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How well do you want to play?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

** Update **

(There is supplemental information I'm adding to this post as it's being cited by: Beginner Guitar HQ. -

Welcome to you and to a new school year for those who've started back.

Many years ago, I was getting ready one summer to audition for music school. There was a lot of preparation, perspiration, and trepidation about getting in.

I made it in and then the real work began!

Gentle Haven Music, Guitar Audition, Web Design

You see, I was a little bit out of my element. I was in a classical guitar program but really had cut my teeth on folk, rock, and jazz.

It was time to add some other skills to my repertoire.

Fortunately, I had a very good teacher who had studied with Andres Segovia in Spain.

The work was hard but I still use many of the techniques I learned then to this day.

This begs the question to any guitarist or instrumentalist: How well do you want to play?

There's only so much that a teacher can impart to a student. I've taught numerous students. Some were serious, some were not. But those that were and committed to learning have done well to this day.

You may ask: What sets apart someone who's very good and someone who's not?

Well, the good news is that what sets the good musicians apart is that they're dedicated and committed to lifelong learning. They also thrive on improving. Yes, improving!

Don't for a minute think that artists are ever totally satisfied with their craft. The good ones are in the mode of continuous improvement. In fact, that's what I try to teach the band I play in - Wrecknciled.

I really stress with the members of the band the need for wood-shedding at home before rehearsal. Then during rehearsal, we fine-tune everything we're going to do during our performance. We then may spend some time in self-reflection about what we could do better next time after the gig.

It takes self-discipline, but if you've ever played in front of people, it pays off! You want to sound good and not make obvious mistakes because people won't want to listen to you if you don't.

Gentle Haven Music, Music Teacher, Web Design

Here's a little interesting factoid that most people don't know - in music school, students typically practice their instrument 5 to 6 hours a day!

I'm not saying or recommending that you spend that much time in the woodshed working on your craft. But, I am saying to get better, you need to spend time getting to know your instrument better and the only way to do that is to play it.

There are also numerous videos, webinars, conferences and tutorials for playing well online for sale.

If I were to make a recommendation, try to find a seasoned musician who you trust and let them help guide you.

You wouldn't go to McDonald's for filet mignon, so don't settle for fly-by-night instruction that will only leave you frustrated.

That's about all for this installment. I'm going to leave you with a good video a friend of mine sent me from Josh Smith about learning how to play rhythm well.

For further research, the URL I listed above at: has an interesting comprehensive guide on the 100 best guitar albums of all time,

One other tip: Don't just take my word for it! Ask around. And if you see that what I'm telling you is good advice, come back and look at some of the other blog postings I've written.

Keep shredding that ax!

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