We hear so much about the secrets to playing guitar. They always seem to revolve around separating us from our cash. Can we just say it out loud: there are no secrets to playing guitar in the sense they are being paid for.
If someone knows something, and we don’t, and they withhold it from us until we give them money, that’s called something else. Even if I did tell you the something that I know, are you ready for it, do you even need to know what I know? Will you listen? Will my secret truly help you?
It may actually hinder our growth; possibly getting us all mixed up. Maybe I’m confused, but ready to sell something (a secret that made me feel good once, for a minute).
When we go to a workshop or seminar to gain new wisdom and experience, are we buying secrets? That’s kind of weird. We are looking to grow, I would assume. To grow in the context of secrecy has to limit the experience in ways that we might not be able to predict.
The language & context we choose to learn within, steers the entire endeavor toward certain types of ends. Our choices co-create our musical realities.
So, what do we need to know to play well? Someone else’s secret? My secret?
If I say I have the secret, I hold power over you. If you believe that I have the secret, you may act in the ways I want, or you may look elsewhere. You also may try to prove that someone else has the secret and I must be lying. What kind of learning scenario leads to more expansive understandings that are based on power drives like secrets?
I personally want to see every student grow in ways that are appropriate and timely to their life vision, musical abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. It is true that when we get musically moving, things start to happen, doors open, energies shift; we can know things we didn’t even know we knew. If those are secrets, call them that.
To name those experiences secrets may limit them to domains which maintenance an imbalance in a learning system. I prefer to frame the experience of music in terms of what they teach me: how to communicate better, how to relate to myself, others, and the world; and how to be melodic, be rhythmic, be harmonic, be creative, be musical. Be.
I’d prefer the secret language people to rephrase their pitch: wanna buy a mental widget – good for one hour?