Monday, December 6, 2010

Students who continue lessons in holidays have a big advantage

School holidays are a well deserved break for children who have been at school all year 5 days a week 6 hours a day not to mention homework and extra activities. The summer holidays are 6 weeks and as a child I remember looking forward to this time as it meant I could spend all day doing the things I enjoyed such as swimming and guitar.

Guitar lessons on the other hand are a very different story. We don't learn 6 hours a day 5 days a week so a break is really not necessary. Students who continue through holidays do far better and over years end up far better guitarists. When a student who learns guitar breaks for holidays it adds up to 12 weeks a year. Basically 20%. Most of the students who don't attend lessons in holiday periods tend not to practice. Years ago I would not teach students in holidays until I read a report on how students who break fall far behind over the long run.

Over 5 years students fall behind by one year but research has shown the effect is actually much more dramatic. Children who are on holidays have more time to practice and therefore make more progress then normal. Some students can actually end up 6 months ahead of those who do not do holiday lessons

We therefore encourage you to continue lessons in holidays if possible. It will make all the difference.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Shadow Effect. Why some students give up guitar.

Students (especially children) often become victims of the shadow effect. When two people compete for the same space the one who seems to have no chance of winning will usually bow out. In guitar this means they will give up. Imagine two siblings learning guitar. As one gets ahead usually by doing more practice the other begins to lose confidence. Overtime the shadow grows and the less progressive students loses confidence and eventually gives up. Many studies have been conducted on this problem but there are also some good possible solutions.

The problem is the student is comparing themselves negatively to a more progressive student. 
I will usually point out their individual strengths and challenges and encourage them to compete against themselves . I often use the Practice Log as an example. I will ask students to beat their own high score and not to be concerned with other students. Its all about keeping them focused on themselves rather than their siblings or class mates. Faster progress while usually the result of more practice can also be the result of earlier experiences such as learning another instrument, having a strong reason for learning (E.g. a guitar hero) or just listening to more music in general. 

When I teach groups of children say five kids all trying to be number 1 may result in one or even 2 winners but it leaves the others feeling crushed. The way to do it is to always talk in terms of team. 1 + 1 = more than 2 so to speak. Keeping them supporting each other and working as a team turns a potential negative experience into a positive one.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You can't always get what you want...


Many teachers fall into the trap of just pleasing students at the cost of sticking to a proven program. I am all about keeping things positive but if a teachers only goal is making someone happy in the moment this can be a problem. Think of children. If your child wants to eat sweets every meal saying yes to them may keep them happy in the moment but it won't serve them well in years to come. They will end up a very sick adult probably with diabetes. Good teaching is basically like good parenting. We need to balance what students want with what is actually good for them.

Often we see learning guitar as a fun hobby. Somewhat like bike riding. Its true that it doesn't take long to learn some basic chords and songs but this can be deceiving. Guitar is actually quite challenging if you plan to get past the beginner stage and should be seen as an ongoing challenge where constant improvement is the focus. Taking this approach will keep frustrations at bay and you will soon find yourself loving the practice. If your focus is on the challenge opposed to the results you will end up a far better guitarist.

Note for parents.

If you are a parent paying money for your child to learn guitar you should feel free to ask questions either directly with your teacher or by contacting our student coordinator. This is especially important in the first year. I can assure you that no matter how good the teacher or the method of learning a curious parent can be the difference between success and failure. A parent who asks questions gets answers and is in a better position to help their child. Many of my blogs are motivated by parents who ask questions. As a teenager when I first began teaching I would dread the parents who ask questions for fear of not having the answer. But over time I realised that the parents who asked questions were the same parents whose children were my best students. There was an 'Aha!' moment in there somewhere. I realised at that point that parents who were involved made a difference.

So please, feel free to to ask questions of your child's guitar teacher. It is for the good of all.

Kind regards,

David Hart - Program Director

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Learning Guitar and preparing for the journey


The well known saying 'An hour of planning is worth 3 hours of execution' most definitely applies to learning guitar. Think of it like climbing Mt Everest (assuming you have never climbed Mt Everest of course) its hard to know what to expect and how to prepare for it. Having prior knowledge of the climb ahead as well as information on required clothing, essential supplies such as food, water, a first aid kit, a map, a guide book etc. will make all the difference when you are half way up the mountain. The same can be said of guitar. Many students embark on their journey to the summit of guitar mountain only to get lost and confused along the way. The excitement soon wears off and the students begins to lose interest. 
 
As with mountain climbing the best plan is usually to find an experienced guide. A guitar teacher will help you in several ways.


Your teacher has many roles but in my opinion the key roles are to;
  1. Set clear goals. (Which mountain)
  2. Set clear expectations by giving you an idea of what to expect. How long it will take, required practice etc. (How long will it take to climb)
  3. Explain the technical aspects of playing guitar with exercises to ensure development. (The theory of mountain climbing) 
  4. Show you the best approach to your practice. (How to actually climb)
  5. Motivate and inspire you to become an accomplished guitarist. (Staying positive during the tough climb)
If you have any question marks concerning your lessons please feel free to email me at david@g4guitar.com.au


Hope that helps.


David Hart - Program Director


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why children do not want to practice guitar and what to do about it

One of the big deciding factors between children who succeed on guitar and those who give up is parent involvement. It is the emotional support from parents that makes this critical difference. This is especially true in the early phase. Statistically children of musical parents have a higher chance of success. A great example is Mozart whose father Leopold was himself a music teacher. But the reason is not so much because the parents are musical (which helps of course) but it is because they understand what is expected of their child at home. They understand that almost any child will not want to practice on a daily basis but that practice is necessary for their success. So how do you get your child to practice?


Firstly you don't have to be a musical parent. You just need to ensure your child practices on a daily basis.
We typically get parents saying 'She doesn't practice so we have decided to stop the lessons for now'. That is like saying 'She doesn't want to eat vegetables so we just let her eat ice cream'. Children will not want to practice because it requires concentration and effort. Their appreciation for practice will not come until 6 to 12 months of regular daily practice when they see the rewards. Until that time it is critical that parents help their child through the early phase. The teacher will map out what needs to be done and your child will know what is required so what to practice is covered.

Children are not able to see the long term benefits of practice like adults do. Working together with your child will show them that you hard with them and that you will work through it together. Try to sit down with them and help them with their practice. Especially in the early months. Over time they will need less support as they begin to reap the rewards of practice. They will eventually look forward to their practice time.

