If I asked the average person what it takes to be great on a musical instrument, they would undoubtedly say, “Practice.”
And they would be right. Consistent practice is one of the keys to greatness in any skill or discipline. Notice I said, “consistent practice”. The consistent part is pretty important.
Folks that practice haphazardly are likely to get haphazard results. But you wanna be awesome, right? If so, don’t be Mr. Inconsistent. Instead, punch the clock regularly and get down to business.
[Note: If you haven't checked out the first three Points of Awesome, this would be a fine time to do so. They can be found here, here and here.]
In the fourth installment of our Six Points of Awesome series, we’re going to explore why consistency is so important to your success, both mentally and physically; why short but frequent sessions always trump marathon practices; and why keeping your guitar in plain sight is one of the hidden “tricks” to guitar progress. Let’s get started! Continue reading “The Six Points of Awesome: #4 – Be Consistent” »
The votes were counted and apparently the guitar-lovin’ folks in Harford County cast a lot of ‘em, because your friend, JB, was featured in the Best of Harford issue of Harford Magazine!
I’ve known about it for a few months, so it wasn’t a surprise, but the magazine was finally published and released this week and I’ve gotta admit: It’s pretty exciting stuff!
Thanks so much to Jenn Dansicker for the great story – Finding Your Inner Jimi Hendrix – and to Matt Button for making me look good (okay, as good as it’s gonna get, let’s be honest ) in the pictures.
Jenn even worked in a little Kiss/”Calling Doctor Love” reference, which made the whole thing for me. Additionally, we got to feature one of my best students, Bailey Martin, in two shots so she is now quasi-famous in HarCo, just like me!
All kidding aside, it’s a great honor and I’m incredibly grateful to my family, friends and students for taking the time to vote for me. THANK YOU and let’s keep spreading the guitar gospel far and wide!
Here’s the link to the article on the Explore Harford website, which unfortunately only includes one, cropped photo from Matt. But I’m going to try and score the jpegs from him so I can post all the pics at some point. Of course, if you live in Harford County, you probably received the magazine in the mail last Friday; the feature covers four pages and has multiple pics, so please be sure to check it out. And please SHARE this post with your friends!
Finding Your Inner Jimi Hendrix
Welcome to the third installment in our series, The Six Points of Awesome!
If your goal is to be the very best that you can be on the guitar – and why not? – then apply some of these concepts to your own musical practice and watch your skills, your depth of understanding and your confidence level take off!
And if you haven’t yet checked out the first two parts of this series, please do yourself a solid and read them first: Point #1 and Point #2.
After making the proper commitment to yourself (Awesome Point #1) and finding yourself a mentor (Awesome Point #2), we come to what I believe is the single most important thing you can bring to the table as a guitarist. What is that single most important thing?
Glad you asked.
I originally learned this from Jamie Andreas at Guitar Principles and the answer is so butt-simple that it seemed like it couldn’t be true. Is it talent? That seems important. Don’t we need to invest time? How about desire and enthusiasm? Don’t we have to be willing to put in the work and practice hard?
Yes, yes, yes and yes. All important. But there’s one thing that trumps them all and it resides at Awesome Point #3.
You have to pay attention. Continue reading “The Six Points of Awesome: #3 – Pay Attention” »
Normally, when I refer to “power” with my guitarists, I’m talking about feeling empowered as a player – the idea that you can execute whatever is required of you on the fingerboard. This power comes from dedicated study and ongoing, productive practice.
There’s another kind of power that guitarists need, too. It comes from electricity.
Here’s a recent message from a student:
I bought some new guitar pedals for myself and was wondering if you could share some tips on powering them up. What are my options? Do people still use batteries? Help!”
This desperate cry for AC and DC prompted me to put together a basic guide to powering your pedals. Perhaps you too have some pedals and would like to know your powering options.
Note: Malcolm and Angus Young of AC/DC are famous for not using guitar pedals. Ironic, huh?
I want to be clear about one thing, though: I’m giving you some tips based on my own personal experience. I don’t pretend to know all of the options available in the stores; I know what has worked – and continues to work – for me. Let’s power up, people! Continue reading “Power to the Pedals!” »
Welcome to the second installment in our series, The Six Points of Awesome!
In this series of articles, we’re going to explore the six elements that will bring your guitar playing closer to Status: Awesome. But remember that these points can apply to anything you want to learn and master – whether it be driving a car, making an omelette or juggling chainsaws – so please read on with that in mind. (Especially if you plan on juggling chainsaws…:)
If you haven’t read the first part yet – Make the Commitment – then go ahead and do that now, since it all starts with being committed.
This second installment is all about finding a mentor – your own personal Mr. Miyagi, if you will. Someone to help coach you to awesome status and give you the benefit of his or her experiences and expertise.
Sir Isaac Newton – regarded as perhaps the greatest and most influential scientist in history – was famously asked how he became so, well, brilliant. He replied, “Whatever I have learned in this life, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” A humble dude, that Sir Isaac.
So let’s follow Newton’s lead and find some giants of our own. Pick a hero – or two, or ten – and imitate them. Do what they do, listen to the music they listen to, practice the way they practice. Let them be your mentors. Continue reading “The Six Points of Awesome: #2 – Find a Mentor” »
Welcome to Songs from the Guitar Studio, Volume 5!
As you might remember from earlier volumes, this series is dedicated to songs featured in my guitar lessons. Instead of picking a technique or concept and finding a song to match it, we’ll sometimes pick a song first and see what we can learn from it.
Listed below are just some of the songs my students have practiced over the last few months. It’s been a little while since the last installment, so we’ve got a healthy amount of songs here!
I’ve outlined a few of the main elements and takeaway points from each one. Hopefully you’ll see something here that may inspire you.
Let’s check out some tunes! Continue reading “Songs From the Guitar Studio, Vol. 5” »