Learning Guitar with Micro Goals

“You can’t learn something faster than you can learn it. “ Students often tell me that they are practicing every day but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. My advice: define “anywhere”. The solution to the problem of not getting anywhere is to define exactly what the where is. What are you are trying to […]

Myth, Music and Monsters

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek. ” Joseph Campbell In the basement of my childhood home there was a big, dusty, menacing piece of furniture that nobody ever went near. My first memory of it was being warned to stay away from the “monster” because it would crush my […]

Adagio: At the Speed of Nature

    “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson The musical instruction “adagio” comes from the Italian phrase “a dagio” which means “at ease”. It’s a good word, and it got me thinking. The question always comes up: “How long will it take me to learn to play guitar?” […]

The 8 Ways We Practice

This article is about how you can maximize your productivity during practice sessions. It is also about rediscovering how to enjoy practicing again. We all know that having clear goals is the most important thing you can do to accelerate your rate of learning. But what exactly does it mean to say that we should […]

A Music Fan in the Age of Overload

We can thank the Internet; it is now possible to listen to nearly every piece of music ever recorded. This is staggering to think about, but it is true. Today, there are millions if not billions of recordings available for download or streaming over the Internet. I haven’t done the math, but it’s a fair […]

Music and Memory: Raising the Bar

“The true art of memory is the art of attention.” — Samuel Johnson A good memory is the single most important skill a musician can have. If you haven’t been blessed with a great memory, don’t worry, it is something that can be improved and enhanced. Memories are like muscles and they can be developed […]

Quick Guitar Tip: Improvising for Beginners

First, let’s define what “improvisation” means: We improvise when we make up music purely from our imaginations. It is the act of simply making it up as we go along. Comedians improvise jokes, actors improvise lines and engineers improvise solutions. Each of these instances has a slightly different meaning because the context is different, but […]