Posts Tagged ‘learn guitar’

One of the challenges of learning new songs is that oftentimes chord charts that you download from the Internet aren’t quite accurate. For myself, I’ve always thought that it would be great if there was an application that could “read” a digital song and give me the chords, plus give me a way to learn riffs and leads. Sure, I’m experienced enough where I can pretty much figure out the chords to a song pretty quickly, but it would sure make my life easier if an application could do that for me, so I wouldn’t have to guess.

Enter Riffstation. This application blows me away! These guys contacted me two days ago with the following explanation:


Riffstation is a really awesome piece of software for guitar players that does some things you wouldn’t imagine possible. Load any MP3 and it automatically calculates and shows you the guitar chords synced with the original music. It does slow down, transposition, guitar isolation and a whole lot more. It’s Guitar hero for real.

Feature list:

  • automatically calculates the chords (maj, min, 7) of basic songs from any mp3,
  • Synchronises the chord diagrams with the music (any mp3)
  • Playback music (and chords) in any key
  • Allows you to easily add other chord types
  • Slow down the audio without affecting pitch,
  • Retune the audio without affecting the tempo
  • Isolate guitar solos or mute the guitar entirely
  • Beat locked phrase looping
  • Build custom jam tracks out of your favourite mp3
  • No additional files or content required…just your own mp3 collection


My first thought was: SERIOUSLY?!!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – literally for years! They asked me if I’d review the app, and I naturally said yes.

So early this morning, I downloaded the software (it’s for PC or Mac), opened it up, loaded Warren Haynes’ “Broke Down on the Brazos” into the app, then just started playing around. The damn thing’s so easy to use and the features are so easy to figure out, I didn’t need to look at the help (it’s online) not even once. The Riff Builder took a few minutes to figure out, but again, it was so easy to use that I didn’t need to refer to the manual.

What really amazed me was how it analyzed the song and came up with the chords. The song I loaded was in Eb, but I was able to bring the song up to E (the song is detuned a half step) to learn the song with the right chord shapes. To be fair, the app doesn’t catch everything, but the mere fact that it gets the main chords goes a LONG way towards helping to learn a new song. Plus, it’s WAY better than downloading a chart from the Internet.

Kudos to the guys over at Riffstation! This is an app that for me, goes on my game-changer list! The cost of the app is 39.99 Euros, which is about $53.00. I will say this: It’s totally worth the price of admission, especially if you’re a cover band!

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I was reading an editorial in the latest Premier Guitar issue, where the author talked about providing plenty of “space” in your playing; that is, part of what makes a great song is what you don’t play. The premise is that it’s so easy to play a bunch of notes to the point where your ears just stop perceiving all the content that’s being played.

With respect to soloing, space is more commonly known as letting your solos “breath.” Blues greats like the “Kings” (Albert, Freddie, BB) are masters of letting their solos breath. But breathing also extends to playing through chord progressions as well. Generous palm-muting and what I call “blank” space draws listeners in as their minds fill in the blanks.

Here’s something to think about: You ever wonder why a casino has flashing lights, bells and other sounds going off, highly patterned carpets and walls, complicated ceiling patterns, etc.? It has been proven that the human mind can only deal with at most seven things at once. All that stuff in the casinos is meant to disorient people. In that state of disorientation, they lose track of time (there are also no clocks in a casino), and they also lose their will to keep from spending more money. So what does that have to do with letting your playing breath? If you barrage your listeners with just too much to deal with, you’re likely to lose them. Of course I haven’t done a scientific test with that, but it’s certainly plausible.

Now what about time? Well, of course, tempo is absolutely important, and playing “in the pocket” is what great players do. But “time” goes a bit beyond that, in that you also play stuff at the appropriate time. I’ve been around lots of players over the years, and many have killer technique, but there have also been many that just play the wrong thing at the wrong time. Where a single note or maybe a simple two-string chord would do, they’d strum a full chord; or where a song’s feel calls for a more flowing rhythmic attack, they use a staccato rhythm. I don’t know if this can be taught, as being able to choose what’s appropriate for a particular segment of music really requires listening and “feeling” the song.