I hope this information has been helpful but please feel free to email me your questions at david@g4guitar.com.au

David Hart - Program Director

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Inspirational drummers

I think anyone who plays electric guitar appreciates a good drummer. Here are some of my favourites.
















Thursday, September 30, 2010

What does Sport have to do with Learning Guitar?

We often underestimate the value of a coach.  In the NRL St George have now won 2 straight premierships under the coach Wayne Bennett. Whether you like the sport or not one can't help but admire a great coach. Wayne Bennett has miraculously taken a team that has not won a premiership in over 30 years or a minor premiership since 1985 to the top 2 years in a row. Wayne Bennett's record with Brisbane was also very impressive. Bennett will go down in history as the sports best ever coach. 

Australia's Olympic Record

On a 60 minutes program earlier this year they featured a story about how the Australian Olympic athletes were not going to do so well in the up-and-coming Olympics because our secret to success was now out. In both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics Australia ranked fourth place in the world because we had a secret. Keep in mind the fact the three countries in front of Australia have much larger populations. USA with 307 million, China with 1.3 billion and Russia with 140 million. Compare that to Australia with only 21 million. This in effect means a country like China should get 61 times as many medals as Australia to be comparable. 2004 Australia won 49 medals and China 63. China would have needed to win over 3000 medals to be comparable by population.


Bad News Predicted for Australia
 
Now the story on 60 minutes was actually predicting bad news for Australia. In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing Australia slipped from 4th place into 6th place in the overall medal tally. For many Australians this went unnoticed but slipping two places was significant. The most notable threat to Australia was Great Britain who more than doubled their gold medal tally in 2008 compared to 2004. So what is really going on here?


Aussie Secret Revealed

The reason behind the success of Australia in the past has come down to 'superior coaching'. The Australian government had a very generous budget which was spent on ensuring our athletes had the best coaches and that our coaches had the best coaches (yes good coaches have coaches) and access to the latest technology. In other words we were one step ahead of the competition not because we trained harder or had naturally better athletes but because we trained smarter and recognised the advantage of a good coach.



Train (practice) Smarter

So how does this relate to learning guitar? While guitar and music also have an artistic component becoming a technically great guitar player is similar to becoming a sports champion. It's not enough to simply train harder you must train smarter. The message in this story is the power of a coach. Australia's significant advantage in the Olympics has come about not as a result of superior athletes but as a result of superior coaches and technology. The reason Great Britain has dramatically improved its performance is because they increased the budget allocated to training their Olympic athletes. In other words they now spend a lot more on good coaches than they did prior to 2004 even poaching some Australian coaches. Apparently they fund their Olympic training program through the national lottery.


Find a Great Coach

The moral therefore to this story is simple. If you want to be good at almost anything start with a good coach. If you want to be great then find a great coach. Successful people know that trying to achieve success alone while a noble idea is not the choice of champions. The 60 minutes story was perhaps trying to create controversy over the fact that some of our best coaches have now defected to Great Britain but was also pointing out that whoever has the best coaches will win. My conclusion and advice is to make sure you have a good coach.

David Hart - Program Director

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to trick yourself (and others) into practicing guitar.

Taronga Zoo's (Sydney, Australia) magazine 'Wild Life' (WL)  featured an article about training seals to do tricks. Throughout history animal training was largely based around cruelty but most of today's animal trainers  have learned to use positive reinforcement techniques. In WL the author says "Today's training is based on operant conditioning where seals change their behaviours because off positive reinforcement".  They use a variety of fish snacks as well as toys and even gelatine. They also incorporate the use of a whistle which creates an association that a fish snack is on the way.

So how does this relate to you? 

Comparing you to a seal may seem strange but the reality is you are not so different. The seals change their behaviour because it brings an immediate positive result. Everyone loves an immediate positive result. This is often termed as instant gratification but usually in a negative sense. The results of your life whether it be learning how to play guitar or getting fit or almost anything else comes about as a result of your behavior. Reinforce the right behaviors through positive reinforcement and just like the seals you will learn to associate the actions to the rewards.

Can you train other people to do tricks? 

You might ask what kind of manipulative person would want to train other people to do tricks. In the WL article they mention how a common question is 'why do trainers want to train seals?' Their answer is that it allows them to take care of the seals. For instance getting them to open their mouth allows them to keep their teeth clean and getting them to lie down and rollover allows them to inspect their body for any problems. They have even trained female seals to lie down for an ultrasound to monitor their pregnancy. This same idea is probably applied every day in your own life. Anyone who is parent is constantly training their child to behave in a certain way. By using positive reinforcement you can usually get your child to want to brush their teeth, eat their vegetables, go to bed on time and to do their homework.

Cause and Effect.

We are basically motivated toward pleasure and away from pain.  Think about what drives you to go to work even if its a job you hate? Either the pleasure of being paid or avoiding the pain of poverty. Credit card companies, airlines, department stores are all examples of organisations that use reward systems (point cards) to keep you motivated to buy their products. They know the power of rewards all too well.

Frequent flyer reward system for guitar

How you ask? Firstly create a reward system based on your practice. The positive behaviour. Create a rewards catalogue for yourself that rewards you or your child for minutes spent practicing. E.g. 1 minute of practice equals 1 point. So for 1000 points you might get a choice of a movie ticket or an iTunes card. At 5000 points you might reward yourself with a concert ticket. 10,000 points and its time for that new guitar.

Guitar practice becomes its own reward

The final destination is getting to the point where practice becomes its own reward. This is where you begin to really enjoy the the practice. From my experience it is connected to confidence. Lets use say learning to swim. If you can't swim learning is hard word and a little scary but once you can swim at a reasonable level it becomes fun. 

So good luck and let me know how it works out.

Hope that helps.

David Hart - Program Director

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Why isolation in learning guitar is so important

The brain learns firstly through a deliberate step by step process. Remember when you were a child learning to tie shoe laces? It was a challenging task that required serious concentration and practice. This is referred to as 'Deliberate practice'.  Playing guitar is about learning and developing a range of skills such as picking technique, finger placement, pitch recognition, rhythm, reading and so on. Isolating each of these elements is important for development but also for recognition. Recognising the different elements of what you hear is the first step to being able to play what you hear. 

