Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Why can't I just learn songs?"

Let's face it. The reason we learn guitar is to play actual songs. No one in their right mind takes up guitar to play boring old scales. In my first few years as a young teen I learnt many songs and most sounded pretty bad. I couldn't understand why the kid down the street (let's call him Jim) who started later and was 5 years younger was improving at a faster rate. When we jammed he somehow made the song sound more like the actual recording. I needed to know his secret. Well it turned out he had a teacher where I was trying to teach myself. I actually had more experience on the guitar than Jim yet his technique, feel and sound were superior. So I enrolled with Jim's teacher quick smart and within months my playing took off. The reason was mostly to do with motor skill development and that meant scales. I had plenty of songs and riffs up my sleeve when I started lessons but my motor skills were poor. My teacher was able to transform my playing within months through skill development exercises focused around playing scales.

Developing motor skills 
Motor skills are basically learned sequences that with enough practice become automatic such as brushing your teeth or tying shoe laces.  Let me use an example. We can almost all relate to the skill of typing. My guess is around 80% or more of people who go out and buy a computer never actually learn to type. Most then spend anywhere from one hour to 10 hours a day on a keyboard yet still never learn the actual skill of typing and as a result become at best average typists using one or two fingers out the possible 10 digits at their disposal. They literally waste hundreds of hours every year because they take 5 times longer to type something compared to someone who has mastered the skill of typing. Many people also get RSI injuries as a result of poor typing technique. Why? Because all we want to do is write emails. We don't want to learn to TYPE! How boring. Sound familiar? Learning to type like learning guitar requires boring exercises much like scales.

All play and no work

Now it does seems kind of ridiculous not to spend a few months learning typing to save hundreds if not thousands of hours over a lifetime. This is exactly what happens if you just learn songs on guitar while ignoring the scales (motor skills). I am not suggesting you won't become a good guitarist just playing songs. It is quite possible if you practice enough but like the person who doesn't learn to type you will just take a lot longer to do it and it will usually end up wishing you did. Just ask any experienced guitarist. Develop those motor skills and I absolutely guarantee you will never regret you did but skip the skills and you probably will regret doing so.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mistaking guitar teacher confidence for competence

When I was a young child I thought my parents and teachers knew everything. Overtime my adult delusion turned to reality. Of course this is just part of growing up and realizing the Tooth fairy was Mum and Santa Claus was Dad in a red suit and cartoons were drawings done by actual people. In some cases even when we realize the reality we still like to believe some people are somehow superhuman and are free of imperfection. For many guitarists like Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page for me these mere mortals became Guitar Gods. Every note they played was perfection itself. Well so it seemed.

Guitar Idols

Idolizing is actually quite natural and healthy in the right dose provided you stay aware of reality. When we stop being able to distinguish the artist from their art I think its time to seek professional help. Idolizing is often what drives us to become larger than life and push beyond our perceived limits. For example if thousands of teens in the 60's and beyond didn't idolize Hendrix many of the great guitarists we see today may never have practiced the 4+ hours a day required of some of today's best players.  To believe in big goals and dream big dreams often requires a big imagination and a lot of determination.

High expectations

Problems can occur when we take it all too seriously. Placing such high expectations on other people will often lead to disappointment not to mention the pressure bestowed upon your idol. As a teen I just assumed my teacher could play anything and everything. To me playing guitar was like driving a car. Someone who drives a car can drive anywhere right? The most over used phrase in the world of guitar students sounds something like "I know this amazing guitar player. He/She can play anything." While there are certainly great guitar players around and some probably capable of demonstrating a broad range of musical styles I am yet to meet one who can play anything.  Everyone has limits and those limits are surprisingly narrow. Saying a guitarist can play anything would be like saying someone who speaks English can faithfully reproduce  every famous English literary work ever written. Shakespeare alone would require a decade or more of dedicated study. My point is don't expect too much from your teacher. You should expect your teacher to have a solid understanding of guitar and how to teach but don't be disappointed if on occasion your teacher is unsure and needs to do a little research. Great teachers are those who are willing to find the answers to your questions and not the ones who seem to have all the answers.

