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I have always enjoyed the role of being a mentor to others as they find their way in the world as guitarists and as musicians in general. After all, life is really tough enough, and lord knows you need all the breaks you can get when it comes to music for sure! So much of what we learn on the fretboard as well as out in the world is by “trial and error” that one must really be careful, and have the guidance hopefully, of others with more experience.

I have taken many a student from lessons to writing songs, to even then going into the studio, as well as some students who have entire bands as well. It’s always a great feeling to help to push them, or shall I say nudge them in the right direction, because you never want to become a “dictator” who simply lays down the law in a heavy-handed manner. That only serves to create confusion as well as disdain for the process, and in the end, the very folks you are trying to help eventually want to rebel against you! And not that even rebellion is such a bad thing, for it can also spawn new, creative ideas musically, ad may be just what the doctor ordered for certain kinds of players!

I have always enjoyed mentoring new players into my band, making it a great way for them to eventually gain enough experience so they feel like they can move forward onto their own paths out into the mine-laden world of professional music.

But regardless of where you may be at in your career, your experience, no matter how brief, can’t help but aid others in need of some mentoring. Mentors are needed in all professions and in all walks of life, and you never know where the best advice and encouragement may come from!

I suppose that besides the folks I know I’ve helped over the years by teaching and having them play in my band, I must’ve helped so many others “out there” through my lessons, books, videos, recordings and even these blogs on! Whatever it might be, I’m sure there was a lick here and there or a word of advice that I truly hope had helped someone along the way!

In the end, it’s really the mentor themselves who truly benefits the most, since the giving is such an important part of learning what you are really all about, and what truly satisfies you as a player and more importantly, as a person! So, help wherever you can, an certainly whoever you can; it will all come back to give you nothing but good things in the future, and what a blessing it is to see your mentoring really pay off for others!

Arlen Roth

Posted: 2/28/2011 10:50:09 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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