Watching a TV music quiz show recently I was impressed by the woman who was able to identify instantly the instruments being played in a complex orchestral arrangement after just a few seconds of listening. It made perfect sense when they announced she had spent years touring with some of the world's best orchestras. She was able to single out the different instruments instantaneously.

The following video is a visual awareness test was conducted by Daniel J Simons at the University of Illinois. You may have seen this already but if not try watching this short video and doing the exercise before you read below.



I, like many people who were unaware of the real test also missed the appearance of the surprise guest. I was completely focused on the number of passes by the white team.

The above experiment demonstrates how our brain filters when it is focused on a task. This is important because irrelevant information can just get in the way. Learning music is a real trap because the music itself can get in the way. Ask the average non-musician to count the number of beats in Happy Birthday and they will have trouble because they just want to sing along to the words they know.

To learn music effectively you need to isolate its elements. Learning music can resemble the 'Rub your belly and pat your head simultaneously' challenge most of us did as kids. If you did learn it I bet you can still do it now. If not you will probably find it challenging. The secret is to not to begin by doing both. Start by rubbing your belly in circles until it is automatic and then stop. Now pat your head until it is automatic and stop. Now start the belly rub and then introduce the head pat after 15 seconds. If it doesn't work start all over again. Keep isolating and then combining and you will have it down in no time and once you do you will probably never forget it.

The reason this works is because the part of brain that needs to learn has difficulty trying to multitask. In fact multitasking is not recommended when trying to learn something new. If you try doing a complex action your brain doesn't know which part to filter out so it will filter depending on where you focus. Breaking down a complex action or thought is the key. Learn one element at a time. Once your brain understands one part of the task it can more easily incorporate another part. Now how does this apply to guitar? 


Students (and I don't just mean beginners) invariably pick up a guitar and try picking out a riff with the left hand moving around the fret board and the right hand picking out the right strings at the same time. This rarely works because you need both hands to execute correctly yet the brain can only focus on one at a time. So begin by picking out a few notes and then focusing on just one hand. Once say your left hand knows its part go to your right hand and rehearse its part. Then like the 'Rub the belly, pat the head' exercise bring them together. Keep doing this until you have it.


David Hart - Program Director

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How children learn music

For children repetition is key to developing skills especially in music but this can sometimes be challenging for those who have to listen. As adults it can become a little aurally challenging to hear the same song again and again. Children on the other hand like repetition for several reasons.

This is a topic that many organisations understand all too well. When Walt Disney built his first theme park he literally walked around on his knees to see how Disneyland would be seen from the child's perspective. TV shows like Blues Clues would test their shows on children to see what would engage them prior to going to air. T
he results were often surprising and contrary to popular adult beliefs. Blues Clues became the highest rating children's show in US history because it was designed for the way children viewed the world. The enormous success of The Wiggles comes from their understanding of how young children view live entertainment. Take them to an opera and chances are they will be bored within minutes.

Teaching guitar to young children

If I could only offer one sentence of advice to teachers working with children it would be 'Small steps and lots of repetition'. Children will assess any challenge and if the step appears too big they will find a way to avoid it. This could be anything from using diversion tactics (E.g. Asking irrelevant questions or acting up) to emotional outbursts (E.g. tears) to simply saying they are bored. All these signs indicate that the challenge is either inappropriate or perceived as too hard to the child. 


The importance of repetition

Repetition helps children to master a skill and gain confidence before moving to the next level. Think how with a child you can play the same simple game again and again and they never seem to tire of it. E.g.'Peek-a-boo'. Through repetition they are developing and refining a motor skill. If they were to learn a new song or skill every week they would not have time to develop each skill and would quickly lose confidence in their ability. Lets use the example of the alphabet song. Children will sing this thousands of times and still not be sick of it. This gives them a foundation to learn the English language. Adults on the other hand are imagining a scene from The Simpsons where Homer is strangling Bart.

Slow and steady wins the race

We do of course want them to progress and move forward and not get stuck on one song for too long so while we encourage repetition we also keep a balance by ensuring students are moving forward. We have found that children need to go through stages when learning any song. The first stage is learning the new material followed by developing the skills required for a period of time and finally enjoying a level of accomplishment. Pushing them onto new songs or skills too quickly can by pass the last stage and ultimately erodes their confidence because they feel no real sense of accomplishment. Children need to know that a skill that is seemingly difficult  can be accomplished through persistence. This builds their confidence to go on and master almost any skill and not just in music.

Conclusion

The early stages are more about building their confidence with achievable challenges and lots of repetition. If children are happy playing the same song again and again we applaud them for it. Their confidence will grow as they master each song or exercise especially when those who hear them for the first time playing the song remark "Wow. That was fantastic".

David Hart - Program Director

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why stopping guitar lessons is a bad idea!

I would have to say that around 4 out 5 people who stop guitar lessons stop guitar completely despite the fact that most intend to continue playing and practicing. In a recent study on dieting in the USA they reported that people who are on a program with a coach are far more likely to lose weight than those without a coach. Why is this?

The answer is actually quite simple. We humans care more about what others think than what we think of ourselves and we don't like to lose. We are social beings and if you look through the history of humans you will find this was a critical part of our survival. To increase your chances of success in anything find someone to be accountable to. When you have a coach you not only feel accountable but are accountable to someone whose own success depends on yours. A great coach knows how to maximize this fact to help you achieve results far beyond what you could achieve by yourself.

"But I don't have time for lessons."

One of the best pieces of advice I received was 'You don't have time for everything but you always have time for what really matters' If you use the excuse of not having time now you will be using that same excuse in 6 months or a year from now. I strongly believe that anything that you're passionate about cannot be put off. You must start today and commit to it long term. The fact is guitar lessons will actually save you time. Rather than spending years heading in the wrong direction, developing poor technique and habits or just generally being unfocused a teacher will put you on the right path and keep you there so that you reach your goals much sooner.

"Is guitar really a priority for you?"

My suggestion is simply to write down the things that are important to you and make time for them by eliminating things that are unimportant. To learn guitar you only need 30 minutes a day and to excel you need a coach.  I know it's not always easy finding the time but I do know that as mentioned above having a weekly lesson will push you to find the time.

David Hart - Program Director

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Connecting guitar players everywhere.

