We do it for love (for all the guitarists out there)

When I got my first guitar in my teens I would drill the “licks” (the reference is to guitar riffs) Hendix “Purple Haze”, Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” etc. My father would ask me to play a whole song and I couldn’t produce one. I was always busy only learning the licks. Historically, this is how guitar players have always been raised. We learn one bit, piece by piece, at a time, contrary to the piano where you start with both hands and you learn the most basic classical abbreviation with both hands from start to finish (see Bachs “Minuet in G”).

We grab onto something, usually short and achievable and we play with it in emulation, or watch someone do it and try to recreate if from our visual memory. These methods in themselves are justifiably brave experiments in “learning how to learn” and are obviously more potent because they are self driven (often no one is offering us rewards for the hard years we put into learning something like an instrument): we do it for love.