One size fits all

September 16th, 2010

I read about this kingdom many years ago.

It had a crazy king. One day, the king decided to build a new palace and all his subjects would be invited to stay one night in it.

The subjects were excited.

They said, “Perhaps he’s not so crazy after all.”

The palace was completed. But there was just one catch—whoever stayed in the room had to fit the bed perfectly.

If he or she was longer than the bed, two strong men would come in and cut off the legs until they fit the bed perfectly. If their legs were too short, two strong men would come in and pull them until they fit the bed too.

Sounds crazy, but I know of a country where all the children are expected to behave perfectly according to rigidly prescribed standards of what is considered ‘normal behavior.”

And if they do not fit the model, they are medicated until they do.

In the guitar world, I know of teachers who demand their students follow fixed rules of playing. And if their playing do not fit the standard model, they have to modify it until it does.

One-size-fits-all.

So convenient for those dishing out the rules and enforcing them, not so convenient for those on the receiving end.

When we buy shoes, we do not buy them based on some arbitrary predetermined size and force our feet to fit them, we try several pairs until we find the pair that fit the best.

It’s the same thing in life and in guitar playing.

Instead of forcing our body to follow some predetermined generic model of what constitutes “good guitar technique,” we should find a method that works for us and takes advantage of our particular unique situations.

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