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PRELUDE - The Art of Playing the Guitar

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Introduction FREE SAMPLE

For my first career, I taught dozens even hundreds of people how to play Guitar, Violin, and Bass. At the time, I was never completely satisfied with the instructional materials and always drafted my own materials on the spot, by hand. Years later, I finally collected my thoughts and developed this treatise (pronounced ‘trêtis or spelled phonetically as "treat-us"). This method of music instruction is similar to studying a martial art. It becomes a natural part of your life and through a series of daily habits you will build a foundation of musical knowledge and skills.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

Musical development is a lifetime journey of experimentation and learning. This journey has no ending and I hope you can find reward, acceptance, and satisfaction along the way. During live lesson sessions, I tailor the pace of instruction to the individual person because everyone learns at a different pace and they must digest new concepts in a careful and steadfast manner. While you are reading this in self-study mode, you may obviously set your own pace.

The goal of this comprehensive lesson program is to provide all the tools and techniques that any aspiring and determined guitar player can use to develop into a seasoned, reliable, and well tempered musician.

Live Art Form

Music is a live art form and is best learned by doing. Observing other players is also a great opportunity to explore and push your boundaries but while you strive to play new material or techniques in reverence of someone else, you should never strive to play or be "just like" someone else. We all have our own voice, opinion and interpretation of this world and therefore in return, the world needs each of our style and interpretation for others to receive. I also recommend playing in front of a mirror on occasion so you can give yourself a sanity check on what you think you are doing. You also need to set strategic long-term goals and tactical short-term goals for yourself. While playing, focus on the "here and now" short-term goals and over time, measure your success and ensure that the short-term achievements continue to support your long-term goals. For example, your short term goals could be playing this or that lick correctly, hitting that high note, running that rapid arpeggio, etc and your long term goals could be to play everything more accurately or faster, learn different styles, learn more guitar licks, jam with more and more people, play several different venues, becoming a professional player, etc. Another example, you don't want to think about trying to make the leap from an amateur player to a professional player during one single gig or worst, one single guitar solo. If you put that much pressure on yourself during that single guitar solo you are setting yourself up for...

Simple Thoughts

Continuing the subject, your short term abilities and achievements can run through your head while playing but your long term mission and achievements are best left to your solitary, meditative contemplation time (almost like your day dreaming time). Music is such a live, real-time activity that if you focus too much on overall strategic goals, you can actually get lost in your thoughts and start making mistakes in the moment. During the performance, keep your thoughts very simple while appreciating the opportunity to play music and reserve your complex, critical analysis and self-evaluations for the practice room. In other art forms this has been labeled as...

Since we cannot play our instruments all day long, there must be "down time". This collection of materials is designed to fill both periods of time (live playing and down time). The longer narrative sections are tailored to your down time/reading time while the detailed technical instructions and musical exercises and passages are for your live playing/practice time. As you read through this material it should be fairly obvious which is which.

Your level of ability: Think for a moment, about a piece of machinery. Would you want to rely upon a piece of equipment day in, day out that could only produce your desired results every now and then? My answer is NO. I would want a piece of equipment that could produce my desired results each and every time. When you perform music, you want to be able to reproduce your desired results every time; not only on your lucky days. Therefore...

Mastery and Artistry

There is a difference between mastery and artistry. Mastery is to have 100% command and control over your instrument and any musical thought can be immediately translated and transferred through your muscles and through the instrument. Artistry takes mastery to whole new level. Artistry is the implementation of mastery in such a manner that the player uses good taste and style which resonates with the listener to the point that it motivates the listener to tune in, latch on, and let the mind connect with the music. Artistry, therefore, is the art of playing in what appears to be an effortless manner while taking the audience on a journey that they remember and cherish forever. While this sounds like a herculean task, it really is not that difficult as long as you stick with some tried-and-true methods. We will cover those methods more in this series of lessons.

Sneak peeks at what's to come (from the Ideology section)

The phenomenon of FAST progress from SLOW practice

The focus here is on taking YOUR time (I emphasize "your") to understand the music to the point of YOUR complete comfort and...

Practice Intervals (ref. Leopold Auer)

Players should practice no more than 30 - 40 minutes and followed by a 10 - 15 rest period. This allows the maximum focus from the mind and gets the body loosened up well while also...


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PRELUDE - The Art of Playing the Guitar

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