As a child I couldn't wait to get to my guitar lesson each week. It was the highlight of my week. I would hang out with other musicians at my local music center and by age 14 years was regularly jamming and even gigging. By 17 years old I had a network of musicians who I could jam with regularly. It was hugely inspiring and was all inspired by one man.

My teacher Mark Bergman was outstanding as both a player and a teacher and became an absolute inspiration to not only me but much of the local guitar community. A local hero you might say. Mark had the ability to bring musicians together and to push them beyond their comfort zone. He brought out the best in you. I was inspired by the way he connected musicians. This led me to a career in music and teaching but also inspired me to take it one step further.

I had imagined a place where the world's best guitarists could come together to teach and share their knowledge and experience with students. I wanted to be able to tap in to their combined yet diverse talents. I knew if there must be other inspirational guitarists and teachers like Mark out there but the challenge was finding them and then bringing them together.

My early attempts at creating my vision came with many disappointments and enormous unexpected challenges. This led me on a path to understand how others had come to realised their dreams. One of the first people I read about was Walt Disney. When Disney decided to create Disneyland most people thought he was crazy. He went to hundreds of banks and money lenders to seek finance for his dream but was continually knocked back. I read many similar stories and realized that dreams are always personal and most people will think you are crazy. We somehow have this idea that all successful people were always successful as if they somehow were given their success. This is rarely the truth. Dreams of the results often of long arduous struggles.

In the late 90's after almost giving up on the idea and focusing on my own teaching the internet made its first real appearance and this brought new hope. The main problem had been trying to connect with other inspiring guitar teachers and the internet for the first time was going to allow this. I recalled how my teacher Mark had connected me with other like minded teenagers and we were able to form bands and inspire each other. G4 GUITAR is based on that same experience. We are creating a community of guitarists but thanks to the internet our community is becoming worldwide. We know the secret to inspiration is connecting with like-minded people. In music if you play and connect with other musicians you will learn faster and become more inspired. G4 GUITAR is about doing this with teachers so students ultimately benefit.

In a sentence G4 GUITAR is all about connecting guitarists.

To learn more about the
G4 GUITAR METHOD please the ONLINE INTRODUCTION to the G4 GUITAR METHOD.

If you have any questions please feel free to email myself anytime at david@g4guitar.com.au

David Hart - Program Director

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Does Music Make My Child Smarter?


Scientific research on the effects of music on children is always a common subject among educators and parents. Compared to the long history of research on language, our scientific understanding of music is relatively new. What they do know is unborn babies respond to music in the womb from around 17 to 19 weeks. Research has also shown that everything from nursery rhymes to musical toys to dance lessons to learning a musical instrument all strengthen a child's educational, physical, and emotional development. This is good news for parents because enriching the lives of their children with music can be easily accomplished.

So does Music Make My Child Smarter?

Daniel J. Levitan wrote in his book 'The World in Six Songs" about how a simple song like "Patty-Cake" teaches a child coordination. In regards to memory training think of how children learn the alphabet by following a melody almost identical to Twinkle Twinkle walk around the house singing TV jingles. Imagine if instead your child sang songs using complex physics formulas or Shakespeare. Rhythm and song are indeed strong and powerful educators.

Why action speaks louder than word.

Over the years I have seen an overwhelming amount of evidence. When learning a song, a musical instrument or a dance step children experience the unique integration of body and mind that music provides. Studies show that when you read something you only retain around 10% after one week. When you role play or act out something you retain 90%. Playing or singing music has the effect of integrating what you learn into your memory in the same way. Sensory integration is a crucial factor in a child's learning readiness for school especially in subjects such as reading, writing, and maths.

Start early and use variety.

Music improves spatial-temporal, a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child's learning with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout the child's developmental years. Try to do it in a variety of ways that are enjoyable and fun, then let your child's own interest and aptitudes guide your choices of lessons and activities. There are many early development courses available for young children and most are worthwhile.

To learn more about the G4 GUITAR METHOD please the ONLINE INTRODUCTION to the G4 GUITAR METHOD.

If you have any questions please feel free to email myself anytime at david@g4guitar.com.au

David Hart - Program Director

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Top 5 tips for success on Guitar


1. Fill in your practice Log. FACT: Students who fill in their practice logs almost always progress at a faster rate and are more likely to stick with guitar long term. The practice log shows your commitment to the guitar. It keeps a track of your investment therefore giving you a way to compare your results compared to time invested. This helps you to make better use of your time. It also helps your teacher to accurately assess your progress and commitment. If there is anyone strategy that produces the greatest results it would have to be the Practice Log.

2. Stick to the G4 GUITAR METHOD. Why reinvent the wheel? We have spent thousands of hours teaching, researching and testing all the best ways to learn guitar. I have personally studied some of the best teachers & the best players not just in guitar but all areas of skill development. I make it my business to study successful achievers at every opportunity. The G4 GUITAR METHOD has been carefully designed and includes everything you need to build a solid foundation to playing great guitar. By all means find your own style but stick to the program to develop your skills.

3. Be consistent. Try to practice everyday no matter what. We all have busy lives and it is easy to make excuses but excuses won’t make you a great guitar player. I know you want to be great and you can be if you get consistent with your practice. It takes around 15 weeks to establish a habitual practice routine. After that it gets easy. Trust me. I practice 2 to 3 hours every night without fail and I am VERY VERY BUSY. Just for the record I practice around 6000 minutes per month. I CHALLENGE YOU TO BEAT THAT! If you beat it let me know and I will publish you on our website.

4. Listen to your teacher. Your teacher knows what you need to be doing in order to improve. If you don’t understand what is being asked of you then don't be afraid to speak up. Every single lesson is important so make sure you walk away knowing what you need to be doing.

5. Don't be shy. Speak up. If you ever have any doubts or concerns the best solution is to ask questions. If you would rather speak to our student coordinator please email Emma at emma@g4guitar.com.au. If your are a parent it is important that the teacher is able to meet you from time to time. For more information please see our Parent Page on or website. http://www.g4guitar.com.au/parent.htm You can also communicate directly with myself by emailing david@g4guitar.com.au


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Do you have the talent for guitar?


