musician, guitarist, jimi hendrix

You VS Jimi Hendrix

An Article About Unfair Comparisons

Jimi Hendrix Guitar Lesson
Today I want to talk about the most famous guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix.
While there have been many technically superior guitar players that have come after him, no one has been as revolutionary to the instrument as Jimi himself, and no guitarist is more recognisable or as well known to the common man as our Jimi. 
Why are we talking about Jimi Hendrix? Mainly because he is the most famous guitarist of all time whom I am going to use as an example of how we often unfairly compare ourselves to famous guitar players at the wrong point of our journey. If you’d rather take your favourite player or any other famous guitarist, feel free to do some background research on them and apply the same ideas we’re about to talk about.
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring guitar players make is comparing themselves to other guitarists, and who better a benchmark than the mighty Hendrix?
Young girls are always told ‘don’t compare yourself to the models in the movies and the magazines, it’s unrealistic beauty standards’
Teen boys and young men are often told ‘don’t compare yourself to the muscly guys in the the action movies, it’s steroids and you can’t get that big’
But no-one ever tells us not to compare ourselves to professional musicians, let along the tiny less than 1% guitar god rockstars who are the musical equivalent of olympic athletes…
So why do we do it? Why do we put such high expectations on ourselves to play like these elite players? My guess just comes down to wanting instant gratification and not realising how much effort goes into learning an instrument. It’s really easy to become inspired by great music, and professionals can make it look really easy to play, but we often don’t realise it’s taken them years to perfect their creative and technical skills before it’s ever written, recorded, edited, polished and released to us as a product.

Let's Take A Closer Look At Jimi Hendrix

  • Hendrix started playing guitar at age 15.
  • He played for hours and hours every day, listening to records and trying to figure them out by ear and play along with them.
  • He jammed and played with other guitarists and instrumentalists both in school and out of school, pretty much every opportunity he got.
  • He tried to take lessons and jam with any guitarists he came into contact with, always learning from more experienced players.
  • He didn’t get a record deal and release his first album until he was 24. (9 years into his guitar playing career)
  • He released 4 albums in 3 years and then died at the age of 27.
Jimi Hendrix Guitar
On paper it might sound like Jimi Hendrix had an amazing career and achieved so much at a such a young age that he truly was unique once-in-a-lifetime musician. While this sounds fantastic the reality of the situation is that it took him 10 years to become famous and he had to work hard to develop his skills and take advantage of the opportunities his hard work created.
The point of telling you this is to see that comparing yourself to Jimi Hendrix or any other famous guitarists isn’t a fair comparison.
That would be like an under 10’s footballer comparing themselves to Gary Ablett, Buddy Franklin or Patty Dangerfield and then losing motivation to play… or a young female singer comparing herself to Beyonce and telling herself “I’ll never be as good as Beyonce so I may as well just give up now”.
Jimi Hendrix played guitar for 7 years before he got the chance to record music. He played for 9 years before he got a record deal, he put in over a decade of work before he got famous and became the legendary guitarist that we all know him as.
He played for hours and hours every day, jamming with other people frequently, 
And this isn’t to say you can’t get good at guitar, or to say that you’ll never aspire to be the same level as Hendrix…
I actually believe that you can be as good as Hendrix, if not even better, you’ll be able to do it in way less time than what it took him,
How? Because he already did the hard work figuring everything out and innovating, we get to stand on his shoulders and go to the next level, and with the breakthroughs in modern education and the technology we’ll do it in record time.
The whole point I am saying here is don’t get upset that you don’t sound like Jimi Hendrix did after 9 years of playing when you’ve only been taking a few months of lessons. Don’t compare where you are today to where he was 10 years into his journey.
It’s just not a fair comparison,
And It’s going to take time…
It might take you two or three years to get to the same level, but I guarantee you that you can get there, and you’ll probably get there in half the time it took him.

Never Give Up

So if you feel frustrated, or you feel like quitting, remember that the only guitar player you need to compare yourself to is the guitar player you were yesterday.
As long as you stick with lessons, and continue to practice consistently, you’ll become a great player,
You’ll even probably surpass the mighty Jimi Hendrix,
As long as you don’t quit playing, you’ll get there!
The only difference between you and Jimi Hendrix is Jimi stuck with his guitar playing long enough to become good.
If you stuck with it, it’s only a matter of time before you get there.
essendon guitar teacher

About The Author

Michael Gumley is the owner of Melbourne Guitar Academy and the creator of both Guitar Dojo Online and Guitar Ninjas. Michael is both a respected Guitar Teacher and Guitar Teacher Trainer with the goal of raising the standard of guitar education worldwide through a revolutionary approach engaging lessons and modern learning techniques. 

If you feel like you’ll never be as good as your favourite guitar player don’t fret, get in touch with Michael and the team at Melbourne Guitar Academy who can help out with both in-person and Online Guitar Lessons to help you overcome any frustrations you may be feeling.

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