The Man Who Thinks he Can
Have you ever been in a slump or had days when your desire to practice was minimal to even none? Do you look at your guitar idols and think, “What’s the use? I will never be that good!”
Well, if any of this sounds like you, you have come to the right article. But before I can say anything else to you, I would like to tell you that truthfully I can’t give you anything and don’t expect a magic wand. What I can give you is some advice and a better way of helping you look at your situation. All you need to do is to open your mind and heart. It is really up to you and only you have the power to decide what you will do.
Doubt is a natural human feeling. There has never been a human born who has not wrestled with doubt. Believe me! If you read about the lives of any of the great musicians, scientists, or entertainers who have contributed to this world you will find doubt in all their stories. What made all these great men and women carry on was that they did not let their doubt stop them from going for it. Maybe, as examples, you are just starting to do sweeping arpeggios and you can’t get the pick to hit the strings right or maybe you are more advanced and can’t get over the 180 mark on the metronome. Whatever you’re doing, in music or in life, there comes a time when we face something we have never faced before and doubt comes in. I can hear you say, “Hey Mario I really feel what you are saying but what can I do man?”
Before you can put you pick to the string or hit over 180 mark on the metronome, you must believe in yourself, and that the possibility to achieve this is within you. Think about all the great guitarists out there, they put on their pants the same way you do (or dresses if you are a girl).
What made these players great players is that they worked long and hard to accomplish their dream and that doubt, fear, and failure are all part of the course. Think about this, what type of world would we have if Beethoven gave up when he began to lose his hearing and never wrote his Ninth Symphony or the composer Handel who wrestled with depression never wrote Handel Messiah, or Jimi Hendrix decided because all guitars where for right handed players and he was left handed “Hey what’s the use”? I tell you my friends, I have seen a man play with his feet (because he had no hands) and that did not stop him!
Everyone I have mentioned and many more understand that success in any endeavor comes with a great price of hard work and determination and to the man who thinks he can. When you doubt your potential to accomplish your dream, you will give up. I think that sometimes we forget that talent is a product of hard work. No one can make you a better player! You must earn it!
I will also suggest that if you are stuck, don’t be ashamed of asking for help.
There are many great resources on the net. My friend and mentor Tom Hess has written some great articles. One in particular is about finding a guitar teacher. Just follow the link to the article http://tomhess.net/articles.php?article=1 . Yes, playing guitar can be a great challenge, but one that can be accomplished and overcome one lick at a time. Well there is nothing like it in the world!
Remember, man stepped on the moon, man has flown the skies, and he has built great buildings and done marvels with medicine. So be certain that your goals are within your reach. All that is required is hard work, focus, and belief in yourself. Here is a poem dealing with believing in yourself:
The Man Who Thinks He Can!
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you dont!
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch that you wont.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind!
If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself
before you can win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the strongest or fastest man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!
Author ~ Walter D. Wintle
We must believe to succeed. Good Luck. Questions or comments please email me at
Copyright 2005 by Mario Amengual. All rights reserved.
Mario Amengual is a 25 year veteran of the guitar . Currently the co founder and guitarist of Member’s Only (a Miami based Classic Rock Band) and Hunters Moon which is an original Rock base band also in Miami . Mario has also founded and co-founded Sister Glory,Swing Sister with Singer Mandy Lee and has played with Trace Element . Mario is also working on his first solo self release instrumental CD which should be out in 2006.
Mario has studied with Jazz guitarist Claudio Celso and Martin Porto and is currently studying with Friend and Mentor Virtuoso Guitarist Tom Hess.
You can reach him at