For instance, I was playing with a guy once and we started playing a real smooth, moderate tempo song that called for either light, even strumming, or finger picking. Though the guy was in tune, he opted to use a “bluesette-style,” syncopated finger picking rhythm. It completely threw off the entire flavor of the song! Of course, I asked him to stop, but he looked at me, and puzzled, “I don’t understand. It sounds just fine to me.” I replied that it would sound fine if the melodic structure supported a syncopated rhythm, but it just didn’t work. I pointed out how the drums were setting a simple four-on-the-floor kind of rhythm; the bassist was using a fretless, and sliding in between notes. I was using flatpick and playing triads up on the neck. His part called for just a simple claw-hammer style. In this case, it was the guitar that was actually holding down the rhythm. He finally relented, but that’s a perfect example of playing what’s right at the right time.

Guitarists whom I have admired over the years who are always in the pocket and always playing the right thing at that right time include: Davey Johnstone (Elton John), Steve Cropper (Otis Redding), both Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Shenker of the Scorpions (especially Rudolf), Dominic Miller (Sting), and lest I forget, John Frusciante (Chili Peppers). There are lots more, but these guys popped into my head immediately.

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Guitar teacher and guitarist extraordinaire Chuck D’Aloia has just added some new material to his instructional video arsenal, and I have to say that again, Chuck has hit another couple of homers. The first video, “Modal Studies,” covers the 7 modes of the major scale, the melodic minor, lydian b7, alt and the diminished scale. And in typical Chuck D’Aloia style, he teaches the concept then immediately demonstrates how it can be applied, with little “tricks” to help remember them. For me, I’ve always had a bit of a mental block with learning modes mainly because while I could intellectualize the note structure of each mode, I couldn’t immediately match that up with how it actually sounds and how to apply it. Chuck makes it easy! For instance, when explaining the Lydian mode, Chuck spelled out the note sequence, but he said something that really stuck: “…to get a Lydian sound, one way of getting it really easily is to take the root and play the triad one step above it.” Now THAT’S useful information, and easily remembered!

The other lesson he has available – and I haven’t gotten to it yet – is called “Playing over One Chord Grooves.” As Chuck writes, “The material is designed to open doors and present different options when playing over one chord grooves. Using pentatonic scales, triads, substitutions, chord scale relationships and other devices you will be using some of this material on your next gig as well as having new concepts to study.” How cool is THAT?!!!

In any case, each of these lessons is only $25. I highly recommend checking them out! For more information, go to Chuck’s site!

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Though I’m quite a bit out of shape to play nowadays, I’ve always had a love for the game of tennis; especially watching the tennis greats over the years, and thoroughly enjoying the pure artistry in their playing. Having played a bit of competitive tennis myself – albeit, nowhere the level of my tennis idols – I have a good idea of the hard work that goes into being good. These guys and gals make the game look so effortless that it shadows the fact that they literally spend hours each day developing their craft.

Within the past couple of decades, I have been privileged to witness history being made in tennis. In the 90’s it was Pete Sampras who had won an unprecedented 14 major singles titles. That guy was an absolute machine! No one at the time could even match that! But early Sunday morning, between 12:30 am – 3am PST, I witnessed Roger Federer become the first man to win his 16th major singles title, and the thing that hit me afterward was that I’ve had the fortune to live in a time to watch the greatest tennis players to ever walk the planet play.

Watching these guys play, the one thing that strikes me is their absolute calm and focus on the job at hand. Few visible outbreaks of emotion. Just patiently playing and doing their thing – and this is important: Responding, not reacting, to different situations; adapting their games to fit with the current conditions. It’s as if – though I’d say there’s a bit of truth to this – they are hyper-aware of everything that is going on around them, and sculpt their play in response to whatever may come at them. It’s thought-filled as well as instinctive.

The Zen term for this hyper-awareness and “intuitive instinct” is called “satori,” which literally translates to “understanding.” Satori is the first step of enlightenment to achieving nirvana. Japanese martial artists liken this state of satori as thought being the equivalent of action. Western cultures refer to this state as “being in the Zone.”

The Zone is a state of duality: Extreme focus and hyper-awareness; analysis and action; emotion and stoicism. In other words, being completely centered in your consciousness. We’ve all experienced “being in the Zone” in some way, whether we’re writing, running, or just sitting quietly, though it is most often associated sports or something active. But here’s the rub about being in the Zone: It doesn’t require any expertise at a particular activity. And while many people have experienced this sporadically and spontaneously, it is actually possible to get into the Zone at will.

