At school I wasn’t allowed to take music lessons…
In fact, throughout my whole life I’ve been discouraged from pursuing a career in music from teachers, my family and even some of my friends…
I was the kid in class always daydreaming and distracted, dreaming of being a rockstar
and teaching others to play guitar
I was far from academically gifted…I struggled to learn in conventional ways and muddled my way through music college.
If you’ve met me and known me for more than 2 mins, you’ll know exactly what I’m like…
Friendly, patient, encouraging,
I don’t take myself too seriously but I’m very down to earth, straight-talking
and what you see is what you get…
Plus there’s my weird sense of humour
Right… OK, maybe not the last 2 haha!
Here’s also what I am NOT:
I'm nothing special...
I am not exceptional by any means.
I am NOT talented.
I worked BLOODY hard to play guitar the way I want
Here's what I am:
I am an ordinary bloke from Southampton in the UK.
I'm someone who believes that, within reason, anything is possible (on guitar and life in general)
I’m a guy who refuses to buy my own bullshit excuses or listen to my own negativity and limiting beliefs I have about myself.
(I certainly DO listen to people who tell me what I can’t do! They just give me fuel to proceed and prove them wrong! That’s my rockstar rebellious nature right there!)
I’m someone who is constantly learning and growing as a guitar player and a human
I’m someone who works hard to get what I want (again, NOT talented!)
I’m someone who values integrity, honesty and commitment to my own dreams and those of my students.
There's nothing 'special' about any of those.
"Come off it Jimmy. You're pretty decent at guitar now” .
Yeah… but I was once SHIT!
"Well...you're a good teacher”
I was probably SHIT at teaching too when I started.
Everything I know about music
and life in general
Was through STRUGGLE!
I’ve learned EVERYTHING from trying and failing many times!
setbacks, rejections, embarrassing moments,
Plenty of fuck-ups!
I wasn't born knowing what to do
No one comes out the womb wielding a guitar with all musical knowledge and talent bestowed upon them!
I was bloody clueless about a lot of things.
Until I learned them
I had zero skills.
Until I earned them.
I failed over and over again.
Until I didn't.
Too many people these days are looking for short cuts
getting distracted by shiny object syndrome...
(and GAS right?!)
They're constantly on the look-out for short-term strategies to get quick fixes.
Do you believe in a better version of yourself and and want to create a more exciting future ?
Then bloody well believe it and start putting the fucking effort in!
The 14 year old, introverted, shy, nervous (and talentless!) kid that I was
would have struggled to believe that I would go onto be a professional musician
Go from playing a gig in a hall at high-school...
to playing festival stages in the UK and Europe
That I would teach thousands of people to play guitar in Southampton and across three continents!
Go from not being allowed to set foot in a music room at school...
to getting accepted to music college, leaving with a diploma and passing my grade 8 guitar exam
Where am I going with all this bragging?
Well, it's to let you know that the only reason I've done any of this
Is because I got out of my own way.
It's all come through effort
I believe in you.
I really do.
Whatever it is you want to do
you can absolutely do it...
Don't give up
Surround yourself with like-minded people in a positive environment
and put the effort in.