Contrary to popular belief

In a research study on doctors they found that those doctors who further researched a problem by looking through medical journals in front of their patients were more likely to reduce patient confidence yet those same very doctors were usually more accurate in their diagnosis and course of treatment. In other words they made fewer mistakes and by all accounts were better doctors. It definitely goes against our instincts. After all a guitarist on stage who needs to pull out a tab chart for a guitar solo would seem a little unusual right? The difference is when a teacher is presented with a problem they can either fake the answer to preserve your confidence (temporarily anyway) or do some research to ensure they come up with the best answer.

The smart teacher v the wise teacher

While there has been no formal study done on guitar teachers it is easy to see how the above situation could apply. The problem is we mistake confidence for competence. If your teacher is willing to admit they don't know the answer this is at the very least a positive sign that they are not just going to pretend they have the answers. Yes a very experienced teacher may be able to answer 80% of your questions but they still don't know all the answers and faking it may give you more confidence in them as a teacher but wouldn't you prefer honesty? A saying I like is 'A smart person has all the answers but a wise person asks questions'.

Good teachers ask questions

Students should therefore ask questions whenever they sense their teacher seems unsure. Dig a little deeper because many teachers believe they need to fake it so you don't lose confidence in them especially during the first few lessons. A recent example came from a mother who said after the first lesson with her son's new teacher that the teacher seemed to lack confidence so she requested a different teacher. The mother had rightly judged the situation except the teacher was actually very good but just unsure because the student was only 4 years old and the teacher was being cautious and was not hiding the fact that he was writing down questions to ask myself. The teacher was trained in working with young children but so far most of his students were older. He had observed 4 year olds being taught guitar but not personally conducted a lesson so he was naturally nervous. When I spoke to the teacher he said he was nervous but it went well considering but most importantly he had questions to ask. The teacher then spent all week preparing for the next lesson reading up, revising and asking lots of questions. By the 3rd week his confidence was way up and all went well. He still had much to learn but I know the 4yo student was in good hands because the teacher was not afraid to ask questions and admit he needed help. The best teachers I have found over the years are the ones who ask the most questions.

It pays to do some research

So next time your teacher seems unsure about how to answer your question notice whether they are willing to research the answer. If you are a beginner your teacher may very well have the answers but  don't always expect a perfect answer. I have received many questions from students over the years where the answers have come to me after some research or reflection. There is often more than one answer to a question so it pays to research even when you do have the answer.


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The G4 Guitar Method is a structured method of learning how to play guitar. Its a unique system based on 27 years of research and experience that is based on a series of checklists. To view a video and learn more please visit our website at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Am I too old to learn guitar?

A common question with a simple answer. It's never too late but age does make a difference. A fact all beginner adults need to consider is the speed at which young children learn is nothing short of miraculous.  In a sense if you started after the day you were born you started late. Our brains are actually at their learning peak when we are born. I am sorry to say that our brain's rate of learning decreases from birth onwards. If you need further proof just spend a few years with a new born and see how much they develop in those early years. If you want a better understanding read the article from The University of Maine entitled Children and Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn.

How good do you need to be?
What this means is as we age we need to work harder to gain the same rewards. For instance if you are in your 50s and intend to be the next Van Halen or Satriani you will definitely have a challenge on your hands. In saying that this should not deter you. If you do quality practice for 4 hours a day you may still very well reach the level of some your best loved guitar heroes. On the other hand if being a virtuoso is not your only reason for learning guitar you may be pleasantly surprised at what is achievable at your current age. Most popular music was written and played by guitar players who were relatively inexperienced. A 3rd year level guitar student could probably play most of the Beatles repertoire if required.

The advantages of starting young.

Research on music learning based on age is still relatively rare compared to the research I have found on learning languages but most neuroscientists agree that music and language are very closely related as they use a similar area of the brain so it's probably a good place to start. Researchers have found that even before birth humans can hear and take statistics on what they hear. During the first 8 months of life babies compile those statistics and begin to filter out sounds that are statistically low. This is how we develop an ear for our native language and explains why adults retain their native accent even after 20 years of speaking a new language. In the following months and years our ability to learn a new language apparently declines or perhaps a better description would be that our brains focus exclusively on the languages heard and filters out the rest. This is partly why adults have a harder time learning a new language compared to a young child and the same can be said about music. Young children are able to easily and naturally develop an ear for music where adults will find it more difficult but adults should not let this prevent them from learning music.

Why adults of any age should learn.

