5 Years of Lessons – Created and Learned

Back in 2005 I had this idea that I would write a Guitar Method Book to sell all over the world. This book would be the catalyst of my new career and I would be overseeing production of this book in my workplace while my employees printed out and shipped these books to customers all over the world.

Back in 2005 times were much different. YouTube just had just launched and internet video was not something that everyone was watching.

There was no Facebook, and MySpace was just getting started. I didn’t even own a computer in 2005, and I could barely even email an attachment! Needless to say that for me to have even dreamed up what I am doing now would have been completely impossible.

Three big lessons I have learned since starting out on this endeavor back in 2005 are:

  1. You must become a life-long learner
  2. Problems will arise and how you deal with them will dictate your future.
  3. Persistence through the tough times will be required

Agony of Defeat

Now back to the Guitar Book I was writing in 2005.

After working on this book every weekend for over a year, It was finally ready to be printed. This was exciting and I thought I would at least sell a decent amount of them to get things rolling with the dream of selling lessons worldwide. I can’t say that happened though. When I put out my Guitar Method Book back in 2006, I barely sold enough to break even.

I actually created Learning Guitar Now in 2006 to sell this Guitar Method book on, but only sold one online to a friend of mine. A few months later I removed the website because no one ever came to it and almost let the domain expire. I remember getting that first sale online back then, however I didn’t know that it would be nearly a year and a half before any sales would ever happen again.

I also recall having a book signing to release my Guitar Method the day after Thanksgiving at the Music Store I was teaching at. I think maybe five people came out though. It was very demoralizing and I looked at it as a complete failure. At that time I vowed I would never make any more guitar instructional material ever again!

I Am Not My Mistakes

After about a year of sobbing in my defeat, I decided to break the vow and give it another shot, but this time I wanted to learn from my mistakes I had made the first time around, which would become the key for Learning Guitar Now to keep moving forward. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES. LEARN FROM THEM.

Every single person on this planet will make mistakes and feel bad about them. The people who are successful in this world seem to have grasped the mindset that when mistakes come up and we feel pain, what lesson can be learned from them. To me pain is an indicator that a very important lesson can be learned that will change your circumstances if you allow it.

To illustrate what I mean by pain and learning from it, imagine if there were a hot burner on the stove and you touched it. You would get burned. Due to the pain and not wanting to get burned again, you would understand that you are not supposed to touch a hot burner when using it. Lesson learned! The problem, is that emotional pain is harder to learn from than physical pain.  It seems to me that when emotional pain arises, the human instinct is to retreat from it and not try to learn from it.  This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing.

I’m trying to get you to understand that problems and pain will never end, and this is a good thing. You can apply the same concepts to your guitar playing as well. When things get hard, or you have a bad gig, you must find the lesson to be learned in the situation. If you can look at it objectively, I guarantee you an understanding will jump out at you about the situation and you will be a better player and person because of it.

Mindset

I believe in order for Learning Guitar Now to be where it is now, I had to accept the fact that painful circumstances will arise in regards to every single aspect of selling guitar lessons and learning what lessons I can learn and apply to the way I teach my lessons and sell them.  Also, the overall mindset cannot be lost that I started with. The mindset I had in 2005 was, “I have a way teaching that I want to share with people. How can I make guitar lessons that will show students the info that I believe will help them progress and be inspired.”

By keeping this mission statement intact and learning from my mistakes when they arise, I believe Learning Guitar Now can continue being successful. Now that it’s been 5 years of making guitar lessons, I only know a few things to be certain. Every week new problems arise and there are many lessons that still need to be learned and that is a good thing.

In James 2 he says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

If we can re-train our brain to understand that when problems arise, there is something valuable that could be gained from the situation, I think it will help anyone deal with the struggles at hand more effectively.

I also would like to thank anyone who has visited the website or supported it in any way. I would not be here if there weren’t so many people who sought out instruction for my lessons. Thank You! – John W. Tuggle

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5 thoughts on “5 Years of Lessons – Created and Learned”

  1. Congrats on 5 years, John. I was just noticing again yesterday that my playing sessions always go better if I start by reviewing some of the lesson material that I got from you. Everything seems to just flow better after that!

    Thanks!
    Russ

  2. Way to go John – wise words. I’ve been playing for 20 years but last night was the first time I got to play many of the techniques I learned from your material on both standard tuning and open e slide with a full band and in front of people – I felt unstoppable, even my fingerpicking has gotten better when it comes to both lead and chord playing. You helped me find inspiration in what I thought I already knew; I just wasn’t going deep enough and I was playing much too hard both with the pick hand and the fret hand.

    Keep it up! How bout some Hendrix lessons? SRV?

  3. I completely agree with you, John. Everybody makes mistakes, but those who learn from those mistakes and move on distinguish themselves from the rest.

    I’ve been playing the acoustic guitar for almost 15 years myself and I resonate with your statement that all guitarist (or musicians for that matter) need to be life-long learners.

  4. John, really? Thank you. You are a total pro. Your instruction is accurate, precise, at times challenging, but most of all MUSICAL…
    I’ll be bugging you for a long time..
    Keep em coming!!
    Good luck with the new EP….
    LOVE IT!!!

    JJ

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