Very commonly people think that to become a good fingerstyle guitarist it is necessary to be lucky enough to be specially gifted by mother nature. Actually this is not the truth and contrary to what many could think there is no particular secret to succeed at all. The real secret is not the natural talent and it is not even some kind of special and mysterious learning path. The real secret is having the right mental attitude towards the learning process.
During our years of teaching and performing experiences, we met so many students incredibly naturally talented who unfortunately were not able to exploit their talent because lacking of the right approach towards the learning method. And at the same time we met many students not exceptionally talented at all but with an incredible will power who were able to succeed and even to exceed the most positive expectations. In light of these examples we can rank the 5 most important skills necessary to succed: Passion, Patience, Dedication, Consistency and Natural Talent.
Passion is the first essential skill to succeed and it is even simple to understand why. When a student is really passionate about music and guitar any kind of effort and sacrifice is lived in a completely different way. Moreover very often passion is what push the student to overcome his own limits, in order to pursue what he lives as a real dream, the one of becoming a great guitarist.
The next important element on the road to success is patience. Without patience there is not so much to do, even the most passionate student without the virtue of patience is likely destined to fail. Playing fingerstyle is an extremely technical task and, unless the student is the lucky one out of a million who can be considered a real genius, it takes a lot of time to properly master the technique. Being patient means being disciplined, and without discipline we can hardly achieve any pursuit.
Dedication is the element which allows the student to really improve. Without dedication even the most skilled student won’t be able to improve his skills, he will always be a potential great musician but he will never be the accomplished guitarist which he could legitimately aspire to be. Dedication and patience are very often the key to succeed not only in becoming a guitarist but for so many different challenges we can face during our everyday life.
Another important factor which can deeply affect the quality of our learning process in terms of speed of improvement is consistency. Consistency is what can make the difference between a good and a bad practice. Playing the guitar is first of all a matter of brain training and not fingers agility. It is much better practicing everyday even just 15 or 20 minutes instead of practicing 3 hours, but once in a while. If the practice is not consistent the student is going to easily waste a lot of the time he spends on a not disciplined practice.
Last in order of importance is talent, and this can be hardly believable for many people, but unless the student is one of those 7 or 8 years old kids who are able to play like a 60 years old professional guitarist, natural talent is simply one of the many components he needs to succeed. During the years we met so many students just averagely talented who have been able to become accomplished guitarists simply because they really wanted to succeed, and that is all you really need.