When I was a teen learning to play drums and guitar I saw students as either naturals or un-naturals. The naturals were those who seemed to be able to learn their instrument with ease and apparent joy whereas the un-naturals were those of us who lacked this natural ability and spent much of the time asking the question "Why me?" It felt rather unfair especially when you would practice much harder yet for the naturals they seemed to just pick everything up with little or no practice.

As the years went by I realised that those with natural ability did indeed exist and that this phenomenon exists in almost every area of life but when scrutinised natural ability is not really a defining factor for long-term success. In fact most of the people who I recall at the time as naturals gave up playing music altogether. This struck me as bizarre because at the time I would have given anything to be in their shoes. I recall one friend in particular who was younger than I who was also learning with the same teacher and he was amazing. I couldn't believe that a kid of 12 years of age was able to play sophisticated jazz and rock while I at 17 years of age was still struggling with the fundamentals. I found out a year later that he had given up the guitar completely to focus on surfing.

As the years rolled by I came to see that it was one's love and passion for learning music and the guitar that ultimately made the difference. No matter where you are now and how much talent you believe you do or don't have your ultimate success will be based on your love affair with the guitar more so than anything else. I've heard thousands of stories in all endeavours from sports people to Hollywood actors to politicians to great artists and the one thing that seems to define more than 90% of them is their passion for their chosen field. In the majority of these cases there was no apparent natural talent.

The point to this blog is to encourage you to follow your passion, work hard and have fun. Learning guitar of course is not going to be fun all the time. In fact your passion should drive you to do things that you need to do regardless of whether you enjoy them or not. The best comparison I can make is physical fitness. If you are unfit going for a jog everyday will probably be painful at first but the result is you will feel better the rest of the time. Practicing guitar especially the boring elements will result in you being a confident guitarist when it comes time to perform. So if in doubt about your talent for guitar try rephrasing the question to "Do I have the passion for guitar?"

David Hart - Program Director

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The 80/20 rule and guitar practice.


How does the Pareto principal (better known as the 80/20 rule) apply to learning guitar? Well its basically about learning to focus your time in the right areas. Let me clarify. Playing guitar and learning guitar are two different actions all together. When you play you are performing. A performance is about playing what you can already play. Performance will certainly keep the skills you have in shape but they are unlikely to improve your guitar playing. Playing guitar is not focused on develop, just maintenance. To improve you need to practice.

Let us define practice. PRACTICE is working on a technique or song that you are unable to effectively execute. The amount of practice you do will effect how much you improve but the quality of your practice is also a deciding factor. By learning to focus your practice on the areas that will make the biggest difference to your playing you will progress faster. The 80/20 rule basically says in this case that 20% of your practice will result in 80% of your improvement. Find the 20% and your guitar playing will begin to rapidly improve.

Learning guitar is ultimately about focusing on the areas that will make the biggest difference. To learn how to focus and apply the 80/20 rule to your guitar I suggest using the G4 GUITAR METHOD which is all about applying the 80/20 rule. For more information be sure to visit www.g4guitarmethod.com.au

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How does music theory help me learn guitar?


Many guitarists avoid music theory for various reasons. Maybe because its rare to see great guitarists thanking their knowledge of music theory as the reason they became successful but perhaps they should. Music theory can save you a lot of time in the long run. Operating without music theory while possible offers no real advantages. By understanding music theory you are better able to understand the workings of music itself. When I was a teen learning music my aural skills (ability to hear then play music) were poor. I started relatively late (teens are consider late starters) so music was like a foreign language to my ear. I found that by learning theory I was able to better understand what I was hearing and as a result my musical ear improved dramatically.

I really encourage any musician to learn music theory. There is a great site called FREE MUSIC THEORY WORKSHEETS which is a great place to start. I also recommend a book called BRIMHALLS 3 in 1 THEORY which can be purchased via the G4 GUITAR SHOP ONLINE. Perfect for the beginner.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Zen of guitar practice.

I recently read an article based on the book 'The Zen of Running' and I can see how many of these principles would apply to guitar. Here are just a few:

Concentration. You may have heard the term 'Deliberate practice' which refers to a style of practice that ensures you are not just going through the motions but are pushing yourself the whole time toward a specific goal. With guitar practice this requires your full concentration. Learning to just sit still for any length of time without interruption in itself takes practice. Try timing yourself to see how long you can practice a specific exercise without interruption or straying off to play some riff or song you already know.

Daily practice. We are creatures of habit. Our strongest habits are those we do daily. In fact your daily habits need no reminders. Think about the last time you had to remind yourself to take a shower, eat dinner, get dressed, go to school/work and so on. Daily practice does not necessarily make you any better at something but it helps you to maintain a regular time slot where you have the opportunity to develop your guitar playing but remember that your practice must be deliberate to really progress.

Contemplation. Allow time before and after each practice session firstly to decide what you plan to achieve and then at the end think about whether or not you followed through and did both the quality and quantity of practice you initially planned. Contemplation is about thoughtful practice. By ensuring you spend time planning and assessing you will improve the quality of your practice.

Stress. There are two kinds of stress in my opinion. Good stress is that which makes you work hard and grow. If you go for a jog and run further than you had before the extra kilometer or two may be stressful but the result is growth. The bad stress on the other hand is mostly about worry. This will usually just cloud your mind and your practice will suffer. Try relaxing before you practice. Do whatever works for you. In my case I find a 30 minute jog or swim puts me in a great state of mind and in fact research shows that our ability to learn new material peaks straight after exercise. If you are not the physical type try meditation or yoga.

Be in the moment. This is probably one of the most difficult challenges for most people. Our minds are continuously drifting into the past and future. While it is nice to dream it tends to dilute the quality of your practice. For example when learning a song you don't want to be thinking about your shopping list or you're going to have for dinner. Your full attention needs to be right here right now.

Journal. I think it's always good to keep notes on your practice and progress to keep things in perspective. When you have a bad day go back and read through your journal. If you've ever read biographies of successful people you'll see their road to success was often very bumpy. Remember if one day you become successful your journal may also inspire others.

David Hart - Program Director

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Classical sitting position for optimal guitar playing

Why do we recommend the classical position?

We recommend the classical position for all students for several reasons. Many students will complain at first that this position is uncomfortable but this is because the classical position is optimal for playing guitar where as the right leg is optimal for initial comfort. But this is only until they get used to it. A good comparison is golf. The perfect swing is not natural and almost anyone who is self taught gets its wrong. The classical position was developed over hundreds of years by the world's best classical guitarists in a time when looking cool was not their first priority. Playing at their best was their prime concern.

