When I was coming up with initial ideas for what I wanted to do with this podcast, I wrote down a lot of things that I could do. It got very overwhelming.
There are so many ways you can go. With a subject like getting better at guitar, there is a lot you can cover. Well who do you make it for. Just beginners, frustrated guitar players, intermediate guitar players, advanced guitar players, country players, blues players, metal players, rock players…
… I was so ready to launch this show, but I held off. I didn’t want to just start and then change direction later on when I finally put my finger on what I wanted to do.
So I just let it sit a while. I went on about my life and I thought about it for a while. But then something hit me.
(Here is a “not so unknown secret” about guitar teachers: We get just as much value from teaching than the student gets, and here is one example of that).
I teach a variety of small group classes. Some are for beginners, some for intermediate, and some classes have folks that have been playing for close to 30 years.
Each class is geared specifically for those students. My approach for each class is different.
These are all very different ways of teaching and very different classes. And you would think that the material I teach would be very different from class to class. And you would be right for the most part.
But I started to notice something. One time last year I was closing up at the end of the week and I just felt like I had been teaching the same thing all week. That’s when it hit me…
…I had been.
I remembered saying several times:
“I taught this in another class but listen to this, I think this might just help you”.
There are some things that we as guitar players, no matter what stage of playing that we are in, help us move forward on the guitar. Some common exercises and topics that seem to focus us and get us back on track.
One of the coolest things about playing guitar is just jamming. Just putting on a background track or getting together with some other musicians and have fun just playing.
But if that is all you do, It can stop you from moving forward as a player.
That’s OK for some players. They get to a certain point, a certain level of playing and that is good enough for them. They are done learning what they are going to learn and now it is all about maintaining what they have. But, I don’t think that is the majority of players.
Almost all of the players I know and meet have the desire to get better. Especially when they hear another player that inspires them. And that leads to frustration. “How can I sound like that” What do I need to work on.
So I started to notice these things in my different classes. Techniques, exercises and skills that are universal to all guitar players, that need to be kept up with, no matter what level you are on.
I imagine it, kind of like one of those moving sidewalks at the airport.
Have you seen these? You go into the airport terminal, you look out and see just a mass of people.
Some are sitting down, some are aimlessly walking around, some are walking into shops or restaurants, but then you see a line of people that are moving faster than the rest and away from the crowd.
They are moving in a very specific direction, in a straight line, toward their terminal . The have got onto one of these moving sidewalks, it’s kind of like an escalator that is flat on the ground.
If you stay on this moving sidewalk, you are quickly on your way to new things. If you get off of the sidewalk, you can see some cool things but you are not moving forward anymore.
So this is what this podcast is all about. The things that help all of us stay on the fast track. Finding our own moving sidewalk that keeps us on track on the guitar!
This show is for all of us. If you are farther along with the guitar, I may talk about some things that you may already know about, but you may have left these exercises or studies in the dust.
Get back to incorporating these things in your practice schedule (maybe even getting back to having a practice schedule for some) and you just might see progress in your playing that you haven’t seen in a long time. I will usually recommend some ways to for more advanced players to get in on some of this good stuff with each topic.
That being said lets talk about today’s topic “Technique exercises and why they are so effective for players of all levels”.
Today I’m going to go through what Technique exercises are and Why they are so effective.
This podcast is a companion to my recent blog post titled “how to do guitar exercises that build speed and open up the fretboard”.
To follow along with me through the podcast, I suggest you open up my blog post:
The main points of this blog post that I go over in the podcast are:
The free metronomes I recommended are:
The physical metronomes I recommended are:
I also recommend these resourses for getting more out of technique exercises:
If you are a beginner to intermediate player, these exercises are essential to getting your brain and fingers moving at the same time.
But, if you are an advanced player, try bringing these exercises back to your routine. If you do a lot of recording then you, I’m sure have heard yourself struggle with certain passages. Having an effective technique routine will get your picking and fretting hand on the same page and ready to tackle any challenging obstacle in your way.