I guess it’s been a while since I posted on the ol’ blog. What can I say? Sometimes you gotta go away for a while. Live. Learn a bit. Then you come back with more interesting things say. I believe that’s what I’ve done.
It’s been over a year of practicing, writing (music) and teaching young guitarists since last I posted and I have learned so much in that time. The only reason I’ve really returned to the old blog is because I’ve decided to codify some of the things I’ve been working on as far as teaching guitar.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’m kind of obsessed with guitar technique. It’s like my form of meditation, theres always a deeper level it seems. I’m always trying to stream line the process of acquiring, improving and maintaining guitar technique. I think this time I’ve made a big step forward.
I have compiled a list of 30 skills that a guitarist needs to hone in order to play the instrument. If you’re a beginner 30 might seem like a lot, but to anyone who has been playing guitar a little while, it can seem like the instrument demands hundreds of different skills. So many that we guitar players seldom feel like we have time to practice all these skills.
The truth is we actually DON’T have time to practice any old way if we want to become even a half-decent guitarist. So one of my main goals as a teacher is to boil down all the nonsense and come up with practice routines that deliver maximum training for the shortest amount of time invested.
It is currently my opinion, after 25 years of playing and 12 years teaching guitar, that a guitarist should only spend between 15 minutes and 1 hour on technique per day. Most of your time ought to be spent actually PLAYING MUSIC. (You do remember what MUSIC is, right?)
Without question MUSIC is the goal. But technical issues stand between us and the music and so the sooner we sort out technique, the sooner we can get on to the business of putting our heart and soul into music.
Guitar Technique does not need to be a life long pursuit. I believe, with my new method, any beginner can effectively master all the elements of solid guitar technique in 30 weeks. I have developed 30 exercises routines each 5-minutes in duration and focusing on only one skill per week. I’m thinking of calling the method “SYMPATHETIC TECHNIQUE”.
This rather long-winded post is really just my way of introducing the first skill: TIMING. Here you can download the pdf which contains the 5 ESSENTIAL DAILY EXERCISES to develop excellent timing on the guitar:
Perhaps most important is that I am producing demonstration videos of myself performing the 5 minute daily exercise routines in real time. So, if you want to, you can practice along with me (the youtube version of me) every day. Here’s a link to the first video:
Good luck with the Timing exercises and I’ll post the PDF and video of Skill #2 next Friday.