Okay, I’ll pause for a moment and ask the question you’re all probably thinking: What does have to do with guitar? 🙂

Simple. Playing guitar in the Zone – no matter your experience level – is the difference between playing purely mechanical and playing with true expression – what’s really inside you. I know that people may argue that you should have some expertise and mastery of your current level of playing to really get into the Zone, but remember, being in the Zone is completely independent of any mechanics. It’s a state of mind, and that doesn’t require any expertise. Furthermore, I will also posit that playing in the Zone makes learning much easier because your heightened awareness and “centered-ness” makes you more open and much less analytical.

So given that, as I mentioned above it is possible to actually get into the Zone at will. But this takes a bit of practice, and a bit of mental preparation. People have different ways of getting into the Zone, but there are some fundamental things that you can do to get you on your way.

  1. First, breathe. It’s amazing how much we constrict our own breathing. I won’t give you any breathing exercises, but take note of and be aware of how you’re breathing. The more even the better.
  2. Relax your mind. Relaxing your mind is not that you block out everything going on around you, you just don’t allow your mind to wander onto things that are outside of your focus. This is a key of getting into the Zone.  From a neurological point of view, relaxing your mind means quieting your alpha waves, so your more creative beta waves take precedence.
  3. Relax your body. This doesn’t mean go limp. You could be jumping around on stage and still be relaxed. More to the point, relax your chest, which most of us have way too constricted.

Simple things, and I know they may sound a bit nonsensical, and for those of you who are more familiar with relaxation techniques, these steps are akin to getting into a meditative state. Being in the Zone is very much like being in a meditative state. Your mind and body are relaxed, and your attention is focused. But at the same time, you are completely aware of what is happening in the periphery of your consciousness.

To practice this with guitar, pick a piece that you know really well. But this time, do those preparation steps to quiet your mind a bit, then try to play it with your eyes closed. I suggest this so you’re playing completely by feel. Listen to what you’re playing, and just for shits and giggles, play the piece in response to things you hear around you, trying to express the emotional imagery you get when you hear the sounds. I do this occasionally when I’m trying to work out a phrase in a song, and I’m just not “feelin’ it.”

Don’t buy it? I’m not surprised. But there’s a reason that martial artists have practiced relaxation techniques for thousands of years. A quiet mind allows you to respond to any given situation with clarity; with a mind not cluttered by things it shouldn’t be thinking about – especially in the heat of battle where even a slight hesitation due to mental distraction could mean the difference between life and death.

Granted, with playing guitar, we’re not talking about a life or death situation. But imagine the level of expression – no matter your level – that you could experience when your mind is quiet, and you’re playing with the intensity of purpose that comes from absolute focus. That’s never a bad thing.

Give it a try. You may surprise yourself at what you create. From my own personal experience, whenever I’ve been in the Zone, I’ve created my best music be it on stage or in the studio.

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Like many gear sluts, I’ve got several guitars and each guitar, no matter how much I’ve spent on it, has its own little quirk or quirks. One might not have much natural sustain, another might have tiny frets, yet another may have wide neck profile. But no matter the quirk, in the end, if I can work through a guitar’s particular quirk or quirks, it’s the sound that comes out of my amp that counts. But the cool thing that I’ve found is that these very quirks have also served to help me become a better guitar player. Mind you, these aren’t flaws in the gear. They’re simply, well, quirks that make either consciously or sub-consciously make me compensate for a particular quirk in some way.

For instance, my Squier Classic Vibe Tele has pretty little frets, making vibrato a challenge; especially the violin type of rolling vibrato. But what it has taught me is to get much better at bending vibrato to coax sustaining tones out of that guitar. The net result is if I take the time to make a note sing, I’m rewarded with this beautiful bloom as the string vibrations resonate through its pine body. The reward of that is priceless, and what I’ve found while playing that guitar is that I actually try to play slower and express whatever idea I’ve got in as few notes as possible. That has affected my entire playing style.

Building on that, the other night I played guitar in the band at my kids’ school’s Christmas pageant. This is a cool production in that unlike most pageants, it’s presented as a theatrical production, replete with story line. The various classes then sing a song as part of a scene of the play. For the first time, the show was done with a simple rock combo in addition to the standard keyboard to fill up the music. And even cooler was the fact that this particular production had very rock and roll flavor. I originally rehearsed the play with my Tele, but I wasn’t satisfied with the overall drive sound, so I switched to my LP copy, a Prestige Guitars Heritage Elite.