Youth has its advantages but it does not mean music only benefits the young. The fact is that learning music has substantial benefits for adults of any age. For example learning music is an activity that has been found to delay the onset of age related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Good news for anyone of any age. Of course adults will have to work harder if they want to progress at the same rate as a child over say a 10 year period. A child who does the same amount of practice and who is subject to the same environment doing the same quality of practice over a 10 year period will likely end up more advanced. A good comparison might be sport. If a young child goes to a swimming coach everyday for the next 10 years their chances of competing at the Olympics will be much greater than an adult if aged 40 years old. BUT (and this is a very important but) the adult will still be a very fit 50 year old. The same applies to music. Learning music keeps you challenged both mentally and physically. When you give your self an ongoing challenge like learning a musical instrument you are not only stimulating your brain but playing music is also quite physical.

Learning music is first and foremost about the pleasure it brings.

Learning guitar or any musical instrument for that matter among all ages seems to be on the rise. I have been teaching guitar for 25 years and I cannot remember a time when so many people were enrolling for guitar lessons and adults especially. It is also worth noting that music should first and foremost be studied for the pleasure it brings. When you practice you will improve.When you improve you will experience the joy.

David Hart - Program Director


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guitar teacher, The Internet or both?

When I was a child learning guitar I was limited to either finding a local teacher or learning from a book. Today the Internet, the iPad, iPhone and all their apps are now providing a range of alternatives. While this new technology may appear to be an alternative to the traditional guitar teacher I believe it should compliment a real life teacher not replace them. I will explain why but firstly let's look at the strengths of today's technology.

The Internet

The Internet contains almost everything anyone would ever want or need to know about guitar and anyone of almost any age can access to this free or inexpensive information. Guitarists from all around the globe are continuously contributing new information which means the Internet is now an extremely powerful learning tool.  Guitar students of all levels can find something of value online. Video lessons, music clips, PDFs, tab, chord charts, online programs and its mostly free.

iPad, iPhone, Apps etc.

App (short for application software) allows you to turn your phone or iPad into a computer. Thousands of new apps are being released every week and many are designed for guitar. These apps can easily teach students everything from songs to guitar skills. Its only a matter of time before apps for just about any aspect of learning guitar will be available.

So why would you need a guitar teacher?

A student could in theory learn guitar without the aid of a real life teacher using all the online information and tools but in my opinion would be missing an important part of the learning experience. The guitar teacher's role includes many of the skills that don't transfer well via technology such as technique, feedback, motivation, mentoring but good teachers can also show students how to use the Internet for best results and therefore save valuable time. Remember the Internet, iPad etc are tools. Guitar teachers who keep up with the technology will be worth their weight in gold. Many of the guitar students spend (waste) hours and hours looking for websites that may or may not help them learn to play guitar. There is so much information that students often get lost or overwhelmed. Today's guitar teacher should be able to do this research and pass it on to their students or even better should have a website with helpful links. A teacher who can do this will make your lessons much more valuable.

The teacher network bonus.

Popular guitar teachers and music schools should also be seen as network hubs. A hub is a central point in a network. Professional guitar teachers become connected to students of all ages and interests as well as other teachers and musicians and often the music industry itself. Teachers are therefore in a great position to be learning and gathering information from their students and peers and than passing that information onto students. Going to a teacher should therefore be a chance to tap into the teacher's network. Students are always introducing new music, ideas, websites etc to their teachers so the teacher can in turn share this information with each student. Teachers should not be seen as strictly teachers in the traditional sense but as connectors connecting students to the local or even global guitar scene. As a teen it was my teacher who first introduce me to playing in a band via a Rockschool program (not unlike Jack Black in the movie 'School of Rock') and from there I went on to play professionally. A good teacher will be seeking out opportunities to bring students together and take them to the next level.

Effective lessons

Guitar teachers should aim to take advantage of the available technology if there is an advantage. I do believe guitar teachers should follow some traditional methods of teaching and the Internet should be seen only as a tool albeit a very powerful one. A good example are songs. Teachers look out for websites that give precise clear instructions on how to play a song accurately. They can then recommended to their students. In the past teachers would tab out songs (using up valuable lesson time) but in today's world this is simply wasteful. Students are paying the teacher to do something that has already been done and can be found on the Internet at no cost in time or money. Time better spent on other areas.

Please note that if you are a G4 GUITAR student we have a dedicated website which you can access via our main website but you will need a username and password which was included on your confirmation email.

