Are You an Advancing Guitarist?
A true musician (or artist of any type), must be a lifelong student. Whatever level of mastery we think we’ve achieved, there’s always more to learn (not to mention lessons worth revisiting). Learning moments come from mentors, bandmates, fellow travelers, critics, rivals, fans and hecklers. Are we open to them? Can we put your ego aside to listen, learn and improve? We better! As Ryan Holiday points out in Ego Is the Enemy, “If we’re not still learning, we’re already dying.”
The more accomplished we become at our craft, the more likely we are to allow ourselves to feel accomplished. We avoid challenges to or reconsideration of what we know, or think we know. We are quite happy to sit in our comfort zone where we never feel inept or stupid and where we are never called out or upon.
I frequently catch myself enjoying this false sense of achievement. Happily ensconced in the warmth of familiarity, complacency and...
Music is a language and language is used to connect and communicate, to express and convey and to tell and be told stories. Language is a powerful tool. It is can be both constructive and dangerous. Through language we can elevate or degrade, soothe or make suffer, sanctify or defile, gather or divide, testify or discredit. How do you use language? Remember music is a language.
Remember William Strunk Jr.’s guide The Elements of Style? For my generation (and my parents’ and grandparents’ as well), it was the Bible for how to use language correctly and well. It instructed us to omit needless and fancy words, to not overwrite or overstate and to avoid affecting a breezy manner. It also directed us to place ourselves in the background and prefer the standard to the offbeat.
What do Rules of Usage, Principles of Composition and An Approach to Style have to do with music?...
Some guitar instructors discourage students from exploring online guitar instruction and resources. They warn that there's misinformation, bad instruction and that it is a distraction. I disagree.
If a student is receiving responsive and useful instruction, valuable encouragement and feed back from their instructor, they should be encouraged and directed to explore resources to help augment and optimize their progress.
Here are the top 3 ways I encourage my students to use the most useful free app on the internet for further exploration and development on guitar - YouTube.
Learn four chords and three progressions that will enable you to play thousands of your favorite songs right away!