Remember I mentioned my Tele forcing me to get better at bending vibrato, well, from repeatedly practicing that on my Tele, once I picked up my Heritage Elite, it was game over! I really felt my expressiveness go through the roof! Now that guitar just sustains forever, but add some technique, and I couldn’t believe how good that guitar sounded! It was as if I was playing a completely different guitar.

The same kind of thing goes for Goldie. Now she has jumbo frets that are both wide and tall, so that it takes a minimal amount of pressure to articulate a note. What that guitar has taught me is to relax my left hand. The net result is that I’m much quicker over the strings. But that lightness of touch has extended to my other guitars as well.

So the net of all this is that quirks in your gear aren’t necessarily bad, and oftentimes can help you improve your playing.

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As I’ve mentioned in the past, I purchased Chuck D’Aloia’s “Blues with Brains” series. After a month, I still haven’t moved past Volume 1, but that’s only because I’m going slowly and methodically with the process. Besides, the one thing that I found is that Chuck throws A LOT of stuff at you in a very short period of time, and I’m one of those types of learners that has to let information soak in before I can move on.

There aren’t any step-by-step lessons in this series. It’s very free-form, which I find is totally cool. But as I mentioned above, there are several places where Chuck throws in lots of material in a short span of time, so I’ve found myself going back and forth and listening and practicing for a couple of days before moving on. This is a real change of approach for me because I’ve operated by this little saying for quite awhile: “If patience were a virtue, I’d be a slut.” 🙂 But this time ’round, I made a conscious decision to not move on until I could execute on what the teacher was talking about proficiently.

What about the fruits of my labor? Well… I know I’ve used this clip before, but it’s a good example of applying what I’ve learned:

Excuse the obvious mistakes, the song’s not really in a finished state (can’t decide what guitar/amp combo I want to use). But here’s what I’ve learned so far that I’ve applied to this song:

  • I now pay lots of attention to the current chord being played and playing notes that “fit.” I used to be a real pattern player – especially the minor pentatonic – but I’m learning to break free of those patterns.
  • I’ve lately put a lot of emphasis on learning various triad shapes up and down the neck. This not only helps with getting the proper fingering at a particular place, but it also helps in coloring.
  • I’m also learning to let my solos breathe. One thing that I haven’t heard Chuck mention yet – though he’ll probably share it – is taking some time to let my idea sink in, then playing to build on it. Yeah, that song is somewhat composed, but it came about through playing over the rhythm track underneath. The themes you hear are ideas that I came up with while just playing around!

Regarding that last point, that is probably the salient point that I’m getting out of the lessons thus far, and that is taking an idea, then developing it and building upon it. It’s incredibly freeing!


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I’ve spoken about him before, but Mark Wein of Mark Wein Guitar Lessons really knows his stuff, and I’ve gotten a lot mileage from his free video tutorials. One set of tutorials that I found as a real useful review, plus learning some new stuff as well, is his series on Partial Chord Shapes. Really great stuff!

Anyway, here are links to the lessons themselves:

Partial Chord Shapes Primer
Partial Chord Shapes #2 – Backbeat Rhythm Guitar!
Partial Chord Lesson #3 – Funk and R&B Guitar Parts
Partial Chords #4 – Rock guitar parts on the first 3 strings.

Mark is such a great teacher! I love his no-nonsense approach to teaching guitar. Anyway, definitely give these videos spin!

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I’ve been on this blues thing lately with my music; not going all out with the blues, but definitely having a huge blues influence on the music I write. But one thing that I was sure of was that I didn’t want to just learn blues licks – the same licks practically everyone plays. I suppose you could say I want to play with a blues style, and I’ve been searching far and wide to learn the blues. In my search to learn the blues, I’ve come across several instructional series and video tutorials, but many focus on playing blues licks, without really getting into learning or more importantly, acquiring a vocabulary to express the blues. Technique I can learn, but really what I want to acquire is an intellectual “sense” for what works in a particular phrase, if you catch my drift, then learn technique as a secondary thing.

I know, a bit confusing, and I’m having a hard time articulating what I’m after, so I supposed the best way to explain it is that I want to intellectualize my playing, then practice the hell out of what I learn. The only problem with this approach is that once I’ve mentioned that to teachers or others, they jump right into modal theory. Sure, that’s really useful, but in many ways, it’s also really abstract. Enter Chuck D’Aloia, who has come up with a wonderful series called “Blues with Brains.”