David Hart - Program Director


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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learning guitar is about attitude

I personally find the best students are those who like a challenge. Its not so much about being able to play guitar but being able to overcome the obstacles. Its an attitude. Learning guitar is like climbing a mountain. You have to be prepared for lots of hard work before you can enjoy standing on the summit. Some techniques are harder then others but the harder the climb the better you feel when you reach the summit. Some things will be easier than you expect while others much harder. If you are developing the skills constantly you will always be improving. Its basically about developing your climbing skills through practice but its your attitude that will keep you climbing no matter how hard it seems.

My suggestion is to work mostly on the skills and focus on no more than 6 songs at one time but feel free to rotate the songs so you don’t get sick of them. Try to think of them not as songs but as projects. Make sure the foundations are solid. If you are too anxious to play the song you will compromise your technique. The best way to learn guitar is with a passion for developing skills because this is where you will be spending most of your time. In the words of Paco Pena “Guitar is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”.

David Hart - Program Director


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Friday, April 15, 2011

Creative learning makes all the difference

When it comes to learning guitar your best option is to use a structured method because a method will contain a clear goal with specific steps. The idea of any guitar method is to essentially save you time and to avoid common mistakes. A method of course is a system and effective systems are designed to remove the guesswork. E.g. Transport systems, education systems, health systems etc. Systems work very nicely and our modern world would not exist without them BUT where do the systems come from?

Where do systems come from?

Systems of course arise from creative thinking often in the form of solutions to problems. When learning guitar its important to use the best method (system) you can find with a teacher who understands the importance of using an effective method (oppose to guesswork) but students and teachers must balance this with creativity. Creativity will allow you to learn while also discovering your unique strengths and interests. When I say creativity I mean everything from experimenting with new techniques to composing songs to jamming along with your favourite songs. When I was a child I would put on AC/DC and pretend I was Angus Young making up my own guitar parts. This allowed me to do two things. Firstly I was able to discover my own original ideas and secondly I started to understand what Angus was playing. 

The importance of fun

Creative learning also contains the all important element of fun. Practicing skills is often hard work but if there is no joy in learning students (especially children) will soon lose interest. Today many leading authorities from educational experts working with children up to those who study the success of businesses find that fun and creativity are essential for not only success but well being. Companies like Google and Apple place a huge emphasis on fun and creativity. Google for example create a university campus environment so employees can take time off throughout the day to play by providing pool tables, foosball, swimming pools and more. Google also have a 20% program where employees can spend 20% of their work time working on special projects.

So remember to spend a certain amount of your time being creative, After all creativity is what separates us from machines. 

David Hart - Program Director


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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Successful guitar students seem to be predictable

Its surprising how much we underestimate our own predictable behaviour. Numerous well known studies have been done which prove that we simply don't know ourselves as well as we think. In fact perfect strangers know us better than we do. Consider the fact that in categories such as IQ, driving ability and even looks the greater majority of us believe we are above average. When it comes to New year resolutions most believe they will succeed yet an overwhelming number fail at sticking to their resolution. In another study researchers found they could predict the success of your marriage simply based on your high school photo. See 'Smiles predict marriage success'. Most couples who get married would believe they are the best predictor of their marriage's success yet a researcher who doesn't even know them seems to know them better.

So what is going on here? 

Researchers say the problem is we think we are different. Even as you are reading this chances are you believe you are the exception. We see ourselves as an observer of statistics not an actual statistic. While I am not a researcher and I have no hard evidence I will say after 25 years of teaching I can guess with surprising accuracy which students are more likely to succeed. Some of the predictable signs of successful students in the making are as follows;

Predictors of Success

*They enjoy the practice.
*Their positive attitude seems consistent from week to week.
*They keep a record of their practice times.
*They rarely if ever miss a lesson.
*On the rare occasion when their practice time is low they don't blame outside forces.
*They are not focused so much on the goal but instead enjoy the process.
*They ask questions and seem curious.
*They rarely seem frustrated and genuinely enjoy a challenge.
*They stay on an exercise until they can do it.
*They seem proud of each small achievement.
*They usually have at least one keen supporter (a parent, relative or friend)
*They know why they are learning. E.g. Have a favourite guitarist, band or style of music.
*I look forward to teaching them.
Sorry but YOU are predictable

Knowing the above can help you to succeed on guitar because knowing you are indeed a homosapien and therefore likely to display predictable behaviour you can prepare and defend yourself against or even change your behaviour. One way to change behaviour is to change your environment. When people emigrate to a new country they suddenly find themselves in a new environment. The new environment can literally change their behaviour overnight. Perhaps the food they eat, the activities they pursue and the customs they follow are just a few examples. Considering your practice environment can also make a significant difference to both the quantity and quality of your practice. I like to think of it in terms of time and space.


