1. The Beginner’s Journey – Step-By-Step Path
There is a set of basic skills that every budding guitar player should learn. Regardless of the style. Regardless of how old or young. Learning these skills early on makes for a smooth adventure ahead. Skipping them leads to frustration.
The quickest and easiest way to gain these skills is a well thought out system.
Early on I discovered the power of systems… Breaking up the skills needed to play guitar into small accessible “chunks” and organizing them, step-by-step, so one skill builds on another.
This is perfect for someone starting out. Having a step-by-step path to follow is encouraging to beginners in two ways.
The first is when steps are small enough the novice can accomplish them in a short period of time. This gives a sense of accomplishment, and makes more difficult skills accessible.
The second is the nature of a path is that it goes somewhere. If you follow the path you’ll eventually arrive at the destination.
This eliminates the concern of whether you are working on the right thing at the right time. This confidence encourages action. Action brings results.
A step-by-step path is also great for those who have been playing guitar and want to review the fundamentals… Possibly fill in some gaps.
It’s common for guitar learners, especially those who are self-taught, to have a variety of experience with some gaps in their understanding. I think of it like Swiss cheese. By filling in some of the “holes”, and tightening up some of the basic skills, it’s much easier to move forward.
By following a well thought out system you can be sure that you’re not missing something… Or avoiding something that just doesn’t look interesting on the surface. It provides a working checklist of the guitar playing skills that you’ve covered, and those you need to work on.
Once you’ve gained the fundamental skills, it’s time to move on to more specific areas based on your guitar playing goals. That’s where the second pillar comes in…
2. Strategic Learning Modules
These are short strategically focused courses on specific areas of playing guitar. By organizing them into modules you can pick and choose which ones interest you the most and are consistent with your guitar playing goals.
Modules contain step-by-step lessons, Play-Along tracks, 5-Minute Practice Sessions and downloadable workbooks. Within each course, the lessons are carefully created to build one on the other.
All modules are designed with the assumption that you have the skills that are taught in the Beginner’s Journey. These are skills you may have gained either before entering the membership or by going through this step-by-step fundamental skill path.
Strategic Learning Modules provide:
- A chance for students to choose a self-guided adventure.
- Interesting material to make learning fun.
- Valuable technique development and guitar theory.
- Organized mini paths to learn specific skills
And this brings me to the third pillar…
3. The Daily Practice Plan
Over the years I’ve asked students what are their biggest challenges with learning guitar. I get a variety of answers along the lines of “strumming and changing chords on time”, “playing bar chords”, “buzzing and muted strings”, to name just a few.
I know these are real issues and they’re common among most students.
I also ask about their practicing. The majority practice inconsistently, or ineffectively, or combination of both. When press a little further I hear things like:
- I’m not sure what to practice.
- It’s hard to find time to practice.
- It’s boring.
I can relate to all three.
The solution I’ve found for myself is to create a plan for practicing that includes a variety of specific techniques and exercises. It’s concise and divided into short sessions so I can fit them into my busy schedule. As opposed to working on one thing until it’s perfect my routine covers a range of skills I need to work on over time.
This took time to create and I’m constantly revising it.
I works for me… What if I could create something like that for my students as well?
This is why I’ve created the Daily Practice Sessions.
They provide a short practice session with guidance for each weekday. First I explained the how and why, then I give you a series of play-along videos to practice along with.
Each session is part of a bigger plan.
Each week I’m cycling through different skills including:
- Warm-Up Exercises & Scales.
- Fingerstyle Guitar.
- Chords and Strums.
- Guitar Theory.
Beyond that, there’s an even larger cycle. I’m cycling through different essential scales, different levels of exercises and different aspects of guitar theory.
This means that over time you’ll practice all the essential skills while having something new every day.
The Daily Practice Session is a way for you to get 10 minutes of productive practice each day.