Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on a quick mental shift, the 10 x method, and storytelling in songs.
Before we begin, I thought I’d just give you a quick heads-up on my barre chords course. It’s on sale until midnight tonight (and you can check it out HERE if it interests you).
Anyway, let’s begin with the first of my three random thoughts this week.
Here we go…
#1 – A quick mental shift
I remember talking to a new student years ago.
He was talking about a song he had been trying to learn and he said, “I can’t play it”.
It’s a good idea to shift your thinking and instead of saying “I can’t play that”…
…Flip the negative into something positive and ask yourself, “How can I play that?”
Asking a simple question like that is far more positive than making a negative statement.
The problem was he was previously learning the song in a way that was too complex for him.
We simplified the song, but him asking the question, “How can I play that?” also helped him find solutions.
The truth is, there is always a different way you can play something.
You might have to simplify it, you might have to try it in a different way, or you may have to break it up into mega-small chunks…
…But asking yourself, “How can I play that?” is a helpful way to think.
Plus, it can stop you from creating limiting beliefs about yourself and your playing further down the line.
#2 – Storytelling songs
One of the highlights of my day is when I put Archie to bed and we read.
Often, he is full of energy and wants to jump around his bedroom.
…But when I start reading, something interesting happens.
As he starts to pay more attention to the story, he starts to quiet down, relax more, and the whole room takes on a more calming aura.
I love stories and that’s why over the weekend I shared the story of Jack, his battle against the ‘Gatekeeper’, and the journey he went on to learn barre chords and ultimately escape the harrowing Acoustic Asylum.
It was fun to write and although I could have shared a bunch of tips on playing barre chords in a ‘normal’ way, I wanted to do something different.
A few people have already said the tips I shared on playing barre chords within that story are more memorable/useful/enjoyable because of the way they were presented in the story itself.
For me, that is pleasing.
Stories are powerful.
Not just for learning, but in songs themselves too.
For instance, many classic songs are based on stories and are more memorable for it.
For example, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”, David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane”, Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, or Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”.
What do they have in common?
A powerful story at the heart of the song.
In music, a simple story is a great vehicle for the songwriter to express his or her emotions.
Sharing these emotions through a story is far more interesting and powerful than just saying “I feel sad/happy/lonely/joyful”, etc.
#3 – ‘The 10 x Method’
Evolving is something I always want to do.
I am always constantly refining my methods of teaching and trying to get the message across in simpler and more effective ways.
This journey is very much like learning the guitar in many ways, as there is no definite end.
All the best teachers and students of anything are constantly evolving.
That can sometimes seem a little daunting, but it is very exciting too.
I’m a big believer in very focused practice when it comes to the guitar.
…And I’ve said it many times, you can get far more effective practice done in 5-10 minutes than some people can do in 30+ minutes.
It’s all to do with super focused practice (a good example of this are my 3- and 7-minute workouts I like to get students to do).
There are multiple things that count when it comes to proper practice.
These include things I teach such as the ‘Five Times Rule’, creating a ‘To-Do’ list of things to work on, as well as isolating weak areas, the Golden Rules of Learning, slowing everything down, etc.
Well, I’ve been thinking about what the best way is to simplify these practice methods into one clear system.
It’s something I’m loosely calling the ‘10x Method’.
I’ll be talking more about this tomorrow and you can use it with anything in your guitar playing for bigger and faster results.
So, stay tuned for that tomorrow.
Anyway, those are my random thoughts for this week.
I hope you enjoyed them and thanks for reading.
By the way, I won’t be mentioning this again because the sale ends soon.
…But if you want my barre chords course, it’s on sale until midnight tonight (Pacific time). After that, the price will go up.
Here’s the link to find out more about it.
Have a great week ahead!