By time I don't mean how you spend your practice time (although important that is not the topic at hand) but instead how you manage your time to ensure you get to practice. Far too often the biggest challenge for guitar students is finding the time to practice. The standard excuse of the struggling student is "I had a crazy week and simply didn't get the time". There are a multitude of ways to avoid the time issue but the one that stands out above all others in my experience is simply planning your week. I know, you don't have time to plan your week because you are too busy but when you start taking time to plan you will realise how much of it you waste. I recently visited an old friend and he and his family live in a 6 bedroom house with a Granny flat. Each room was cluttered with stuff most of which had been there for one or more years. His wife said to me that they needed a bigger house with extra storage. The reality is they just need to get rid of all the 'stuff' they don't use. This same concept applies to your time. By getting rid of the time wasting activities in your life you will find more free time for the important things. Too often we try to cram more activities into our lives before freeing up time.


Where do you practice? Bedroom, lounge room, garage? Do you have distractions like TV or Internet? Are you comfortable? Is the lighting good? Do you have everything you need at hand? Is the room inspiring and free of clutter?  Choosing your space can be critical. If for example the room includes distractions like say the Internet it is likely you will be checking your Facebook or searching Google while also attempting to concentrate on your guitar practice. My suggestion is to avoid the Internet altogether. If you need to search for information related to your practice then do it separately. Keep a note pad next to you and jot down anything you need to search and do it later. Next make sure the room is comfortable and the lighting is good. Avoid a dimly lit room. We get this idea that practicing guitarists sit in rooms that look like New York jazz basements. While this is a great atmosphere for a late night jazz gig practice should be done in a room where you feel clear and alert. Next having everything you will need on hand such as learning materials, a drink and anything else will help you to avoid unnecessary stops and starts. Lastly make sure the room is inspiring. Have some music playing before you start to get you in the mood, posters on the walls and even some inspiring quotes. 

David Hart - Program Director


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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Your mindset may be determining your success on guitar

What is mindset? Here is the Google dictionary definition. 'mentality: a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations'

Mindset is a hot topic among today's psychologists, teachers and coaches because it plays such an important role in achieving a successful outcome in life. My aim in this blog is to apply the mindset idea to learning guitar to give you an idea of how our mindsets affect our long term performance.


Fixed v Growth Mindset

Carol S Dweck (Social Psychology Professor at Stanford University) specialises in mindsets. Dweck explains that their are two types of mindsets. Fixed and growth. Someone with a fixed mindset believes our intelligence and abilities are fixed and cannot be changed. A fixed mindset belief might be 'Great musicians are born'.  A person with a growth mindset believes we have unlimited potential and can develop our intelligence and abilities. A growth mindset belief might be 'Great musicians are the result of years of practice'. Dweck makes a case for the growth mindset explaining that people with growth mindsets are more likely to succeed because they see failure as merely a stepping stone to success. Fixed mindset people see failure as proof that they lack intelligence or ability. Dweck also points out that people with growth mindsets make more accurate assessments of their own strengths and weaknesses and are therefore able to make improvements and allowances. The fixed mindset tends to lead people to blame outside forces for the way they are.

Be Mindful of Your Mindset

As a guitar teacher I must say over the years I have been able to witness the opposing mindsets in action. I wouldn't go as far as to say guitar students have one mindset or the other but in fact have  degrees of both. The strategy I would suggest is to be mindful of your mindset and work on strengthening your growth mindset. The best time to do this is when you face a set back or feel you are failing. At this time you should question your response to the situation.

