The Perpetual Beginner: what makes a good teacher

January 29, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: what makes a good teacher

Many guitar teachers seem to feel like they need to choose between two paths: what the student wants to learn, and what the student needs to know.

You would think it’s not an “either-or” proposition, and I don’t Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: how to play smoother chord changes

January 22, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: how to play smoother chord changes

To play confidently on the guitar, you need to have control of your fingers.

Whether you’re playing single note melody or strumming chords, every note is a target you need to be able to hit accurately. This might sound obvious, Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: the problem with tablature

January 15, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: the problem with tablature

Thanks to the internet, we live in a great time to learn the guitar.

When I was first learning to play, if I wanted to find a tab I had to ask my teacher or try to work it out 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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The Perpetual Beginner: expanding your chord vocabulary

December 4, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: expanding your chord vocabulary

You probably know the old expression “three chords and the truth”.

Well, the truth is that while you could get by with three chords, your basic strummer’s core vocabulary should be nine. That’s incorporating just one barre chord, the simple Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: just play!

November 28, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: just play!

 

Sometimes the hardest part of playing the guitar is figuring out what to play. As many songs as I know, I still sometimes find myself drawing a blank when asked to play one. Thankfully, that doesn’t generally last long, Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: creating your personal guitar syllabus

November 20, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: creating your personal guitar syllabus

The word “syllabus” probably takes you back to college classrooms, final exams, and stressing over your GPA. I worked as a college professor for several years, and while my time in academia was a mixed blessing I did learn a 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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