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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The Perpetual Beginner: why everyone should go back to basics.

July 17, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: why everyone should go back to basics.

I started using the phrase “perpetual beginner” to refer to guitar enthusiasts/hobbyists/students who have played for months or years but don’t feel like they’re improving any more. Almost everyone hits plateaus and blocks, but so many people build Continue reading

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Be a real guitar hero: 5 ways to play better rhythm

July 10, 2017
Be a real guitar hero: 5 ways to play better rhythm

When you think “guitar hero” what do you picture? (Look out, the clichés are flying already…cue the fog machine!)

I’ve had many students start their first lesson by saying that they’re “not a guitar player” and don’t really need to Continue reading

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Why Does It Hurt When I Play?

July 3, 2017
Why Does It Hurt When I Play?

I should say at the outset that this is not meant to be medical advice. Serious chronic pain should be addressed by a professional. But understanding some basic mechanics can help you tell the difference between a signal to change Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: how to use a capo as a tool, not a cheater!

June 26, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: how to use a capo as a tool, not a cheater!

Capos are for cheaters, right?

Wrong! Yes, you can use a capo to make a song easier to play by allowing you to use more comfortable chords, or to raise or lower the vocal range of the melody. But what Continue reading

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