Right is not so right


The right leg position came about due to the rise of guitar through pop music. Most of the icons of pop guitar were either self taught or taught by self taught guitarists. There is no basis for the right leg style of playing and in fact it has many associated problems such as increased pressure on the wrists and a twisting of the spine along with potential neck problems.

The right size guitar


For young kids sitting in the classical position the guitar may seem too big. In this case they need to purchase a smaller guitar. 4 to 6 year olds should be using half size and 7yo to 11yo 3/4 size. If you are still having difficulty please take a photo of them in the classical position and send to me so I can see what is wrong.

I have noticed that the angle of the guitar for some students is not acute enough. In this case the students are taking the guitar from the right leg to the left but not adjusting the angle. The guitar needs to be close to 45 degrees for the ideal position.

John Petrucci is considered by many as the world's best rock guitarist. Here is a clip of John and notice how he is sitting.



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Friday, June 11, 2010

Immerse Yourself in Guitar


Surrounding yourself with guitar has a subtle yet powerful effect on your motivation. The best way to stay motivated about guitar is to immerse yourself in it so here are some tips;
  • Stick guitar posters on your wall. Choose posters that inspire you.
  • Make up playlists on your ipod of inspiring guitar songs.
  • Go to your guitar lesson every week. Missing lessons will deplete your motivation.
  • Go to a guitar shop once a month and check out the latest guitars.
  • Watch a live guitarist or band whenever possible. Even if they are bad.
  • Go to open mic nights and either get up and play or just watch.
  • Worship a guitar idol. Most great guitarists were inspired by other great guitarists.
  • Check out Youtube and subscribe to your favourites.
  • Make friends with other guitarists, drummers, bass players, singers and anyone who will jam.
  • Have a GUITAR DAY. Put a reminder on your calender each month where you devote the whole day to getting motivated about guitar playing.
  • Visit the G4GUITAR Website or this Blog.
  • Most of all have fun...
David Hart - Program Director

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Ph:0405-274456

Monday, May 31, 2010

Got the blueberries?

Uncovered in several recent studies is the fact that eating blueberries is good for motor skill development. Fine motor skills are what you need for playing guitar so any advantage you can get is worth paying attention to. Some scientific evidence even suggests that blueberries can slow down and perhaps reverse age-related memory which is good news if you want to be playing guitar well into old age. That's my plan.

In a University of Reading in Pennsylvania and Peninsula Medical School in England study researchers supplemented the rats regular diets with blueberries. The rats showed a 83% memory improvement within 3 weeks on blueberries. In another study at Tufts University in Boston they reveal improvements in balance and coordination.


Learning guitar is largely a function of the brain. The healthier your brain the faster you will learn and the better you will ultimately play. This is because motor skill development starts with the brain. Staying fit, getting plenty of sleep and eating right produce healthy brains. This is often misunderstood when we see the fabled life of guitar legends who seem to party for days, eating poorly and living a very unhealthy life. While this may be the life of the occasional short lived rock star it is rarely what true guitar virtuosos do. Check out guitarists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci who all have very strict health plans.


David Hart - Program Director

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Visit the G4GUITAR METHOD Website
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Success on guitar through effective decisions

The decisions we make ultimately lead us to success or failure. Brain researcher Jonah Lehrer explains in much detail how our brains actually work in the decision making process in his book 'How we decide'. Applying his findings to guitar can be beneficial. My own interpretation goes like this.

When people decide to learn guitar it is usually the result of a dopamine rush. Dopamine makes us feel good and often motivates us to take action. The problem is it won't keep you motivated for very long. What happens is we soon get swamped with new thoughts and ideas and the novelty of learning guitar begins to wane. Our desire to play guitar never actually disappears. Even if the initial excitement has gone because it is usually connected to a deep rooted emotion lurking in the background until suddenly you hear a great song, go to concert or even see a friend playing guitar. Suddenly the dopamine comes rushing back in and you are kicking yourself for not sticking with your guitar lessons.

The trick is to separate the learning of guitar from the joy of playing. Think of it like fitness. Working out is hard work but the pleasure comes as a result of the hard work. If you take up guitar with the idea of enjoying the practice you may initially be disappointed. But if you simply timetable your practice and get on with it knowing that long term it will pay off. The actual enjoyment of practice begins to creep up on you and before you know it you can't wait to practice each day. This does take time but to get back to Lehrer's research what he points out is that we make many decisions emotionally or using the automated brain which is actually very helpful in some situations but not all. What we often need to do is think logically and be thoughtful about our decisions and how they effect us long term. Learning guitar is a long term decision.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The 2 common mistakes guitar students make..



Two of the most common mistakes when learning guitar are;

1. Intangible goals
2. Putting the cart before the horse (Putting the Song before the Skills)

Intangible goal

When I began teaching many years ago students would come to me to learn guitar. As an inexperienced guitar teacher my usual question was "What would you like to learn?" Some students would respond with the name of the song while others may suggest a general style like a rock, blues, jazz and around 50% would say I'm not really sure. The first group seemed easy enough because I had a song as a starting point. The second group was a little more challenging because I had to suggest songs in the style which they may or may not like. The third group was perhaps the most challenging because it would often take a few lessons just to find a starting point. I pondered over this problem for some time before I started to see the real problem. Very few students had any real tangible goals. Let me explain quickly what tangible goals are.

If your goal is to be a good guitarist then this is intangible. What is a good guitarist? How do you know when you are a good guitarist? In whose opinion? You see the problem is there is no way of you really knowing when you reach your goal. A tangible goal must be something you can measure. For example you could say once I can play a certain song as per the record then I will be a good guitarist. Personally I think it's best if someone other than yourself who you can trust is the judge of whether or not you have achieved your goal. This is why the AMEB exams are good goal to aim for because industry professionals are deciding whether you are of a particular standard or not.

Putting the Song before the Skills.

The reason so many people take up guitar yet very few get past the basics is simple. It is the result of a loss of confidence. When students set out to learn guitar they are focused on the songs they want to play. The problem is they are trying often to play songs that were performed by professional experienced guitar players. It is unreasonable to expect that after weeks or even months of playing guitar you can play songs performed by guitarists who in many cases have years of experience. It would be like learning a new language and expecting to be fluent within a few months. As a result after a few months of attempting only to learn such songs students begin to lose faith. This unfortunately is all too common and often perpetuated by teachers who want to keep their students coming to lessons each week by succumbing to song requests too early.

