Tag: practice guitar Archives - Jim Bowley

October 28, 2016

Reflections on a Six String Life

Relections on a Six String LifeA young man named Brian Gatheru recently found me online and wanted to ask some questions about guitar for a school research project. The interview focused on my beginnings as a guitarist, the learning process, the timeline involved, and continuing education.

As I answered his questions, I had a nice little trip down memory lane to when I began and what my life – my “Six String Life“, as I like to call it – has been like since I decided to devote myself to this great instrument.

I’ve posted the questions and answers below for your reading pleasure. If you’ve got some playing experience, you may see yourself in some of my answers. If you’re relatively new to guitar studies, then maybe my answers will give you some perspective or even something to shoot for. (more…)

January 11, 2015

Guitar Goals for a New Year (2015 Edition)

Happy New Year to all my guitar ninjaz out there!

The first guitar lessons of a new year always find me asking my students what their goals will be in the upcoming months. It’s nice to feel freshly inspired and to get our minds right in January.

Some of their goals will be stylistic (“I’d like to learn how to play blues better”), some will be technical (“I need some serious practice on my string bends”) and most will be repertoire (“This year I’m gonna learn the entire Led Zeppelin catalog note for note”).

Those three things are “big ticket items” to me; you can never go wrong with this approach and you’ll get lots of bang for your musical buck here. But there are a number of other, less obvious, things that you can resolve to learn as well.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started – a dozen big and small ticket items, if you will. It’s a grab bag of stuff to inspire you and give you some clear direction in the months to come. (more…)

September 5, 2014

The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Guitar Player Faces

Today’s post is directly inspired by another post that has nothing – and everything – to do with guitar.

As a matter of fact, I shamelessly ripped off the title and substituted “guitar player” for “blogger”.

It was just too perfect.

The post in question is written by Michael Hyatt, a top blogger in the field of leadership. His latest post hit my inbox just one day after a conversation with an adult student who was having a tough time.

As I was reading his article, I kept substituting the mental battles we face as guitar players for Michael’s blogging experience. In my head, I was agreeing, “Yes, yes…and YES again!” (more…)

May 30, 2013

100th Post: The Best of JB!

Hard to believe that this month – May 2013 – marks my two-year anniversary of writing guitar lessons and articles for my little corner of the Web.

It has been a blast and I’ve learned a lot, but more importantly, I hope I’ve done what I originally set out to do: spread the gospel of great guitar music.

Hopefully you’ve learned a few new things about the art and practice of guitar and enjoyed the way I’ve presented the material.

In honor of hitting this personal milestone, I’ve decided to make my 100th post a “Best Of”-kinda deal. Let’s rock! (more…)

April 12, 2012

Six Steps to Awesome: #3 – Pay Attention


Welcome to the third installment in our series, Six Steps to Awesome!

If you haven’t yet checked out the first two Steps of this series, Make the Commitment and Find a Mentor, please do yourself a solid and read them first.

At this point, we’ve 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? (more…)

March 29, 2012

Six Steps to Awesome: #1 – Make the Commitment

awesome slogan

Being awesome doesn’t happen by accident.

As much as we would like to think that we could achieve awesome status just by breathing oxygen, it usually requires more than that. Much more.

You’ve got to bring your “A game” to the party if you want to achieve greatness in anything. This applies to anything you’re trying to learn, improve upon or accomplish.

And whether it is music, academics, your career, your favorite hobby, your relationships – why not shoot for awesome in everything you do? After all, you only live once (the ever popular YOLO); you may as well live like a champ.

The Six Steps to Awesome is all about attitude and strategies. They are the elements that I believe are required to be great at the guitar or whatever you choose.

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 – or if you’re just starting your own guitar journey – then get busy putting these Six Steps to Awesome into action.

The reward will be music – sweet guitar music – to your ears. (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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