At some point we all need to feel like we are playing music as opposed to just running exercises. Good old fashioned metronomes are still a standard for many teachers but I have “tricked” many metronome-wary students into practicing with a steady tempo by using backing tracks. YouTube is the greatest practice resource of the last 10+ years
I have caught myself saying a certain phrase or a word in a particular way that sounds just like my dad. It is both strange and cool at the same time. I am not trying to sound like him but it is part of my DNA and this also extends to my brother and we have similarities in speech as well. Close friends and co-workers can also be a source of vocabulary and there are probably times that you say things out of “habit” because you have heard them over and over. Now I catch my kids saying phrases that sound like me and it goes round and round.
Metallica at 5pm on the local radio station for the drive home is an interesting choice. It seems that fast aggressive music might fuel road rage for the exhausted worker who just had a stressful day. Certain styles of music are great for putting you in the right mood at the right time and we all have favorite songs to flip our emotional switch.
A common question from prospective students is, “Should I start with an acoustic or electric guitar?” There seems to be the traditional idea of beginning on the acoustic and then graduating to the electric. There are many variables and a few basic questions to consider when buying your first guitar so let’s dig a little deeper.
Students can get caught up in the physical part of playing an instrument and go about it mathematically and not musically. It is possible to learn a scale pattern or chord shape and memorize the fingering and still be able to play it correctly even if your ears are covered up. This is how a robot might practice but the sound is not attached to the note and the human element of feeling and emotion is missing.
This week is all about getting started. Similar to the law of inertia where an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion, you just need to get the practice ball rolling. We have all had the day where you scheduled time to practice and then you decided to check another email or stayed on YouTube or Facebook for a “few” more minutes and ended up not practicing because it got too late or it was time to leave for the next appointment.
In the words of Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, “What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice?!?” Well, yes and for good reason. Learning how to practice is often overlooked and can be the key to reaching your goals. Creating and following an effective practice routine is one of the most important skills for any musician.
The DGL lesson rooms are filled with hopeful and encouraging words from both students and instructors regarding weekly practice. But during the week, those motivational thoughts fade like most New Year’s resolutions. Now that it is February, let’s try this resolution thing again.
This is a good time to evaluate your progress and make a quick checklist of skills and abilities and establish new goals for the rest of the year.
We have been standing at the edge of the water contemplating “yes or no”. Well, this is our first dive into the lesson blog pool and I invite you to join us as we explore various topics relating to guitar, bass, ukulele, drums, piano, voice, gear and music in general. Our goal is to inform, educate, entertain, motivate and hopefully inspire you along the way.
There is a cast of characters here at David’s Guitar Loft and we have often thought that we are a sitcom in the making. Some of the stories will probably remain untold but we will offer the occasional peek into the wacky world of musicians while helping you better understand the music you are studying. We will tap into the unique perspective of the DGL instructors to help shed light on common issues that most students can relate to and hear about the strategies used to be successful.
A new video series will also accompany the blog to give you even more quality content so check back each week for the latest posts and enjoy the ride.