My Story - Play Guitar Academy - 168
It's my turn on the community episode. Today, I'm going to share with you my story and how it ultimately led to the opening of the Academy this week.
Only two days left till Play Guitar Academy's grand opening. If you would like a well structured system that fills in the cracks of your playing and puts you on the good path forward, The Academy was designed just for you!
And, if you would like to lock in the Launch Special ($19 a month) tuition, you can get on the list for early admission Friday morning here:
I had a few different ideas of how to handle this week on the podcast. This is Launch week. The Play Guitar Academy Launches this Friday afternoon. And I thought to have someone who is actively going through the academy who could share their history with the guitar and could give their experience in the Academy would be a good idea.
And, I still do. I've got that in the works and will schedule it soon.
But, I thought, you know, it's time. I've shared a bit about my journey with the guitar here and there across several podcasts. It's not too difficult to piece together.
But, talking about yourself publicly can be pretty difficult. I ask community members to come on the show and share, and it's an uncomfortable thing to do. I appreciate all of the great community members who are come on so far.
So turnabout is fair play. And I'm on the block today. So, I'll share my journey with the guitar and try and keep calm in the process!
and in the bonus section at the end of the podcast, I'll tell you all about the academy and how my experiences let me to build it and bring it to you.
It's not too different than anyone else. Up to a point.
I started wanting to learn how to play the guitar when I was 12.
Not really just wanting to, I had to. I was ate up with it.
Drawing guitars on my books at school. Learning about all of the different guitars in magazines.
Finally, I was given an old acoustic guitar and let loose. It was a mess. It hurt my fingers and was unbearable to play. And I remember how deflated I was when I realized that it wasn't going to get any better.
Enter my first electric guitar (after a lot of asking). Played it for a while, plugged in my dad's stereo. Till that didn't do anymore and I needed my own amplification.
I purchased a Gorilla practice amp with a Banana tuner. Weren't the 80's great.
Then I quickly realized I needed lessons.
So, right here is my first step towards building the Academy.
I had a teacher and I learned a few things but I was still lost.
This wasn't like learning at school where you could see the things ahead to learn.
it was pretty disjointed. And I thought, well maybe I just need someone else to teach me.
Enter my next teacher... same thing. Except, this experience had the very strange atmosphere of being made up as it went along.
I stuck with it for a while, but eventually, I went on my own.
This would end up being a pattern. Periods of being Taught and periods of being self-taught (Trying to make sense out of what I had learned).
Next, is high school this is a very exciting time as a guitarist. Very cool things happen when you play guitar in high school.
I joined several bands and was learning by fire. Whatever it took to get something together that sounded good.
I had no idea really what I was playing, I would buy songbooks with tab and was happy if I came close. If it sounded vaguely similar to the song I was trying to imitate.
So my opinion of guitar teachers wasn't the greatest at this time. I was wanting to know why the things I was playing worked, but I didn't think I was going to get that from lessons.
Next, which was an extremely pivotal moment in my guitar journey, I joined the jazz band.
why did I join the jazz band?
Well, it wasn't because I knew or liked anything about jazz at the time. I had friends who were in it and I would be able to play guitar at school. That's why I joined.
This is the second step towards building the Academy. Through Jazz band, I found out something important. The school had a music theory class.
Are you telling me that In school, I could take a 45-minute class every day to learn why the things that I couldn't figure out on my own worked? Yes, please.
I loved It and I absorbed it all.
And here is the funny thing. I could see the information made sense, I could see the path forward to be good at music theory was pretty clear.
But, there was another problem. I couldn't see how most of it applied to the instrument I played or to popular music.
So, here I was again, not quite there yet. I had my guitar, I knew enough things to get by, I was learning music theory but couldn't see how a Neopolitan 6th chord was going to help me in my band.
Over time though I started to put the pieces together.
I continued on and played in all-state jazz band.
Went to my freshman year in college as a math major, but i took everything I could in Jazz theory class and joined the university jazz band as a guitar player.
And right here is #3 in my path to the Academy
We played a jazz band concert with a featured guest. A phenomenal guitarist named Tony Ventura (Ben Vereen) played both popular and jazz I got to know him and took a few lessons.
Being able to ask questions and take lessons from a pro guitarist was eye-opening. I would ask what thing in lessons or theory he used to gig with.
Big Aha moment. things were starting to come together,
I could start to see the things that were universal to all types of music and the things that were genre-specific.
It was starting to make sense
At this point, I had just started teaching on my own and started to put all of this in order. That was 33 years ago.
He recommended that I check out University of the Arts and I transferred there and continued to soak up everything that I could and relate it to the music that I loved. I went there as a jazz guitar major with a computer recording emphasis (midi).
I was learning how to create and teach people how to create music on the computer. And I started being the student-teacher for the midi classes, (a big step up in confidence
where I realized that I could really teach.)
And from here It started. I graduated. I would go on the road play blues gigs and festivals, I would teach, and I would travel
sometimes more gigs than teaching
But I kept coming back to it and refining and developing the roadmap.
Eventually, I started my own group lesson studio
And this is the last big step towards where we are now.
