You’re hangin’ at the local music store.
You take a shiny new electric off the wall and plug in. You unleash your hottest blues licks and the guitar just screams. You don’t have a care in the world except for how you’re gonna convince your wife/mom/significant other that you must buy this sweet new axe. ‘Cause she’s a beauty.
Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see him. He slowly approaches – cue Jaws theme – and stands uncomfortably close to you, staring at you as you play. This goes on for awhile. The vibe gets weird.
Then he says, “Dude, that was pretty good.”
(The guitar critic always says “pretty good”, never just “good”. They have to keep you in your place, you know.)
And because that wasn’t enough, he follows up with, “You just need to get your heart broken a few times. Then you’ll really know how to play the blues.”
By now, the vibe is no longer ‘weird’ – it’s flat-out awkward. Like ‘time to smack a stranger’ awkward. ‘Cause it just got personal.
Or did it? Continue reading “Revenge of the Six-String Critic. This time it’s personal.” »
Although I live a pretty awesome life – I really can’t complain about much – this summer has been a tough one for me in one particular way: I’ve had to say goodbye to some long-time students as they’ve graduated from high school and are preparing to go off to college and embark on the next chapter of their lives. It’s an exciting time for them, but I’m still sad to see them leave.
Although one of these students just started lessons in 2012, most of them have been with me for years – some for 5 years or more. You get to know someone pretty well when you meet with them every week for a few years. You learn about them as people and you grow to be friends. I’ve been blessed to make some terrific friends in recent years, who started as 7th- and 8th-grade goofballs and are now on the cusp of adulthood. They’re also pretty darn good guitarists.
In this installment of Student Success Stories, I want to feature two former students, Alex Fang and Harry Foard – who happen to be long-time friends, as well – that have taken the leap from guitar student to guitar major at the college level.
I reserve a little extra pride for the guitarists who have the requisite passion for music to pursue it in college. It’s certainly not for everyone, and quite a few of my guitarists are capable of playing music at the next level. But these two guys have actually taken the leap and I couldn’t be more excited for them! Continue reading “Student Success Stories: Alex Fang and Harry Foard” »
Being awesome doesn’t happen by accident.
You’ve got to put forth some effort to get there. As much as we would like to think that we can achieve awesome status just by breathing and standing upright, I’m gonna break the news to you: It usually requires more than that. Much more.
You’ve got to bring certain characteristics and certain strategies to the table if you want to achieve greatness in anything. And this applies to anything you’re trying to accomplish, improve upon, learn, etc. And whether it be music, academics, your career, your favorite hobby, your relationships – why not shoot for awesome in everything you do? After all, we’ve only got one life to live; we might as well make it the best it can be, right?
The Six Points of Awesome are all about attitude and strategies. I’ve pieced together the elements that I believe are required to be great at whatever you choose. For our specific purposes here, we’ll choose…drum roll…guitar!
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that I’ve arrived – I’m still striving for awesome every single day, like many of you. But if you feel like you’ve been going through the motions and you’ve got more to offer, then by all means get busy employing these Six Points.
The reward will be music – great guitar music – to your ears. Continue reading “The Six Points of Awesome” »