Are you really listening?

man with many gramophones

Here’s an excellent way to develop your over-all musical sensibilities… and it involves doing something that you already know how to do- listening to music. But I’m talking about really listening. I’ve often found that beginning players haven’t yet developed the ability to discern specific instruments on a recording. If you want to play with other musicians, you’ll need…

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The Importance of Mindset

Brain gears cropped

When I am working with a student, I consciously avoid using words like “hard” and “easy”, or “right” and “wrong”, or “good” and “bad”. Why? Because words represent thoughts and thoughts are energy and energy can weigh you down. Or lift you up. I prefer to use words like “familiar” and “unfamiliar” or “accurate” and “inaccurate” The…

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It’s not about finding the time to practice…

time spiral

… it’s about making the time to practice. If we wait for an opportunity to sit down & pick up our guitars, it can often not ever manifest. I’ve found that the simple act of scheduling practice time, like you would with any other important appointment or event, will result in the practicing actually occurring. I don’t really…

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Why do teachers call their students “Grasshopper”?


I’ve found that almost every educator has their own personal cache of teaching “riffs”… phrases & sayings that they use over & over, ad nauseam, inducing eye-rolling on the behalf of their students. I am no different. But at least I try to keep it to a minimum. My personal favorite oft-repeated phrase is “think tai chi,…

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Practicing: The Long & Short of It


I love to read articles and books about the art & science of practicing. It is no surprise that there are myriad philosophies on this topic. I think it is best to start out with the understanding that, ultimately, every person needs to figure out what works best for themselves. I suggest that you start by doing…

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