Adult Student Mindsets

Mindsets play a pivotal role with the adult students especially when the signs of frustration start to appear. If for example a student was working on a specific skill or exercise and felt there was little to no improvement the fixed mindset might respond by saying "I just don't have any musical talent" whereas the growth mindset might say "Wow this is tough and I obviously have lots of work to do"

Making Comparisons

Another common area is when we compare ourselves to others. We often see this occur when two friends or family members start together. As time goes by one will often progress faster in certain skills. This can lead to the students making comparisons. The student who progresses at a slower rate will view it from either the fixed or growth mindset. Fixed might be "I was obviously not meant to be a guitarist" opposed to growth "While I am comfortable with my current level of progress I might just chat to my teacher to see if she/he believes my progress is on track". A person with a growth mindset knows there can be a million and one reasons why someone will progress at a faster rate but more importantly knows that if in doubt rather than jumping to conclusions it is better to seek advice from their teacher in regards to their rate of progress. After all who would have more knowledge on guitar student progress? 

Developing a Child's Mindset

Our mindsets are often molded in our childhood.  If you are a parent or teacher understanding what you do and say will give you a chance to help your child/student develop a growth mindset. For example if you praise a child with a comment like "Fantastic. You are a natural" you are setting them up for a fixed mindset. The child will come to believe that their intelligence and abilities are natural and therefore out of their control. Instead if you say "Fantastic. Your commitment to practice is now paying off" they will develop a growth mindset and come to believe that through effort and persistence they can achieve success. 

As you can see there is an obvious difference between the two mindsets and applying the growth mindset to learning guitar will give you your best chance at success. 

David Hart - Program Director


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Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't take guitar too seriously

Having played guitar for many years I occasionally have these moments where I realise I am taking it all too seriously. Although these moments are rare they seem to have a tendency of creeping up on me. It usually comes in the form of frustration with a new skill I am attempting to master or a performance I am preparing for or even a song I am composing. Its in these moments of frustration that I suddenly realise it may be time to take a break.

Lighten up for best results

Whether you are a guitar student or the parent of a guitar student its important that you don't take learning guitar too seriously. There is nothing wrong with creating big goals and pushing yourself but when you find yourself frustrated or emotional you have probably gone too far. In actual fact I am going to argue the opposite and say that when you lighten up and make it fun the results are even better. In a research study done on company performance they found that fun among staff members was one of the common traits shared by successful companies. Laughter has also been shown to help improve the health of patients in hospitals. A good example was portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie 'Patch Adams' which was based on Dr. Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams.

Stress and practice

It is now common knowledge among health professionals that frustration which is really just a symptom of stress and can result in restricted blood flow. When you are learning to play guitar the last thing you want is restricted blood flow because when you are learning something mentally and physically demanding like guitar you want to ensure as much oxygen rich blood to the brain and hands as possible. For more information the following article may be helpful. Anxiety restricts blood flow.

So in short 'Lighten up and have fun'. When you feel yourself getting frustrated remember this is not helping. Take a break and come back to your guitar when you are feeling better.

David Hart - Program Director


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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why learn guitar?

Recently I was asked by a friend why I play guitar. Why don't I use that time to do something more constructive? After all playing guitar doesn't save lives or make you rich (unless you are lucky of course) or make you physically fit.  I said it might be better to rephrase the question by asking why I learn guitar because I believe learning is a much better description of what I do. 


I have been learning guitar for approximately 30 years and as any experienced guitarists knows the learning never stops. In fact its this never ending learning that keeps it interesting. So when the question of 'why' was posed I decided to give it some thought and write a blog as a way of maybe inspiring other guitarists to share their why or at the very least to ponder the question. So here goes.


As a child listening to music from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Van Halen etc would captivate my attention for hours. I could listen to certain songs over and over again. It was as though the music had some kind of unexplainable allure. I was initially attracted to the drums but later moved to guitar. I guess the idea of learning guitar was more about unraveling the mystery of the music. Overtime I began to understand the fundamental building blocks of music but as with science the more you learn the more you realise there is to learn. I can distinctly remember at one point guitar seeming like a relatively simple instrument considering most songs are written using only a handful of chords but then my teacher at the time turned my attention to jazz and players like Joe Pass who seem to know more chord shapes than words in the English language. How was this possible? This is just one example and we can apply the same idea to scales, rhythm and guitar techniques. As you move across the different guitar styles you also discover a whole range of new ideas, concepts and techniques that in most cases take a lifetime to master. As you can see its never ending.


To my friend who asked the question of why I can say that learning guitar is like a hunger that is satisfied after an hour or two a day of practice and discovery but of course the very next day I am hungry again. Like food in most cases its satisfying although not always but if my guitar appetite is left unsatisfied I soon become irritable.

David Hart - Program Director


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