“I quit”... “Never again”
“I’ve had enough”... “This has got to stop”
These were the thoughts swimming through my head.
Whenever we want to stop (or change) anything… it can be tough.
Oh and don’t worry… I’m not talking about guitar.
No… I’m actually talking about coffee.
The Morning Habit
It became like a habit. I would roll out of bed in the morning…
Only to stumble sleepily into the kitchen to make myself a black coffee.
I used to love it! I always felt so energised after. Ready to take on the world.
But the coffee came with a price…
While I felt super energised… inevitably the infamous “caffeine crash” would follow after.
It left me feeling worn out… lethargic…
So like any relationship that’s come to an end… it’s time for us to break up.
Breaking up from bad habits
Over the last week I haven’t drunk a single cup of coffee. And let me tell you… the first few days were… interesting.
I woke up in the morning feeling even more tired than usual.
I had a headache… felt dehydrated. Every part of me wanted to give in… and go back to that sweet black nectar.
But I resisted.
And after the first week… I already feel better for it.
I feel more alert (naturally)... and my stomach doesn’t have this weird ache.
So… why am I telling you this story?
It’s not to rant about how you should quit coffee.
You see… whenever I’ve had to change anything about my guitar playing…
It’s always felt the same way.
The most recent? How I picked the strings on the guitar.
I do a lot of lead guitar playing (soloing)… and I used to have this certain way of picking.
An old teacher showed me a new way to pick that worked waaaayyy better…
But as I made the shift… I couldn’t play any of the old songs anywhere close to the speed I used to be able to.
Everything felt like it went twenty steps back.
That little part of my brain would say “let's go back to the old way.”
“Resist!” I thought to myself…”Resist!”
And you know what… every change I’ve made like this has always been for the better.
(Just like I know quitting coffee will be)
Getting over the first few weeks of old thinking
It’s always tough in those first few weeks… or even months.
Maybe you’ve been through changes like this with your guitar playing…
Or perhaps they’re going to be coming up in the future.
I want you to know that whenever you make a drastic shift in how you play…
Or how you think about playing… it always feels tough to begin with.
But over that horizon… things do get better.
This is why beginner guitar players have it best.
If they can find a great teacher… the foundations can be set strong.
For the rest of us who have been playing for a while… we’ve just got to ‘suck it up’ and undo some old habits.
Like I say… it’s not the most fun… but it’s worth every second of it.
Hope you’ve found this little story useful.
Darryl “I quit coffee” Powis