Guitar Practice Tip, It Ain’t Like That…

This guitar practice tip may be one of the most important to keep in mind when learning the instrument(or anything new). Unfortunately, for some it might be one of the hardest pieces of advice to truly grasp and put in your tool box.

Recently, I’ve been reading about how adults learn vs. how children learn, not just guitar, but, in other areas like language, as well. As is often suggested, do kids really have a larger capacity to learn than adults? Looking back upon my most successful students over the years they all have had one thing….

As previously mentioned, it is often said that kids learn things so much easier. Brain science and genetics aside this may not be a true statement. In my experience teaching both adults and kids it has a lot to do with learning style.

Adults have learned how to learn already. We learn how to study, play sports and drive for success. There are as many strategies for tackling new things as there are people trying new things.

Kids are more pliable in their learning styles. More willing to take to heart what teachers suggest. Without as much life experience, they are more open to just purely DOING something new and seeing what happens.

By the time we are adults we have developed certain preconceived notions how to learn  things. An athlete may learn by taking new experiences head on with brute force and strength. An engineer may face things analytically, breaking down problems, systematically and logically solving the unknown.

How we were brought up determines how we learn, as well…good ol’ nature vs. nurture.

Athletes pound it out, music ain’t like that…

Salesmen don’t take no for an answer, music ain’t like that…

Students work extremely hard studying to do well on tests, music ain’t like that…

Where am I going with all this? Teaching thousands of students from 4 year olds to elderly and all ages in between over the past 20 years one thing stands out.

To go Yoda on you, …”Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

Yeah it is kind of ‘use the force’ when learning music.

-You may need to check your learning and drive for success styles at the door when trying an instrument. (Although they may help some they may ultimately hinder you, as well)

-You need to be open to exposing yourself a bit by dropping your pre-conceived notions for success in other fields.

…So what is the one thing my most successful students possessed?

They had an adaptable approach…They knew when to push hard and when to let off the gas. When to listen and when to attack. On and on…

In essence they had a flexible approach rather than a rigid pre-learned approach to learning and achieving musical success.

Bottom line approach the guitar with an open mind!

Be willing to learn in a different way than you’ve previously had success in other areas of life, when needed.

Above all, at all levels of your journey enjoy playing!!

Lucky Guy!

When I first got into teaching I was so thankful just to have a few students. I still feel grateful to have families bring their kids to the studio week after week.

Then when you realize they care about you too…it makes you feel really good! I am always taken back when clients/students think of me and my family at the holidays. It is never expected but always appreciated!¬†Thank you all for the cards and gifts over the holidays.

Student Cards 2012

Here is to a musical 2013 on the guitar!!!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

Well it’s definitely that time already in the music teaching biz!

If you are like me, you know it is way too early for Christmas music, at least for listening. However, with student performances and CD recording projects coming up SOON it has been my experience that the day after Halloween needs to be the official start of practicing holiday music.

Gotta love the Frank Sinatra Christmas Songbook…has NOTHING to do with him other than the picture on the cover.

 

For those looking for music I strongly recommend the FJH series of Methods and Xmas books. I’ve been using them for 7 plus years now. Their books are a bit more contemporary than the ol’ standards. My students laugh cause I know what page every song is on….they test me but they never trick me.

Tips on practicing for the holidays…

-Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Pick one or two songs with arrangements at your skill level. Learn those and then dive into another. If you start too many at one time you might burn out and lose your steam.

-Practice at least one song you play the notes or tab and a couple with just chords. People love to sing their favorites this time of the year and you can strum away and accompany them.

-Have fun!! Making music with others is a blast. Be confident, but, don’t take it too seriously!

BONUS TIP: Unless you are really comfortable sight-reading make copies of the songs you intend to play and leave the book at home! If you have the book people WILL start to browse and make requests which can be an uncomfortable situation for beginners.

Good luck with the guitar this holiday season!

Related posts:

Guitar for your holiday events

Bing-a-Ling-a-Ling

One of My Students Recent Performances, Great Job!!!

Here is a recent video of one of my students. He performed at a high school function and played great!!!

Keep up the good work Mr. W!!!!!

In full disclosure…he worked this piece up all by himself!! See what practice can do!!!

Sun Kissed the Sea by Shores of Apollo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw4a_cL7s1o

This is a treat for me! This is one of my former student’s, Victor’s, band. It is always cool to see someone who has taken lessons from me that continues to take make music, but, even cooler to see them flourish!

Victor was always really musical even at a young age. Must run in the family as his dad is a pretty good drummer too.

This song has a really cool mix of heavy-ness and dream like melodies. The bands Facebook page states that, ‘all current recording are works in progress.’ Can’t wait for the final versions then. Keep on rocking Victor…and please keep me posted of your shows and projects!

Shores of Apollo Facebook Fan Page
Enjoy!

Guitar Practicing Tips- Keep it Out

Have you ever been walking around your house bored and say, ‘Ooooh I am gonna practice my guitar?’ You find that it is in the case, tucked in a room you never practice in and a full stack of junk on top. You know, just like your gym equipment….’Maybe I’ll practice later…’

It happens to the best of us!

One way to avoid this is to keep your guitar out of the case, of course you want to make sure you find a safe spot for it. Also keep it in a room you frequent so you can pick it up at anytime. If it is staring you in the face you are more likely to pick it up. If you pick it up you can get in a quick practice session. If you get in a quick session who knows it may turn into a full blown practice session.

Keep your guitar out, keep it protected and keep it where you can easily pick it up at anytime!

Keep practicing!!!

Guitar Practicing Tips – If You Can’t Practice Everyday…

What is the most important day to practice? Well everyday of course!

If you are taking lessons or attending classes, however, there is a best day. It is either the day of(afterwards) or the day after your lesson. When you learn something new you need to reinforce the concepts and muscle actions ASAP. If you wait until the next day and then you get an unexpected invite, then the next day the kids need you, the next day you already had plans….etc., by now half a week or more has passed. It is easy to forget exactly what you were supposed to be focusing on. If you miss a day after you already practiced your new stuff you have a better chance of remembering everything.

So that said jump on it as soon as you can!

Keep practicing!!!