Blues with Brains is a two volume set. I’ve only gotten through half of the first volume so far, but what I’ve learned in just this short amount of time has really made me leap light years ahead in how I approach doing solos. I’ve always played by feel, and have fallen back a lot on the minor blues scale – mainly because it’s easy. But after I wrote my last song, I realized that while it sounds pretty good, and I have some interesting ideas, there was part of me that knew I could do so much more with it.

And by pure chance, I happened to read a thread on a popular guitar forum where this dude was demonstrating his new MIM Strat. His technique was absolutely flawless, and his presentation and tone were simply to die for! So I clicked on one of the links in his signature, and came to this site: Chuck D’Aloia Music. I read through the explanation, and saw that he also did Skype lessons, so I immediately contacted him about taking his lessons. In my email I explained about how I felt I could do more with my music and attached my latest song. He replied back several days later with exactly what I was thinking that ideas and tone were good, BUT rather than jump into lessons, I’d get a lot more out of his Blues With Brains series. It would be stuff that I could learn at my leisure, and once I digested the material, then we could explore the Skype lessons.

How cool was that? Rather than taking the higher money route, he just pushed his video series. So I downloaded both volumes for $40. When I got home that evening, I launched the first volume, and within the FIRST FIVE MINUTES, Chuck had effectively changed the way I looked at playing solos! That’s all it took! Obviously, I’ve had to apply and practice those concepts as I don’t have the fingering down completely, but the mere fact that I was able to attain a sense of what to do in a relatively short amount of time was just amazing to me!

Chuck’s approach is simple. He plays over a chord progression first. Then he takes apart the progression, and discusses and demonstrates what is possible to do at that particular point. The cool thing is that he also intersperses modal theory into the explanation, but doesn’t make the central to the discussion. It’s like, “Here are the notes you can play, and here’s what you can do with these notes…” It’s a very straight-forward approach, and while I realize I have a lot of practicing to do, I’ve gotten more out of the 40 minutes I’ve spent so far in these lessons than I have poring over books of scales and modes. The most important thing that I’ve gotten out of these lessons is that Chuck doesn’t teach licks. What he teaches is possibilities. He leaves it up to the student to express themselves! That is EXACTLY what I have been after all these years!

Without a doubt, I’m a total believer in Chuck’s series! If you want to learn the blues, and not just blues licks, and you want to really understand what you’re playing, you owe it to yourself to get this series. You will not be disappointed in the slightest!

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I normally don’t write about instructional sites, mainly because they’re a dime a dozen, and most follow the same model of discussing theory, and providing scale diagrams that accompany the theory. Not that these aren’t helpful, but I tend to be the type of player that learns more effectively by actual example. So it was fortuitous that I happened upon a discussion on a forum about guitar lessons. Someone asked a question about guitar lessons online, and to a person, the respondents all replied that the original poster should go to: Mark Wein Guitar Lessons (http://www.markweinguitarlessons.com).

Intrigued, I went there, and was totally blown away by what Mark Wein offers: Free instructional videos that not only cover theory, but provide instruction on practical applications of the theory. Take, for instance, the following video on the minor blues progression and some variations:

While Mark mentions some theory in the video, it’s mostly about interesting ways to “liven up” the minor blues chord progression. Now that’s useful!

After I viewed several of the videos, I decided to give Mark a call and just chat with him about his vision for the site. Here’s a transcript of the interview:

GuitarGear: So Mark, tell me about the site… Why would you just give away great lessons like these?

Mark: I wanted to differentiate my site from other instructional sites that simply offer text-based discussions of theory and give you a few diagrams of scales. Frankly, the videos draw in a lot of business for us. But as far as the videos are concerned, I didn’t want to just show the information, I wanted to provide the “why” behind the instruction. It’s all about communicating these ideas; teaching them in an easy way for students to understand and adopt in their playing.

GuitarGear: So what would say your overall philosophy is with respect to teaching?

Mark: There’s a real concentration on really teaching the guitar and more importantly, making music. I found that it students progress a lot faster when they have a context. Sure, I can teach mechanics, but to me, it’s more important to teach students to play music.

GuitarGear: Mark, I have to tell you that it’s refreshing to hear that. I work with a lot of young people who join my Church band, and some of these kids are incredibly talented, being able to cop their favorite guitarists’ licks like there’s no tomorrow. But ask them to strum some simple, funky blues progression, and they flail hopelessly.

