Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - January 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

#1 Guitar Lesson Issue in the Year 2023?

  Skipping the fun.

 What do I mean by that?

 The fun of playing guitar is.....


 In my opinion, you should be playing along to music 10x or more than doing any kind of exercise.  Not only that, but for the most part, an "exercise" should really be in the context of a song.


 You don't wait until you reach Magical Guitar Wizard level before playing to a recording.  You do it constantly.  It is the best practice in itself, even when you're playing something you *think* is "easy".  Doing repetition never hurts your technique or skill.  If you only know one little part of a song - do it over and over and over, until it's like breathing.   

 You'll get much more benefit for the time put into it than doing 4 different things separately, by themselves, as an exercise.   The more you do something "professionally", the more professional you become.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

ENNUI: Guitar Lesson Observations Today

The number one problem I'm seeing "these days" is 


 A feeling of listlessness or lack of excitement.


  I think I grok the base cause of this, although it's very much hidden behind layers of Modern Sociological Sludge.

 Every major music genre - EVERY one, classical, baroque, big band, modern jazz, rock and roll, country, metal, nu-metal, mathcore, whatever - was energized in the following way:

1) An initial cadre of people struck out on their own, doing something that was unique and possibly heretical/unrelated to the "mainstream".

2) By serendipity what they were doing happened to get popular.  It's not necessarily by being great on it's own initially; it was the right thing at the right time.  

3) Secondary to that, people get excited - and build on it.   The excitement propels people forward, gets them to create and DO THINGS.

4)... until something new comes along.

  There isn't a clear cut New and Shiny Thing as there has been in the past.

 Step 1 is started by pioneers.  When you have a SUCCESSFUL pioneer, you don't see all of the unsuccessful ones.  People who may be equally worthy, but were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

 Jumping into music at Step 3 is easiest.  The problem is, we're at step 4.

  But the thing is, there is excitement to be had.  Buddy Holly didn't know he was going to be a star; not even the Beatles at first.  Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix are stars, but is Tosin Abasi a "star"?  How about Yngwie Malmsteen?   For all of these people, whether they're considered "stars" or not, they sort of pioneered a new style of music, with no distinct expectations.

 If we didn't know their names - and perhaps the reader *doesn't know who all of them are* - does it matter to them?  They were doing what they wanted to do, in a UNIQUE manner.  McCartney and Lennon didn't bemoan trying to write music that sounded EXACTLY like Elvis, they had fun writing music.  Music that was derivative at first, but after the initial 50 songs as they say, they got to the good stuff.  

 You've got to have a pioneer attitude today.  It's the time, and the way things work now is that by the time you realize Step 2 or 3 is happening, you're really back at Step 4 again.  

 So you may as well do your own thing, and get started with it now.