In order to be able to play your favourite songs you must begin by learning how to play guitar and you should allow around two years depending on how much you practice. These first two years should mostly be spent focusing on developing the skills required to then go on and play your favourite songs. The G4 GUITAR METHOD avoids these problems while also solving the problem of intangible goal setting. There are seven junior levels and three senior levels before going on to the AMEB CPM exams. The levels cover the seven essential skills of guitar playing giving students tangible goals they can achieve in a reasonable time frame. So if you're serious about learning guitar the G4 GUITAR METHOD will help you to reach your own personal goals through a step-by-step measurable process.

David Hart - Program Director

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Ph:0405-274456

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Long term thinkers make the best guitar players.


In the book 'The Winner's Brain' (A book written by two Harvard brain experts) the authors describe what the successful few do differently to the majority and have actually found their brains not only function differently but also eventually grow differently. In other words successful people shaped their brain for success in the same way athletes shape their physical bodies for their chosen sport.

A very strong point that resonated with me as a guitar teacher was that of long term thinking verses short term. Successful brains are wired for long term success. They see how what they do today affects their long term plan. But ironically they don't get caught up in the long term goal. They live in the moment but with their compass firmly pointed in the direction of their goal and avoid distraction or getting side tracked.

I can easily apply this to learning guitar. Students who understand that learning guitar is a long term challenge and who focus on the day to day enjoyment of practice knowing they will one day be performing their favourite songs with precision are more likely to possess the winner's brain. If that is you then consider yourself fortunate. For the rest of the population the good news is the winner's brain can be developed. As mentioned its like physical fitness. You just have to exercise the brain so to speak by emulating the decisions and actions of a person with a winner's brain and learning the guitar is a great way to develop your winner's brain.

When you decide to take up guitar you should focus on the 80/20 principal. 80% of your time should be spent on the 7 essential skills and 20% on songs. Most people do it the other way around so their skill development is very slow if at all. Most students get distracted by songs. Yes your goal is to play songs but they need to be done at the right time. Practicing each day with a well structured plan based on a balanced approach is the best strategy. The G4 GUITAR METHOD is a skills based plan that will help you to develop the skills necessary for almost any style. Once you complete all the levels of G4 GUITAR METHOD you can then begin to specialise. Think of it like learning a language. You need to be skilled and well versed in the fundamentals before you can branch off into poetry or creative writing. Same applies to guitar. Once you have the fundamentals in place you can focus more on the songs you want to play or on particular styles like rock, blues, jazz, flamenco or whatever your chosen style.

Conclusion - Think long term and your brain will become wired for success. The G4 GUITAR METHOD is a long term plan and will bring about success. The are no magic pills or potions.


David Hart - Program Director

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Visit the G4GUITAR METHOD Website
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Ph:0405-274456. .

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"I didn't have enough time to practice"


Through years of teaching guitar and of course from my own personal experiences
I believe there are two basic types of excuses we all use to sabotage our success. Time and money. "I don't have time" or "I can't afford it". I think we can safely say that for most of us our lives are ruled by these two factors. In this blog I want to talk about time. By recognizing when you use the time excuse you can better prepare and hopefully eliminate its dream killing influence.

"I didn't have enough time to practice" - There is now a well know 10,000 hour rule. It simply says that you can reach the elite master level of almost anything with 10,000 hours of practice. That is over an hour a day for 20 years. Of course you may not plan on being an elite master but it highlights that practice is the key ingredient to achievement. Almost any music teacher will tell you that the most common first words from their students at the beginning of the lesson are "I didn't have enough time to practice". Many students will be apologetic but even worse many teachers will just accept the statement by replying with "No problem, let's just have a look at what you did anyway". The problem with this is simple. If the student does not practice they will not progress. Most teachers accept the student did not have time to practice feeling powerless to help. So what is the solution?

A student who does not progress and will ultimately give up. Very few students will continue lessons for more than a month or two without practice.
In fact lack of practice is often an early indicator of a student who is about to give up guitar. In this case the student needs to be challenged on their statement of "I didn't have enough time to practice". When we say we don't have enough time what we are really saying is we have not budgeted the time necessary to practice. In this case I will say to students "Let's have a look at your practice schedule". I will then run through the week and we will decide on a rough schedule. When they arrive at their lesson each week I begin with their Practice Log. If they say they didn't have time to practice I will revise the schedule and point out that practice is a requirement and that is important that they make the time before we can move forward. Students quickly understand that I am not going to accept their money unless I can get results. Anything less is deception.

The point here is simple. If you're serious about learning guitar try to eliminate the time excuses right from the very start.
There is always time if it is important. If your schedule is truly that busy that you do not have 30 minutes a day to practice guitar you may need to reevaluate your goal of becoming a guitarist. At least for now. At the very least discuss your schedule with your teacher to see if they can help or feel free to email myself.

David Hart - Program Director

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Visit the G4GUITAR METHOD Website
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Ph:0405-274456




Friday, April 30, 2010

Buying a Guitar Amp? Here are TOP 10 tips.


Here are Jay Irsaj's (Wildflower Amplifier's) Top 10 tips for buying a guitar amp.

1/ what /where do you want to use it

2/ what styles of music / sounds are you after

3/ tube or solid state ( I would prefer tube) But you remember the old PEAVEY Renown’s they weren’t that bad

4/ what amp configuration / Combo / head and cabinet. Would also come into the equation of what style (blues /rock combo ok) all the heavier and louder stuff Head and quad my recommendations.

5/ Marshall style amps – medium – heavy (AC/DC , led zep. ) depending on what model you purchased

6/ Fender is classic clean ( country, blues rock ., jazzy, Light rock) probably a little more versatile than the Marshall type but it will not get you into the heavier stuff.

7/ $500 - $600 – would be very basic entry kind of amp (new)

8/ Go into the shops and try / before you buy ask question

9/ Don’t rush into it until your exactly sure of what you want /need in a amp. (other wise it will become a boat anchor)

10/ Have fun doing it.


