Metal Mike: If You're Not Getting Better, You're Getting Worse

by Metal Mike Chlasciak
Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 11:17am

I want to briefly touch upon a subject many guitar players (and musicians in general) seem to have a hard time understanding.

I often hear guitarists tell me they want to attend one of my workshops because they've reached a certain "plateau" they can't seem to get past. It sounds logical, right? Unfortunately, this is wrong.

In guitar playing, there are no plateaus. We never arrive and stay at some flat, secure place. Not for long, and certainly not over a period of 24 hours.

This means that if you are not getting better, you are getting worse.

It's true. For example, if you get pretty good at playing a particular scale and take two weeks off, your ability will slide back from where you left off when you put the guitar down.

Even song writing must be practiced. Sure, there are people who write only one song and it becomes a hit, but this is an exception to the rule, kind of like winning the lottery. If you want to be wealthy, you have to constantly work at it. Becoming better at your instrument is very much like this.

This thought process has always been a source of motivation for me. It's very simple: If I'm not getting better, I'm getting worse. It stuck and has kept me practicing throughout the years. Hope this helps you as well!

Polish-born Metal Mike Chlasciak has recorded or performed with heavy metal greats Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Bruce Dickinson and Axl Rose. Mike is the long-time guitarist for Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford's solo endeavor, Halford. Mike's new album, The Metalworker, is available at metalmike.net. For more info, check out his official website and visit him on Twitter.