What is it that draws people to the guitar? What is that feeling you had when you first picked up a guitar? Just a wooden case, with a hole in it, and six strings pulled across? Yet, that simple instrument construction has produced some of the greatest musical sounds the world has ever known. That… Read More The Enduring Popularity of the Guitar (and Why People Love to Play)
I’ve got that excited, nervous feeling tonight as I go through my practice assignments. I’ve gone over them a bunch of times, but keep trying to smooth it out and be mistake free. I want to be ready for the Test tomorrow!
There is an old expression that says if you want to grow a tree tomorrow, the best time to plant a seed was yesterday. The second best time is to plant a seed today. It takes time to grow a tree, just as it takes time to learn a new skill. Learning to play guitar… Read More Follow the Ten Year Rule and become the musician you want to be
So I’m working on learning another Beatles tune, Here Comes the Sun, which is the fourth or fifth Beatles song that I’ve learned to play this past year, and I am once again amazed at the magic of the Beatles. Their mark on the history of music and culture in undeniable, and there is nothing… Read More Albo’s Practice Diary #014: Lost in the magic of the Beatles
Paul McCartney just released a new album at age 71. Elton John did as well, at age 66, as did Cher at age 67. Mick Jagger still tours around the globe at age 70 and B.B. King packs in clubs at age 88. Unlike other careers where you become a “subject matter expert” in a… Read More Are you in it for the long haul?
Ok, so I’m working on this beautifully melodic Phish tune called “If I Could” and have pretty much got the rhythm down, but I keep getting hung up on one particular chord: the D(11) as fingered 054230.
One of the best methods for improving your playing ability is to study, and imitate, great guitarists who are already playing the types of music that you enjoy most. This works because 1) you’re already a fan of the work, and 2) you’re more often willing to take time and learn their songs, as well as try and perform it with some resemblance of their sound. This in the end makes you a better player.… Read More The difference between being able to play well vs. just being able to play a bunch of cool stuff
Did you know it’s also a good idea to document your practice? Alas, few of us carry notebooks around with us all time, nor watch the clock go round and round so we can track all of this. In this digital age, there’s got to be a better way… cue the App Store.
Tonight’s practice session began fairly routinely… open the lesson book, run through some warm-up exercises, taking it slow to focus on playing the notes nice and clean and smooth… but then something magical happened. I zoned out.
Ok, I’m over the moon… I realize that I’ve probably already been doing this for quite some time now, this whole melody-accompaniment-same-time thing, since I’ve been practicing quite a few different songs this year. But I could really see what was happening as I
A need for speed? Grown-ups like to move fast. We walk fast. We drive fast. We act fast. And want to learn fast. However, the next time you feel the urge to go to practice your guitar fast, heed these words: Slow down!
I’ve been drawn in lately to the fact that so many interesting licks are played around basic chords. The premise being that you don’t need to move around too quickly when all the notes you need are already part of a chord you have down.
I’ve had my nose in a book for the last two hours repeatedly going over the same two exercises over and over and over. Despite the mundaneness of this action, I’ve had laser-like focus on it and surprisingly (or maybe not) I can see and hear myself getting better. This is good, because for the past… Read More Albo’s Practice Diary #009: Four ways to deal with sucking
Heat Stress! Tonight was spent doing repairs. A lifting bridge… aka the kiss of death… had struck. And it all started with a typical summer backyard barbecue.
A constant struggle…… Read More Get in the Zone to maintain focus and avoid distractions
Signe, Signe, everywhere is Signe… Ok, pardon the opening pun, I’m actually here to talk about Clapton’s “Signe” from his Unplugged album. Or, rather, my feeble attempt to learn this little tune on guitar. I started practicing a few days ago
HIIYA!!! Lessons from a karate experience… I had the opportunity to take my son to Karate Camp this past weekend, a two-day event that gathered about 25-30 members of his studio to work on different forms, study new techniques, perform a test for the next belt level and do some overall group bonding. This was… Read More Albo’s Practice Diary #006: Lessons from Karate
Oh, my fingers are feeling pretty sore tonight! It didn’t take long, maybe 30 min. or so, but sure enough my fingers were starting to hurt pretty good. And it wasn’t the initial sore-finger-tip kinda thing that many newbies go through.
ARGHHHH! Patience, I know… must have patience… just a beginner learning… will take time… little by little, brick by brick, step by step… must be patient.
A thought has been occurring to me lately and I want to share it with you now: There is nothing to be afraid of. Oh sure, there are a lot of things that we let ourselves be afraid of… but in the end, there really is nothing much to be afraid of. We’re born, we… Read More What the hell are you so afraid of?