nettles,”. Whatever I feed my mind grows and becomes either an obstacle or a weapon to fight obstacles . So my perspective on barre chords , which was entirely based on people’s opinion online, was the catalyst of my shift in attitude towards barre chords . Was a shift in perspective a solution? Yes it was . I had to unlearn the lesson that barre chords are hard . Unlearning something that you have already learnt isn’t the easiest thing but sometimes it’s worth the chase . Drain everything from your system and nourish your mind with the truth . Feeding our minds with what is beneficial to us isn’t just a contemporary principle . Well , you may argue from a different point of view on this but I do see it as another Biblical principle. Psalm 119:11 says “In my heart I have hidden your word that I may not sin against you.” See , whatever you feed your soul shapes your worldview in different ways.
Another James Allen masterpiece here . A particular train of thought persisted in , be it good or bad , cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances . A man cannot choose his circumstances , but he can choose his thoughts , and so indirectly , yet surely , shape his circumstances . Easier said than done ? Yes . Why should I lie? We all struggle with this because of adversities sometimes . But as the first lesson you have read in this article goes , be proud of yourself . For shaking off a negative thought pattern in your mind , for speaking truth when the devil tries to input lies , for refusing to sink into a hole by hanging on something , for changing your perspective on a situation . You did it .
And about perspectives , “When I was a kid, I came up with this idea while playing with a telescope,” he told me. “I realized that you could look through both ends. When you look through the small end, everything is far away. But when you look through the big end, you say, ‘Wow, that looks totally different when I turn the telescope around.’ I would tell people who doubted themselves, ‘You might just be looking at your life through the wrong end of the telescope.’
The School of Greatness
This young man here was looking at barre chords from the wrong end of the telescope . I admit it . I know you have probably been looking at something from the wrong end of the telescope , or filled your mind with so much that created obstacles . For admitting that you have , again, be proud of yourself . Because many don’t accept these small things .
Less is more
Less is more? How ?
Taking you through another guitar technique here. While barre chords allow you to play any song on the guitar , sometimes they can be exhausting to play . Especially for musicians who play live with the guitar . This is because they require so much movement , sometimes from the first fret to the tenth fret while you are singing . So what is the alternative ? A capo. That cheap accessory allows you to play any song with few basic chords which are very close to each other .
I see this as less being more because barre chords are usually seen as the climax of learning and playing guitar . The World Cup . The champions league final of guitars . You ace it , you make it . Playing with a capo is underrated . Some will say it makes you a fake guitarist , others will say it is cheating the system of guitars . Cheating? Huh. So that makes Ed Sheeran a cheat when he plays with a capo? No . Less , can be more sometimes and that is exactly what my guitar has taught me.
Playing barre chords , as fancy as it looks , can be a struggle for anyone. As they say , on the other hand , there is no reward or CV update for struggling . By this , I don’t mean we fake our way up because my guitar has also taught me that faking my way up is IMPOSSIBLE . You actually have to know how to use the capo and play basic chords for you to use them instead of barre chords. See , that is not cheating or faking it . It’s finding alternatives that can better a certain aspect of your guitar experience . The best alternative here is what might be seen as less , a capo and basic open chords.
All I am learning here is that if I change my perspective on something , already a lesson for today , I can end up finding alternatives . Better ways of doing tasks or even living a better life . That could be buying another phone , another guitar , moving to a different house , cutting a certain expense , a different medication , even a different church . Alternatives can feel less , but with a shift in attitude and perspective , they can be more . Same with the guitar . A capo and open chords are more efficient when you try them . If you watch Tracy Chapman’s performances on YouTube , you will realize that she always had a capo on , or she played the simplest chord progressions . Guitar nerds will always be disturbed with musicians who do simple things but end up making the best music . Less is more
Thank you for reading . I have added an easy comment section from facebook down below so that you can post your thoughts here . Feel free to get in touch with me through my social media handles displayed all over this place .
BE KIND TO YOURSELF THIS WEEK
Dear God -Cory Asbury link