This is when the internet and learning guitar online had really taken off.
And I found that the students I was teaching had whole new sets of problems that I wasn't used to.
They were playing things that were pretty advanced, with absolutely no idea what they were doing. Tthey watched a video, mimicked it, and, unaware to them, got stuck deeper in the mud than before they learned that shiny new trick.
In the past, it was never this way. New students started with a blank slate and students who had played for a while at least knew the fundamentals.
As I spent years in that studio, I learned how to fix that problem and put it down in writing, as a real plan that I could use in class after class of players who were totally lost. Every 12 weeks we played real concerts for over 100 people each time and it was fantastic.
But It was hard to keep up with. I wanted to take this plan to other lost players but there was no way I could do it. I was tired. and it was all I could do to keep up.
So I decided to go online.. But I didn't really know the best way to do it. But bottom line, I knew that I wouldn't be teaching anyone if I didn't get out there and start helping people.
That's where the podcast and coaching came in ....
And here we are up to today
On the edge of releasing something that I've been putting together in one form or the other for 33 years.
I target the frustration that comes with playing guitar,
the feeling of not getting any better,
and not knowing what you are doing.
I deal with the unexercised muscles and unexercised minds of modern guitar students.
I fix the lost guitarist and put them on a path.
But biggest of them all, I reveal to players, what it is they are missing in their playing to be able to start moving forward. I fix the cracks.
So what is the vehicle that I use to do this, It's called the roadmap.
it's a succession of nine twelve-week courses. that build, week after week, the strong foundation that's needed to hold your own as a guitarist.
Why build it this way? Because I've found that people have jettisoned the idea that it takes time to build something valuable. and I think learning the guitar is valuable
you can learn all of your chords and scale patterns you would ever need in one week. But, would you be a good guitarist. 100% no. A normal person couldn't retain 90% of this. It would go in through the eyes or ears and disappear in a matter of hours. Spending quality time and committing these skills to the power of repetition is the only way to own these skills.
Here is the big disconnect. When you see guitarists playing and having so much fun, is it a put-on. Are they faking it?
No, playing guitar really is fun. But, it's not fun when you are struggling and unsure of yourself. Which is most of us. Those players have spent so much time repeating these skills, they are on autopilot. They don't have to think, it just flows out.
In the roadmap, the skills you need build upon each other, so the order of learning is super important. And I've structured that. But add built-in power of repetition, and that's gold. everything else can just fall away because you are seeing, feeling, and living real progress. It's addictive.
You could come into the Academy and pick your way and choose through these lessons, but you would be short-changing yourself.
To combat this I have a section called "the narrow path"
it's a series of videos that help you take real stock of where you are today on the path.
They put you on an appropriate stage and recommend a range of levels for your starting point.
From there you can look through the range of levels and feel confident that where you choose to start will be appropriate for you.
Usually, it either confirms where you are or makes you realize you have some earlier skills that you have missed. Rarely does it place you farther along than you think you are.
All of this has come from talking to people.
Everything I have learned and everything I have put together deals with people.
Music deals with people.
We are all suffering because of lack of interaction.
Anything rich in your life is usually from an experience with someone.
Being part of a group has massive benefits and comfort
makes learning easier.
And in the Academy, we have our own little private (Facebook groups style) forum. This is where you are going to find me. I'll be there keeping everything together. Any questions or observations that you may have, there's a place for those there.
There are sections for your stage as well, to get to know and share experiences with others in your stage.
There's a place there for general posts as well, it's just a great place to hang out
And the best part of it is - we already have, right here, the most fun and helpful guitar community built-in. They already have access to the forum and are just waiting for the rest of us to fill this thing out.
The lIve stream
How can we keep on the path and not let things get stale? New stuff. Keeping things exciting.
Each month we have a live community call. This is where I go live, and bring a masterclass, or answer questions, or have fun hanging out.
Having something up to date, topical, and fresh each month is something I feel is very important.
Plus, with the Livestream software I use, I can invite community members into the stream instantly and we can get to know some pretty cool people in the community that way.
Finally, I'll be adding something new every month.
It could be new levels in the road map
It could be one-off bonus lessons
It could be answers to common questions
The point is that the Academy will continue to grow and bring value.
I want it to grow with you even after we fix the cracks and journey up the path.
So it's for the players who feel trapped to have a place of their own.
Why would you want to feel trapped? Why would you want to just stay where you are when you know that this thing is doable. That playing guitar doesn't have to suck. And you can see from my students who are playing out already and putting their time in the Academy to good use.
Well, Here's my story. Here's why I've done all of this, and there's what's available to you this Friday.
I have the tuition set at $19 a month just for the launch. What that means is you will only be able to get this discounted price from Friday until Tuesday the 23rd. After that, the Launch price is gone. So make sure it you grab that. There is also a 30 guarantee. So if you are interested and would like to check it our, you've got nothing to lose.
If you would like to get in early Friday morning before the doors open to the public, I do have a list that you can join. It's the first thing in the description below. Don't tell anyone but I'm planning an early community Livestream for early list members before we open the doors.
Thanks for hanging with me today and if you have any questions.. Just send me a message. [email protected]
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