Monday, September 10, 2007

How to Be Fast and Perfect

Someone once told me, "Anyone can play a guitar like Phil Keaggy, it just take them longer to get there."

After hearing Phil in concert, I want to shake people who make comments like this and say, "You don't know my limitations. My brain is not like his. My coordination isn't like his. My dexterity isn't like his." Regardless of these excuses I make, it's true - I can play (almost) like Phil if I'm willing to put in the time.

Here's the secret. Time. Musicians have long struggled to learn how to quickly become close to perfect in singing or playing an instrument. There's a fundamental problem with the word quick - because it fights against quality. Quality almost always takes time.

The mistake many musicians make is that they want to play that riff or sing that lick like their favorite artist right away. It's not fast food. It's a gourmet meal.

So what do you do? Slow down! Play/sing it hear perfect slowly. Work up to it. If you start making mistakes, you are going too fast. Look at the picture above. Musicians should strive to stay in the upper quadrants. As soon as you fall below the middle line, you are going too fast. Many musicians make the mistake of hanging out in the lower right quadrant (where the red X is).

What about my spiritual life? Any correlation? Do I want to become a man of God too fast? Am I willing to pay the price in time to be the man of God with character He desires? Or do I simply want to not try because it is unattainable. Without God's help, it is impossible. With God's help, a willing heart, forgetting the past, and future patience - God help me refine my walk with Him.

Am I willing to pay the price?

Philippians 3:13-15 (New International Version)

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

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