David Hart - Program Director

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Monday, April 26, 2010

How to improve your guitar lessons by repeating


A perfect memory

Kim Peek born 1951 can read two pages of a book at the same time and remember all the content perfectly. Peek was portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man. Peek was not actually autistic He had a remarkable ability to remember large amounts of information after only reading or hearing the information once. In other words he had a eidetic memory more commonly referred to as photographic memory.

Peek helped neuro scientists to discover and learn more about how memory actually works and better still how to make it work for you and I. Memory as we know it involves 4 basic steps. Encoding, Storage, Retrieval and Forgetting. Peek was able to encode information with one swipe like a computer swiping bar codes but for most of us encoding is selective. Our brain actually spends a lot of time forgetting and this happens for a very good reason. Peek's ability came at a big price. Our brains prioritise information based on evolutionary survival. We are more likely to remember that a stove is hot after one touch than we are to remember where we left our car keys simply because one is painful and the other only inconvenient.

Using pain to teach piano

Now I do recall hearing stories of piano students in days gone by who had teachers that would hit their knuckles with a ruler if they made a mistake. Connecting pain probably helped with the encoding process but unfortunately it often encoded the wrong message. 'DON'T PLAY PIANO'. While this may seem humorous in hindsight I have met many adults who said they learned piano this way as a child but have not touched a piano since. You could see the fear in their eyes.

The solution? Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Encoding information improves with each repetition. A German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus was one of the first to really study memory. He discovered that people usually forget 90% of what they learn in a class within 30 days and most of the information is lost in the first few hours. Ebbinghaus proved that you could increase the length of a memory by repeating the information in timed intervals. This tells us that efficient learning is not about cramming as much information into a students brain as possible. The quantity theory if you like. Its about making sure that what you learn is remembered. The quality theory.

Song overload


This supports my long held theory that learning new songs every week is not only ineffective its frustrating for both teacher and student. In my early years of teaching students would turn up for their weekly lesson and I would ask 'What would you like to do this week?' They would hand me a recording and I would spend the lesson working out the song and teaching it to them based on what I heard. I ended up working out thousands of songs but after about 3 years it dawned upon me that neither the student or I were remembering any of these songs. I knew that teaching students in rapid fire was not the solution to real learning. It may have kept them happy in the moment but I knew there was no real learning going on.

Maximise your memory - Here are some important things to remember.
  • Repetitive learning is the key.
  • Decide on a few songs and commit to learning them in full.
  • Try to choose the songs you rant to learn carefully so you can stay committed.
  • A good teacher will keep each lesson to a few topics and also keep you focused on the goal.
  • A good teacher won't allow you to learn new songs every week. Yes good teachers don't fold under pressure.
  • You should walk away from a lesson feeling clear about everything you have learned.
  • Your teacher should repeat the information several times throughout the lesson and should have you repeat it back.
  • Immediately revise the information learned asap once the lesson is over. If possible revise several times to dramatically increase the chances of submitting the information to memory.

Hope that helps.

David Hart - Program Director

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3 Steps to Success on Guitar


GOAL SETTING USING THE G4 GUITAR METHOD

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I want to give you a very simple 3 step plan to success on the guitar which is the basis for the G4 GUITAR METHOD.

1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL - The importance of writing down your goal cannot be overstated. Almost everyone and anyone who has written on the subject of achievement will tell you the first rule is to put your goal in writing. To simply say you want to learn guitar is not enough. What is learned guitar? Is it simply a few notes, a few basic chords, a particular song or a set of skills? You must be able to define your goal in tangible terms.

When I first began teaching guitar 24 years ago I would ask students the question "What would you like to learn?" The problem I found with this question was that most students simply did not have a clear answer. Some would mention songs they would like to play which was definitely helpful but this would often change over time, in some cases from week to week. Some students would actually request a new song to learn each week as if they were renting the latest DVD. I soon came to realize that teaching guitar was really teaching the act of teaching goal setting.

My message was simple. Put into words exactly what you want to be playing in a year to five years from now. At this point I thought I had solved all my challenges as a teacher but as I soon found out it was not that simple. When faced with this task many students began to over think their choice of songs believing they may regret their choice in the future. To get around this I created a program (now known as the G4 GUITAR METHOD) which incorporated standard popular songs that most people enjoyed learning. As part of the program I included skills that needed to be developed to ensure their progress on guitar. I then added what has now become known as the Ultimate Song List or USL. The USL is where students write down approximately 25 songs they would hope to play in the future. A kind of dream song list.

2. SET A COMPLETION DATE - The next step is to set a definite date of completion. With the G4 GUITAR METHOD we include a checklist for each level which clearly states the requirements (in other words the goal) in a written form. On the top of the checklist we include a space for a completion date. The teacher and student decide on a reasonable time frame and enter a completion date.

3. TAKE ACTION - The third step is of course to take action. The best approach is daily action. For this reason we have included a Daily Practice Sheet or DPS. The DPS will constantly remind you of what you need to stay aware of. We include a section called 'Remember' which I would advise you to memorise.


The idea of the G4 GUITAR METHOD is not so much about learning particular songs that you may or may not like but to prepare you for learning the songs you hope to one day play. We incorporate the 7 essential skills into each level which are required for almost any song. By starting with the goals we set you learn how to set your compass and move toward your target. The biggest mistake I see time and time again are students who try to learn guitar without understanding the need for goal setting using the three steps outlined above. They are literally operating without a compass. While some may eventually find their way (most don't hence the millions of unused guitars sitting in people garages collecting dust) they waste a lot of time in the process.

Now just as important as the above is the need for a coach. If you doubt the power of employing a personal coach have a look at how many great athletes, winning sports teams, academic leaders, successful business people, successful actors, successful musicians have achieved their success without the use of a coach or mentor. My guess is it's less than 1%. The reason coach is so vital to your success on the guitar is due to the nature of humans. We struggle with self accountability for one but probably more importantly is a coach (teacher) will save us a lot of time. A recent research finding revealed that people trying to lose weight with the aid of a personal trainer were far more likely to succeed. We have actually run our own research which revealed that adults were 3 times more likely to give up guitar in the first year compared to children under the age of 13 years. The reason is quite simple. As we get older we become more self accountable therefore we are more likely to give up when the going gets tough. An eight-year-old child on the other hand will have to convince their parents before throwing in the towel.

I hope that helps.

David Hart - Program Director

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Ph:0405-274456