What listening to new music can do for your playing

May 7, 2018
What listening to new music can do for your playing

Listening to new and unfamiliar music can really stimulate your playing, even if you don’t actually try to play it.

Many people only listen to music they already know. Sometimes it’s simply the comfort of the familiar, or nostalgia Continue reading

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Performing makes you a better player.

April 16, 2018
Performing makes you a better player.

Performing makes you a better player, even if you don’t have any interest in getting up in front of an audience.

The idea of people listening might just make you nervous. Even seasoned performers can still get the Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: 5 tips for smoother playing

December 18, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: 5 tips for smoother playing

Many guitar students come to lessons with the same basic problems. They’re problems that aren’t hard to solve, but are easy to miss. You might be mostly self-taught, or maybe you’ve had lessons that weren’t as effective as they Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: making effective commitments with personalized lesson plans

December 13, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: making effective commitments with personalized lesson plans

I think most people would agree that success in any area of life requires commitment: in work, in relationships, in art. So it’s only natural that the same would apply to learning or improving skills on an instrument. Unlikely that Continue reading

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What A Wonderful World: Tommy Emmanuel balances taste and technique

November 13, 2017
What A Wonderful World: Tommy Emmanuel balances taste and technique

I was introduced to this arrangement of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” the other day in one of my online Q&A sessions. I’m a huge admirer of Tommy Emmanuel’s playing, like virtually every other guitarist who’s ever heard him. Continue reading

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Road notes: stage interaction and the pitfalls of live sound

October 24, 2017
Road notes: stage interaction and the pitfalls of live sound

Today’s post is a new category, Road Notes…thoughts, stories, and lessons for the performing musician.

We’ve just had the first three performances of our first extended tour with Renfree Isaacs, the acoustic trio I perform most steadily with. Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: 3 things you probably aren’t doing when you practice

October 16, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: 3 things you probably aren’t doing when you practice

For all of you out there that might be struggling with motivation, frustration, and plain old time management, I have good news.

Practicing works! When you practice properly, you get better.

I also have a less optimistic thought for you, Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: the brilliant simplicity of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

October 9, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: the brilliant simplicity of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

It’s been a week of Tom Petty tributes, and for good reason. He was everyman’s rockstar, as cool as anyone could ever want to be but not so cool you didn’t feel like you could sit down for a beer Continue reading

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