Scale practice often gets a bad reputation in the musical world. In this blog post you will learn 9 ways scale practice can be awesome for your guitar playing. I`ll explain why they are massively beneficial for your guitar playing, exactly how you should practice them and why four minutes is the magic number. [Read more…]
In this new blog post, the very first of 2017, I`ll show you how a simple infographic (which, by the way, you can download for free at the bottom of the post) will help you transform your guitar playing to make it more fun, productive and much more inspirational – while helping you sky-rocket your levels of motivation on the guitar.
Most guitarists who want to learn how to play guitar and sing often prioritise the guitar part over the vocal part but this is a common mistake that will hold you back.
The reason why? Because it takes much longer that way. Spending too long perfecting the guitar part before adding singing can work against you.
Singing and playing the guitar is tough and does take a little time, but you can shorten that time by doing things in the correct order which I’ll show you.
I recently had a big debate over at Reddit with a fellow guitarist. This debate could have been infuriating but it actually was quite useful as it highlighted a certain flaw that experienced guitarists have when sharing their knowledge with less experienced players.
If you are learning to play guitar or you still consider yourself to be a beginner, you`ll find this post very handy – especially if you learn from others, either in person or online.
It might be surprising to hear, but learning to sing can improve your guitar skills rapidly. As we go through this post, I’ll explain why.
First thing’s first though – having the ability to belt out one of your favourite tunes is a skill that not only feels and looks great, but is also an ability that all of us have somewhere inside of us.
One of the most fun things a guitarist can do is to stick on a drum beat, turn it up loud and jam the hell out of it.
This goes for acoustic or electric players and rockers or fingerpicking folk guitarists. It doesn`t matter what your style is, you need to be doing this on a regular basis.
I have a rule that I enforce on myself and which I encourage students to adhere to. That rule is, for every 10 hours I practice, I must spend at least 1 hour jamming with others.
Jamming with others is not only good for your musical soul, but will make you a better all round guitarist, and it feels damn great too.
In the previous blog post I was explaining the importance of `Go Time.`
`Go Time` is the time of the year from January 2nd to May 31st.
This is the time of the year that most people get most things done and achieve the most in the whole of the year.
It`s a precious time of the year, and to help you make the most of it, I am sending you all some really important and useful emails over the next week.
The aim is to get you inspired, on the right path to success and to teach you some very practical things that will make you a better guitar player.
Hint, it`s about learning the RIGHT things, not lots of things.
Eg, throw away those chord books with 1000`s of chords.
Today, I want to discuss the main reasons why most people give up the guitar and/or sabotage their own playing and tell you why they are B.S.
To quote Bob Bulldog Briscoe from one of my favourite comedies – `Fraiser`:
“It`s total B.S. It stinks.” Haha
That`s what I think of these common beliefs a lot of newbie guitarists have.
I am no longer taking on full time students on a one to one basis at my studio as I`m fully booked but over the years when I have had students come, in the first lesson I will usually hear at least one of the following false self limiting beliefs.
It is these beliefs that cause millions of people the world over to give up the guitar and/or make them not fulfil their true potential.
They are all total B.S.
Here they are…
B.S. belief #1 – “I`m too old to learn the guitar”
To that, I say hogwash. I`ve taught people older than you and they got good in a year or two.
Where will you be in a year or two? Playing the guitar, or thinking “I wish I never gave up, I could be really good now”.
I know you can do it. 40,50,60,70 or older. It`s never too late.
If the late, great Christopher Lee can become a rock star in his late 80`s as he was, you too can do this.
Take a look at this blog post to read how a fellow guitar teacher has taught someone who is 89 years old.
I`m guessing you are far younger than 89. Yep, if they can do it, so can you.
I have taught people who have never played any instrument before at all and who have gone on to be very impressive and inspiring guitarists.
You can too.
B.S. belief #2 – “I have no `natural` talent.”
Talent is NOT something you are born with. It`s a ludicrous myth and a very convenient excuse.
If something is hard, we tell ourselves “oh, it`s too hard, I`m not talented enough”.
Unfortunately, some people around us, don`t always want us to succeed so they agree “yeah, it`s tough” and help re-inforce the talent myth,
There is plenty of research out there debunking it. A good place to start is `The Talent Myth` which you can find more about here.
Learning anything, especially the guitar, is all about:
- having belief
- being patient
- enjoying the journey
- practicing the proper way with real solid technique
Everything else if fluff, especially the talent myth.
B.S. belief #3 – “I don`t have the time to practice”
Everyone has time to practice. Even ten minutes per day.
You can make great progress with just ten minutes per day.
If you ever sit down at home for more than 30 minutes per day you have time to get some fantastic practice in.
If you`re tired, you can practice anyway.
A good short practice session on the guitar can be very invigorating.
Most people can make time. I`ve taught guys who work high pressure jobs or work for themselves where their phone is ringing all the time (not in our lessons though) and they MAKE time.
Practice during the advert breaks of Game of Thrones if you have to. Or learn the theme tune and play along with it. 🙂
Most people who use this excuse usually just need to form a new habit.
If you constantly check facebook on your phone you have time for some practice.
If you watch your favourite programme, do your practice before it.
When the kettle is boiling/dinner is cooking/the ads on are on etc, grab the guitar.
Make it a habit to pick it up regularly and you`ll be glad you did.
Short bursts for a few minutes here and there throughout the day are wonderful for building up the ability to play – especially for newbies.
As long as you can have a proper sit down for a 30 minute session at least once per week, you can make great progress this way.
There they are.
The 3 total B.S. reasons for either giving up the guitar or plodding along and not really getting anywhere.
If you have ever said one of the above or find yourself saying one of the above, give yourself a little punishment (maybe force yourself to learn a One Direction song, haha).
The truth is you can do it, BUT you have to start learning, practicing and improving the guitar in the most efficient way possible.
As a teacher of the instrument, it`s absolutely essential for me to get students to practice like a champ.
After all, they spend an hour with me a week, but between 5-20 (sometimes even 30-40 for the dedicated college students!) practicing on their own.
That`s why I have spent so much time trying to find a practice routine that is fun and yet hugely productive.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next email, where I`ll tell you all about the 8 crucial things you have got to stop doing right now to get the best success for your guitar playing.
These things are all applicable to your practice routine and you might not even realise you are or are not doing them.
Leave a comment and let me know what false beliefs you have ever had with your playing.
P.S. Sorry, 1D fans