How Most People REALLY Screw Up Learning Guitar

There's a learning system that musicians can use to help them develop far more advanced music skills - in fact if they use it they'll actually develop super music skills...

This past week, I had two interesting conversations with two different guitar players. One of them is going through the sign-up process right now to start taking private classes with me (here in the studio) next month. And, another was an email conversation with one of my Premium website members (who is studying the courses online).


Both players brought up some interesting points that relate to how they've been learning and both of these points had to do with what I'm going to refer to as the three levels of learning music, "Unfamiliar," "Familiarization," of music and the "Memorization," of material that you're studying. If musicians pay attention to this 3-tier process they can develop far more advanced music skills.

This level occurs when a music student studies information that involves learning from scratch. This would be information that is unknown, such as from music reading books. This can also occur when a musician is placed in direct "person to person" contact to learn "unknown" or "unfamiliar" material.

When a player begins developing an awareness for a song. The piece begins becomming understand as far as form and layout. The melody starts taking shape and the chord changes begin making sense. This period has to do with the familiarity stage.

This stage occurs once the piece has been fully developed. The song parts are able to easily be recalled and the songs performance tempo is easy to match. Playing along with a recording of the piece at this point is certainly the best way to judge if you've reached the peak level of playing.

So, what is the difference between "Familiar" material and musical ideas that are "Memorized?" And, are there some grey areas in between. Also, what benefits tend to come out of moving through these three stages of learning that push us from a place of being "unfamiliar," to becoming, "Familiar" to eventually plateauing out at having material "Memorized?"

The whole process of moving across these levels of skill building is actually the big factor right there. Because when we pay attention to these stages of learning, we not only know when we're done working on a topic (or a musical piece we're studying) but more importantly, we realize when we're ready to move onward.

Also, there's an even a bigger factor here. And, it's that, the MORE we can move from "Unfamiliar," to "Familiar" to "Memorized," the better musicians that we'll become.

I'm not saying that this system is better than some other way that a student might connect to learning material, but it is different. And, what I want to stress here is how beneficial that it is - to be engaging in this difference when you're studying how to learn music.

I've had the chance in my career as a guitarist, and as a teacher, to work with, and study from, a lot of phenomenal guitar players. And, if there's one common thread that weaves through all of these extraordinary individuals that I've had the chance to meet, to work with, and study from, is the trait they adhere to constantly of moving across these areas of skill development.

They love finding new unfamiliar material that they can learn from scratch. Especially songs that they can study from a traditional sight-reading perspective, (No TAB, No jam-Tracks), sight-reading - traditional style.

Great musicians love to move those songs up toward familiarization, (which is usually when the song is first listened to off of its original audio recording). And then, finally, bring the song up to the level of memorization, where they can rip it up at the proper tempo - played flawlessly, no mistakes. Moving music across this 3-step process seems to be one of the keys to music super learning!



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