Mark: Right. That’s my point exactly. Lots of people know technique, but are they really playing music? Probably not.

GuitarGear: Let’s move on… Can you tell me a bit about your history? How did you start with guitar?

Mark: It’s actually kind of a funny story. Like a lot of kids I got together with a few guys to start a band. I had been around music all my life, so it was only natural that I’d do the band thing. Anyway, I wanted to play drums, but one of the guys already played. So I couldn’t do that. I did bass for awhile, but another guy did that. You really don’t want me singing, so I basically got stuck with guitar. When I got older, I went to a local community college to study music theory and performance, then I got accepted to USC – unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend, so I started working in a couple of bands, produced some stuff, and did teaching as well. Anyway, I decided to put a real focus on teaching, which I loved anyway.

GuitarGear: So you’ve had this business for awhile…

Mark: Actually, we’re celebrating our fifth anniversary this year. But it was my wife who was really behind me opening up a school, and since we’ve opened, we’re up to ten teachers, teaching all sorts of styles. Plus we have a performance program so bands and musicians can learn performance.

GuitarGear: Very cool…

Mark: We also offer online lessons…

GuitarGear: Really? Now you’re talking. That’s exactly what I’m looking for! And since we share similar philosophies about guitar playing, I’m going to set up some lessons in the near future…

At that point, the interview kind of ended, because we got into a discussion about what I was after, and how I could take lessons and stuff, then of course, we got into the obligatory discussion about gear. Here’s a brief synopsis of what Mark plays:


Suhr Classic
Suhr Classic T
Les Paul Standard (cream-colored – nice)


’66 Bassman
Silvertone 1484
Peavey Pentone

Tons of pedals…

It was great talking gear with Mark. He’s a true believer in using lower-wattage amps so you can take advantage of the power tube grind. He shared a story with me that had me chuckling where he played a gig on this HUGE Van Halen-size stage and only had a 22 Watt amp. People laughed, but the sound guys loved him. And that’s a great story because unlike the bad old days when sound reinforcement wasn’t nearly as good as it is now, you had to have multiple stacks to get your sound out. But nowadays, you have great PA gear, so it’s just a matter of getting a stage volume that you can hear, and let the PA handle the rest. That makes a lot of sense, and Mark’s sensible approach to guitar is what has given him success so far.

Rock on, Mark!

For more information, go to http://www.markweinguitarlessons.com

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I recently read a press release on Harmony Central where this company, Hypnobusters, has just released a self-hypnosis audio to improve your guitar playing. I snickered at first because when the word “hypnosis” is mentioned, my gut reaction is, “Yeah, right… just some more of that New Age crap…” But then again, over the years, I’ve developed meditation techniques to help focus and quiet my consciousness to develop and extend my “chi” (for those martial artists out there), and even so far as performing self-healing. In a way, those meditation techniques are a form of self-hypnosis. And if I’ve used self-hypnosis to accomplish different things, why not apply it to guitar playing?

The mind is a very powerful tool. And if you have the ability to quiet your consciousness, and filter out the hustle and bustle of your waking mind, you’ll find that you can much more clearly analyze different subjects or help steer yourself towards accomplishing many things. It’s not hocus-pocus. It’s pure focus.

For instance, have you ever been playing guitar at a gig or in the studio, and you close your eyes because you’re so in tune with the song that what you’re doing is just pure expression? While you’re in that “groove,” nothing else exists. It’s just you and your axe reverberating with the song. That, my friends, is a form of self-hypnosis. That’s happened to me many times in my studio, and when I listen to the printed track, I’m sometimes in total disbelief that I actually played what I played! I’m not really all that good of a soloist, so I suppose any clean take is a good take. 🙂

In any case, I went to the HypnoBusters site, and found their guitar improvement page. The audio session only costs $9.95, so I said, “What the hell? I’ll give it a whirl. Besides, I could use a little mind quieting time.” And really, that’s what it’s all about – quieting your mind, and allowing yourself to explore the limits of your playing. I’ve often found that the limits of my skills on guitar aren’t merely technical – there is definitely that – but also because my conscious mind often tells me “You can’t do that.” It’s like an inherent fear. But as I break through those boundaries, I find that my actual limits are much further than what my conscious mind tells me.

I’ll give this audio a try, and report back. I’m not sure that it’ll make me a better player – that’s purely up to me. But one thing I know about things like this: They help you give yourself the permission to improve.

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