Some Thoughts on Ego

During the Summer I've been taking a short break from writing like crazy each week. Instead I've put up short posts, contests, and have stayed consistent with the Six String Sunday newsletter each and every week. This has given me some great time to refresh and focus on what I want Chasing Sound to be going forward.

I was taking a ride to Atlantic City recently, so I had a couple of hours to catch up on podcasts. Justin Jackson, who is one of the coolest makers out of Canada did a podcast where he was talking about letting go of his ego when learning to program.

The way he did it, was rather than trying to talk about all his accolades and what he knew, instead he ditched his ego and had that beginners mindset. In addition, he also streamed himself, and let people know he was trying to learn, live on Twitch. This absence of ego led to other developers hopping on the stream, giving him a hand, and helping him learn to code. How cool is that?

I think we can take this mindset and apply it to guitar. Often on social media there seems to be a competition going on amongst guitar players. I say we let all that go, try and help each other, collaborate, and win together.

It's hard to let your guard down, but I've found the more I do, and the more honest I am, the easier it's been to work with other musicians.

I love teaching on Chasing Sound, because guitar is something that you can never master, and that excites me. I always try and ditch my ego, and know that there are countless facets of guitar to learn. If you get good at metal, what about gypsy jazz, then what about blues, or writing a catchy pop riff? All of these are skills in themselves.

I personally have so much work to do - modes, different versions of the minor scale, upping my chord vocabulary and so much more. But the good thing about learning is that after you've just learned something, is one of the best times to teach it.

No matter what level of musician you are, when you hang out with other musicians, rather than thinking you know everything, try and learn something new from them. Maybe they have a cool chord you've never tried, or even a new guitarist you've never heard of. This has happened to me so many times - and I've been playing guitar for 20+ years!

Do you have any examples of letting your ego go with guitar? Let me know by reaching out on social - I'm @ChasingSound everywhere. And as always, if there's something you'd like to learn, let me know. Let's learn it together!

“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters." — Epictetus