Define Your Own Success


Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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11/30/2009 6:56 pm
Wow. This part of the forum is very often neglected, and I feel can be very valuable. Question:

How do you define success? I ask this in a musical sense. At what point do you feel "you" have achieved success with your guitar playing? Is it releasing your first album? Is it learning that Van Halen solo you always wanted to learn? Is it mastering the language of jazz?

Share your definition of success here. What is your ultimate goal?
Douglas Showalter
# 1
frankht
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frankht
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11/30/2009 10:57 pm
Wow, that's a hard one. I personally set my goals extremely high and then try to reach intermediate goals in route. I would like to say I would consider myself a success when I can play like Gary Moore... One of my favorite guitarist. However that wouldn't be completely true.

I set that goal which.. for me.. I think would be almost unattainable. So the truth is I could still consider myself successful even if I never play as well as Gary. But when would I become successful? I think a hundred different times along my path to my goal. I was successful when I finished GF1 and will be successful when I complete GF2 and then again after the blues course etc...

But so far I think my greatest success was making the decision to learn how to play.
# 2
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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11/30/2009 11:21 pm
Great answer. You will encounter many, many different definitions of what it means to succeed along the way. There really is no right answer here. For me, I have always deemed success first and foremost that I can make a living playing music. That I have been able to achieve. Now, I am envisioning my big picture goals; which mainly involve traveling the world, seeing places I have always wanted to see, all the while playing music that is my own or with someone who's vision I respect and admire. That to me will be my ultimate success. Like you though, underneath it all my greatest success will always be simply taking a chance with the instrument.
Douglas Showalter
# 3
Infinite-T
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Infinite-T
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12/01/2009 3:16 am
For me, I have always been a lover of guitar music. As a teen in the mid 90's and living in Seattle, I had a front and center seat to the whole alternative/"grunge" scene. I can remember sitting in my room listening to bands like Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Etc and thinking wow, this is awesome. Like many teens during that time I went out and bought a guitar at a pawn shop, an amp, and some guitar mags and taught myself to "play". I learned power chords and how to read tabs but i didn't REALLy learn to play. I could play simple stuff like "Come as you Are", "Today", "Come Down", and stuff. I also grew up hearing classic rock at my buddys house. His dad whould be in the garage for hours blasting Zep, the Doors, Stones, etc while wrenching on his bikes. So i had a taiste for the older stuff too.

I got out of playing for a while in my mid 20's, then picked back up again in my late 20's playing a lot or accoustic Folk and Irish stuff.

Recently, with the slow economy, I was out of work and sitting at my computer watching classic rockers on youtube. I though, you know what... I can do that! That lead me here to GT!

SO after all that comes my answer (sort of). Like Frankht, I have small successes every time I practice. When something clicks and I get a technique or riff I had been troubled with. I have made big success since I have started. I am more comfortable noodling around in different patterns,(let alone know the patterns) bends, double stops, slides etc. I can jam along with the jam station for a bit without getting lost. Soon I will have the success of getting timing down and not getting lost when when I play off, or in between beats.

My ultimate success is though, to be able to play the music I love. To her a song on the radio, think.hmm i think ill learn that one, and learn it. Also, to be able to put together some of my own music and even blend from all the genres I like, rock, blues, metal, trance, folk, accoustic. Maybe as a band, or maybe just at home in my own little studio.
# 4
Razbo
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Razbo
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12/01/2009 12:51 pm
Interesting thought. I personally have no real long term goals with regard to playing, therefore I find it difficult to define any sort of ultimate success. I know the idea of having "no goals" might drive some people crazy. And I wouldn't mind being a rock star! But I am not working towards it either. I think I left those days behind a couple of decades ago. :D

I left music for a long time, and never knew what I had given up until I returned to it this past year. I play because it fills up something I didn't even know was empty, so in a sense I have already achieved success.

I guess I measure it more on a day to day basis, mostly after a session. I feel good when it's gone well, when I've slipped in some new move, or something comes more easily, or I just played what I already know with some particularly good inspiration. Or getting the rythmn for a new song, then getting the lead break... Etc, etc. My successes are small when measured against more lofty goals, yet are satisfying to me.
...so ever since then, I always hang on to the buckle.
# 5
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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12/08/2009 2:34 am
Originally Posted by: Douglas ShowalterWow. This part of the forum is very often neglected, and I feel can be very valuable. Question:

How do you define success? I ask this in a musical sense. At what point do you feel "you" have achieved success with your guitar playing? Is it releasing your first album? Is it learning that Van Halen solo you always wanted to learn? Is it mastering the language of jazz?

Share your definition of success here. What is your ultimate goal?


It's funny, in my aforementioned 'back in the day' posts in the late 80's, I could play well beyond what I could have hoped when I first started. Odd part is, I never got good to the point where I was satisfied and even now, when I'm wiser (yes, because I'm older...) and have better perspective, I still listen to what I play and never really like fully what I hear. Back then I was selected in those player competitions out of many submissions and got good complements on my playing. All well and good but internally, I thought it was a farce and people would find me out for my weaknesses in playing.

In a way, my answer is 'never'.

