Today’s post is about a peculiar talent that is often misunderstood. This is the ability to be a good student. Now this is often confused with being smart, being an intellectual, among other things. While there may be overlap here, I want to talk about being a student as separate from these other topics.
As many of you know by this point I have done my fair share of schooling. Over the years this has made many people think that I am an intellectual, a scholar, that I should be a teacher, a lawyer, etc. etc. These comments always drove me crazy because I never have wanted to be any of these things. People would always confuse my ability to do well in school with the idea that I must accept it as my vocation. While I do understand the connection and why many people would suggest these topics, it was something I was never really interested in.
In fact, I love entertaining and that by far is the most fun thing I have ever done. My twitch show is without a doubt the most fun thing I have ever done in my life and I am grateful for all my fans and the support they give me. It makes my life fun; something I cannot say of schooling.
Now with this all said, I am lucky to have a talent for being a good student. I do very well in classroom environments. If I have a teacher that gives me a lesson or an assignment, I complete it. This does not mean that I do it without difficulty or that I do not need any assistance, it just means that I do my homework. My whole schooling life has been defined by my ability to do homework. I am not the smartest person among my friends, but I definitely have been the best at completing tasks. Many times I received higher grades than friends smarter than me (who often intuited the answers before I could) simply because I would do my homework and they would not.
Completing homework/listening in class is a great skill to have and in my case it has really benefited me. I have seen this get me through high school, college, my masters program, and now guitar.
A few months ago I started taking guitar lessons with Phil. Now I never would practice guitar on my own and I never got anywhere with it despite owning one my entire life. One day I realized that I never would have read all the books I read in college if it wasn’t for the program I was in. Again, I am not a reader, but I do homework. Some books I have read include The Bible, War and Peace, many Shakespeare plays, Nietzsche, and Plato. I can tell you that I would have never read any of these works if it was not for my teachers and the programs I was enrolled in. I am grateful for those programs because I am much smarter off now because of them.
Guitar has been going the same way. Just last week Phil gave me the third verse of Eruption on a tab. When I looked at it, I thought “There is no way I can play this.” I laughed and looked at Phil but he just stared at me. I started playing. At first I was stumbling. I felt that I could not do it. But I had paid for a lesson, and we still had 40 minutes left in it. I played on. Soon enough I was doing it. Not well, but I was doing it. I couldn’t believe it. I was playing Eruption by fucking Van Halen.
Later that night I picked up my guitar and it was even easier. I kept playing. For hours. The next day I did the same. I can tell you that I still have a long way to go as a guitarist, but I have never felt more like a God in my life.
Getting proficient at finger-tapping is honestly one of the most satisfying things I have ever experienced. And I have to thank my teacher Phil. I wouldn’t be able to play this without him. A lot of my friends can’t believe that I can do this, and some of them probably don’t (lol). But the difference between them and I is not that I have more talent than them at guitar, it is just that I take guitar lessons and I work hard in them and use them very effectively.
For all the people in classes out there, do your fucking homework and pay attention in class. It really pays off and the rewards are solid. And if you want to do something, but are failing on your own, do not take that as a failure. Just go get a teacher. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Do not get trapped in the mentality of having to do everything on your own. Some people don’t need teachers for things, but I would argue that most people do; myself included.