Tag: Outliers Archives - Jim Bowley

April 29, 2013

Practice Is Optional: An Open Letter to Guitar Students Everywhere

“Practice, practice, practice!” – every music teacher ever.

“Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” – Arnold Jackson, legendary TV sitcom character, whenever his brother would drop a truth bomb on him .

Dear Guitar Student,

You’ve probably heard that you must practice diligently to become a good musician. This is a time-honored concept that has been drilled into the brains of music students for centuries.

But did you know that practicing is optional?

Really, it is.

This may seem like sacrilege coming from a music teacher, but there is no rule anywhere which states that you have to practice your guitar. (more…)

April 24, 2012

Six Steps to Awesome: #4 – Be Consistent

punch clock awesome consistentIf you ask the average person what it takes to be awesome 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.

Notice I said, “consistent practice”. The consistent part is pretty important.

Guitarists that practice haphazardly are likely to get haphazard results. If you wanna be awesome, you have to punch the clock regularly and get down to business.

[If you haven’t yet checked out the first three of the Six Steps to Awesome, this would be a fine time to do so. They can be found here, here and here.]

In the fourth installment of our 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. (more…)

September 6, 2011

Status Update: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?

FB status update

Let’s play a quick game of make-believe, young rock and rollers!

It’s time to update your Facebook status, but that darn Mark Zuckerberg and his evil minions have “improved” your FB experience with yet another change.

Now they will only allow you to enter one word – beginner, intermediate or advanced – to describe yourself…as a guitarist.

No song lyrics. No complaining about what a bad day you’re having. No pics of your dinner or your vacation. Just straight-up, honest guitar assessment.

So what level guitarist are you? Are you a beginner or intermediate? Have you graduated to advanced status?

Good questions. (more…)

Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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