The Key to Automating New Habits
Here’s how to take the momentum and motivation that the New Year brings and turn it into lasting habits and enduring change: Automating consistency is the key to mastery. This is something we
All Masters Have This One Thing in Common… and It’s the Main Thing Amateurs Avoid
Problem: Developing skills on the guitar is difficult, but it’s deceptively straightforward. We complicate it constantly. We get ahead of ourselves by watching multiple YouTube videos from different instructors. We get caught up
The Skill Development “Cheat Code:” Emulate More Masters… More Often
Podcast Transcription: Hello, my friend. I’ve recently had the opportunity to develop the skill of freestyle rap from scratch. And I have paid close attention to the experience from the very beginning .
The Essence of Deep Practice + How to Diagnose and Address Your Practice Weaknesses
“In a single sentence, what is the essence of effective practice?” With a clear goal in mind, you consistently show up to push yourself beyond where you’ve been before, and concentrate fully on
What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing
“I don’t feel like practicing.” I feel you, my friend. It happens to all of us sometimes. Maybe even oftentimes. Here’s one of the things I do to remain consistent with my skill
How A Simple Context Change Can Lead to Lasting Learning in Less Time
A fellow artist recently told me they have a “low frustration tolerance.” This phrase leads to a solid insight: it well may be that in order to be an effective learner or creative, you have
Are You Squandering Your Potential?
Do you ever feel like your life is one long soap opera of squandered potential? I have come to believe that the main difference between those that “make it” (meaning, they realize their dreams, they
The Unappreciated, Much-Aligned, Essential Ally in Skill Development and Mastery
Time is key to skill development. But even deeper… it’s a formidable ally that has worked with the human species for millennia. You can think of Time as an indispensable tool in your
How to Overcome Frustration with Your Guitar Practice… 100% of the Time
Frustration is optional. Progress is inevitable. Here’s what I do to (almost) never feel frustrated with my guitar practice… no matter how hard I have to work, and no matter how slow my
How to Play What You Hear in Your Head to Master Anything Faster
The Nanosynthesis Method (#2 in the Guitar Acceleration Methodology) has a premise: That working on something that excites and inspires you is more likely to lead to mastery sooner than otherwise. This is a
Are You All Over the Place When You Practice?
The Freedom and Power of Extreme Specificity Extreme specificity frees you to put all of your attention to the task at hand… and ensures you get maximum benefit out of every second you
Smoothing Out Bad Habits in Your Playing That Are Holding Back… and Replacing them with Good Ones
“I’ve been playing for 27 years and my playing still stinks because of my bad habits. How do I get rid of these bad habits?” I get some version of this question a lot.
You Don’t Need Music Theory to Create Music
“Go with the flow.” This is a worn and tired expression. But like many cliches and platitudes, it’s got a compelling power behind it once you live it. I often get asked about
Keep a Schedule or Your Skills Will Degenerate
We have a unique challenge if we are sheltering in place or locked down right now. And I keep seeing trouble arise with the people I care about. The challenge is, some of us
Install Skills While You Sleep
Sleep is arguably the most essential part of the skill development process. And it’s both the least prioritized and the most compromised (by chronic distractions, an “always-on” and overworked culture, and nonstop social stimuli and stressors, to
Have No Time to Practice Guitar?
Are you struggling to squeeze in guitar practice while juggling a day job, kids, wife, and side hustle? You don’t need hours. You need minutes over the span of months. One of the
What Brings Out Your Best… or Worst?
[TRANSCRIPT]: If you are not exposing yourself to the people who bring out your best, and you’re not using the things that bring out your best; by definition, you are operating at a
Losing Interest in the Guitar?
Half the time, I hate the guitar. But other than that, I have a passionate love affair with the thing. Those are both exaggerations…. but only a little bit. The guitar’s been my constant companion since
How to Effectively Integrate New Techniques into Your Playing
You’ve spent hours and hours on learning a new technique. You’ve drilled it nearly to the point of making your fingers go numb. You’ve increased the tempo to the point where you can
Stop Making Art for the Whole World to See
This is a brief followup vlog to last week’s piece in which I made a case against constantly posting content online. In addition to advocating that you do the deep thing, rather than
Stop Constantly Posting of Content and Clips of Your Music or Playing to Social Media
Do this instead… “I want to get my music out there, but no one is paying attention to me. Am I just not posting enough?” There are young artists getting crippled by the
The Six Forces That Can Kill Your Progress on the Guitar
Are one of these six powerful forces (or emotions) killing your progress on the guitar?
Increasing Speed by Sustaining Bursts
Stuck at the same speed? Do this… You know how you can burst into high speeds for a second or two, but then lose it? This is something that drives some players crazy.
Making the Most Out of Inspiration (Without Needing It)
If you want to make music, and you want to create… Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Instead, show up to do the work and be consistent about it, even when you are
WTF! (How to Turn Comparison into Inspiration)
I remember once posting a clip of me playing a monstrous riff that I learned from the illustrious Rick Graham. My take on the riff wasn’t polished or perfected enough to publish on
Practice is the Point.
Over the years, I’ve asked nearly 6,000 guitarists what their goals are. “Music Theory” “Playing songs by ear” “Sweep Picking” “Chord Progressions”“Soloing”“Shredding fast”“Improvisation”“To create my own music and release albums” Or this one, which is perhaps
How to Fix a Tenacious Trouble Spot
Have you ever practiced something a thousand times and still can’t play it as well as you’d like? How does this happen? Even when you are practicing properly, and you are narrowing your
How to Avoid Getting Sick (or Recover Quickly if You Do!)
Getting sick is no small thing when it comes to maintaining and continuing your progress on the guitar (or any project or skill development effort). It can take you out and have you begging for
Get Back Up: How to Bounce Back Fast After Falling Off the Tracks
Get back to practice before you lose your progress! [PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION]: “Hello, my friend. Today I wanted to talk with you about the consequences of losing momentum and the benefits of gaining it
Should You Be Better at the Guitar than You Currently Are?
[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]: So one of the challenges and frustrations that I’ve been encountering from a lot of players lately is the feeling and the sense that they’ve been playing for a certain period
One Solo to Improve It All (aka One Helluva Chop-Builder for Lead Guitar)
Increase Your Repertoire of Shredding Skills and Dramatically Up-Level Your Transition Chops In order to attack this 24-second frenzy of notes… you have to take a hard look at every aspect of your
How to Learn Songs on the Guitar Fast
This is my process for tackling songs, and it allows me to pull it off within 7 days (or 7 hours) or less, depending on the complexity of the song…. A few years
Make More Progress with Less Time and Effort (an OVERLEARNING Primer)
Are You a Slow Learner on the Guitar? After being out of commission for several months (tendinitis will do that to me sometimes)… I’ve had a solid breakthrough on the guitar. I’ve continued to