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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Self-assessment on guitar: 3 big-picture areas to explore

November 5, 2017
Self-assessment on guitar: 3 big-picture areas to explore

Most people seek out a teacher because they feel they’ve learned as much as they can on their own. It’s something I hear from new students all the time. The challenge isn’t the desire to play, or even a commitment Continue reading

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Your picking hand: the ultimate analog effect

October 30, 2017
Your picking hand: the ultimate analog effect

Electric guitarists have countless ways to manipulate the sound of their instrument. Start with the knobs and switches on the guitar itself. Add the amplifier, which will add another set of knobs and switches. That’s already a lot of variables, 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: powerful practice tips

September 5, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: powerful practice tips

Let’s face it, practicing is hard work.

It’s hard enough just to get yourself started. It’s no different from all the other things we know would be good for us but never do. But if you would like to play Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner – what are color chords?

August 29, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner – what are color chords?

Chords come in a wide variety of flavors or “qualities”. Each one has a distinctive feel or “vibe”, an emotional association that goes with the sound. A simple example would be the contrast between bright, happy major chords and darker, Continue reading

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The top 3 challenges for singers learning guitar, and how to conquer them

August 21, 2017
The top 3 challenges for singers learning guitar, and how to conquer them

Living and working in Nashville, I meet a lot of singers who want to learn to accompany themselves. Even in a music town like this one, where competent guitarists are easy to find, there’s a lot of value in Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: what Bill Withers can teach you about harmony

August 14, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: what Bill Withers can teach you about harmony

I’ve become a great fan of soul singer Bill Withers in recent years. His songs have always been familiar, but as with many things I’ve come to a new appreciation lately. There’s the voice, of course, and the songs, and Continue reading

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