What I have learned is that the journey needs to be fun. Eric Johnson did some studio interviews in the last few years and said that he needed to give up on being such a perfectionist and start enjoying the journey. I would have never characterized myself as a perfectionist but that is the mindset that has allowed me to understand that the process is the fun part. Discovery is fun and not so much the destination.

So, I think it is any 'a-ha' moment that I get when playing that becomes a success.
# 6
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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12/08/2009 6:22 pm
Great responses. Keep them coming.
Douglas Showalter
# 7
GuitardedGeezer
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GuitardedGeezer
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12/08/2009 11:32 pm
Usually, when asked a question like this, most folks list off a big long range goal or dream and I get to tell them all about what 'success' really is. So I was surprised to find that many people on here think like I do already.

'Success' is also the root word for 'succession' and the like, meaning to move forward one after the other. We tend to learn the word 'success' to mean 'accomplishment' but that is only part of it. You have to add the implied 'moving one after the other'.

Many folks have become 'successful' but can also stop being successful. So, being a success is a temporary state. If you stop accomplishing things (plural) then you stop being successful.


No I'm not an english major, but to stop boring everyone I'll just say my definition of success is to be better, know more, have more skill than I did the last go around. As long as all that is in an upward trend, then I am successful and happy about it.

GG
# 8
compart1
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compart1
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12/09/2009 3:18 am
Here's a couple quotes about succes...

"Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand."
–– Bruce Barton

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success."
– Thomas J. Watson

Now will I be successful? In my eyes of course. Living my life is a goal to me. Whatever small steps I take, whether a success or a failure, at least I've done something.
-G.J. Brown; aka Compart1
# 9
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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12/09/2009 6:45 pm
A friend once told me, which was a quote taken from a fortune cookie of all places;

Failure is the Mother of Success
Douglas Showalter
# 10
RickBlacker
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RickBlacker
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12/16/2009 5:54 pm
When I can play my emotions.
[U]Ricks Current Mystery Video[/U] - Updated Monday March/02/2015
# 11
Dirty Bill
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Dirty Bill
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12/19/2009 7:24 pm
I would like to be able to play a couple of sets somewhere like a bar or club,and have people enjoy it,then I would feel I accomplished some thing other than amusing my self..

I'm not too sure that's ever going to happen though. :cool:

Always capitalize "BLUES"

# 12
JeffS65
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JeffS65
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12/20/2009 2:22 pm
Originally Posted by: Douglas ShowalterA friend once told me, which was a quote taken from a fortune cookie of all places;

Failure is the Mother of Success


Two I have and one is a fortune cookie and the other is something I made up for myself a long time ago.

"If you are being kicked from behind, that means you are ahead."
- Fortune Cookie

"If in any endeavor you fail nine times out of ten, you've become a raging success."
- Me (I do note that Edison said pretty much the same thing and the concept is not revolutionary but it worked for me)
# 13
Kwote
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Kwote
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12/23/2009 1:02 am
Self expression, full financial stability from music and the ability to transform people's lives for the better is the ultimate goal.
# 14
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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12/24/2009 12:07 am
Originally Posted by: KwoteSelf expression, full financial stability from music and the ability to transform people's lives for the better is the ultimate goal.


Well said. Again, everyone's definition varies. Glad to hear this wide of a range of answers.
Douglas Showalter
# 15
Brad Litton
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Brad Litton
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01/19/2010 3:43 pm
For me success would be being able to provide for my family with purely music related income. A lot of people would like to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone and all, but for me it's simple. I just want to provide a good life for my family with my music.
# 16
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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01/20/2010 9:49 pm
I think it naturally starts there for a lot of people. I appreciate responses like this as they showcase the desire to have others benefit from their success. To provide for your family is a great goal and that alone is no easy feat.

Keep up the good work and vision. :)
Douglas Showalter
# 17
kahunastev
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kahunastev
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02/06/2010 10:26 pm
In a musical sense, I'd say it's the ability to pick up on a song, and play it reasonably well by ear based on lessons and practice. In a personal sense, I'd say it's experiencing the pure enjoyment of a well crafted song and relaying that to friends and family on a guitar. Overall, music is the back drop of many lives and enriches those who strive to learn more about it. Like golf, it can never be mastered, only played.
# 18
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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03/09/2010 4:50 am
Originally Posted by: kahunastevIn a musical sense, I'd say it's the ability to pick up on a song, and play it reasonably well by ear based on lessons and practice. In a personal sense, I'd say it's experiencing the pure enjoyment of a well crafted song and relaying that to friends and family on a guitar. Overall, music is the back drop of many lives and enriches those who strive to learn more about it. Like golf, it can never be mastered, only played.


Well said. Glad you are able to define your goals and are working to achieve them. Best of luck and thanks for chiming in! :o
Douglas Showalter
# 19
deadlynumber7
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deadlynumber7
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03/11/2010 3:13 pm
success for me would be to be able to play good enough to put out some decent fun songs on the internets, maybe even have someone pay a few dollars for a cd every once in a while. and maybe just maybe get some guys who like my kinda music an play some local gigs.

i have a career in a field i like (I make 3d art work for computer games) and music is something i love to do in my spare time. but i am unfortunately not a natural, i'm mostly tone death and have really clumsy fingers,, despite messing with guitar for years i'm still barely above beginner level. I'm hoping my daily practice time with the lessons on this web site will help me.
# 20

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