How A Few Tiny Changes Add Up To Make a Big Difference In Music And Life The Power of One Percent We’ve all heard that “little things make a big difference.” In guitar, fingering a note a just a millimeter or two over or behind the fret is a tiny difference–but it makes a big difference in tone and intonation. And in life, showing up a few minutes early or flashing a warm smile at th
Removing Willpower Gives Space to What Matters Most If I come in extra early for work at NYC Guitar School, I know what to expect when I open the door‒a weird, unearthly, ethereal sound: “Meeeeeeeeeiiiii (with a rising pitch)” “Maaaaaaaahhh (with a falling pitch)” It’s my long time partner, and the Director of Camps and Rock Bands, Jen, singing her vocal warm up and practice routine.
Don’t Let Yourself Down Again…Stick With What You Care About When I was 13 years old, I had the incredible opportunity of taking a summer language course in Spanish. By August, I had a great head start on learning an exciting language. And then? And then my family moved to a small Idaho town where there were no language classes in the school, and I didn’t take a
Strategies And Tips For Mastering Music From Master Players And Teachers by Issac Hernandez, NYC Guitar School What is the best way to practice? It can be quite a confusing and daunting subject to break down because there are numerous approaches, and there are always a multitude of things to practice. In this article, I will explore techniques and strategies that will give you the bigg
Or If You Don’t Have The Time To Be World-Class, Why Not Settle For Being Merely Awesome (In Guitar Or Life) We have all heard that it is counterproductive to compare yourself with others. But…sometimes we do. So even though I love to quote John “don’t compare yourself to others, just do your best” Wooden, in this blog series I’m giving in to the dark side–our motivation to compar
My approach to learning and teaching guitar is deeply informed by the many years in which I studied martial arts. I often think of this quote from Bruce Lee: As a beginner in any discipline, we are unconscious of technique. A musical novice doesn’t know what key or time signature a song is in–or even that keys and time signatures exist. They may enjoy hearing an exper
Here’s How I Kicked Discouragement in The Teeth, And How You Can, Too Many people tell me “I’ve always wanted to play guitar.” While I’ve played guitar for decades, I know how they feel, because I’ve always wanted to speak another language fluently. Over the past decades I’ve intermittently tried to brush up on my high school Spanish skills–but like many people who want to “
Sometimes It Pays To Stop Smelling The Roses How a simple two-minute exercise imagining future challenges dramatically increases guitar student success–and how it can dramatically improve outcomes in any endeavor. Resistance Is An Inevitable Part Of Any Worthwhile Endeavor I learned the concept of “Resistance” from reading The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. He des
New Study Shows Practicing Music Improves Attention Span Do you ever feel overwhelmed and unfocused? I do. Between work, an ever expanding list of hobbies, and keeping engaged with our communities, most of us have trouble finding enough time in the day to get everything done. And then when we sit down to work, we find it difficult to focus, our attention spans worn thin by constant overs
This Is Slow Down, You Move Too Fast Blog 3 (Stop Multitasking. Do One Thing At A Time To Improve Faster And Get Better Results–In Guitar, Running, And Maybe Anything) I Turned 50 And Ran My Fastest Mile In 15 Years. Here’s How I Did It–And Why It Is Changing My Approach To Practicing Guitar! Doing One Thing At A Time Can Help Make Us Healthier and Better Guitar Players
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE TOO OLD TO BE A 6-YEAR-OLD GUITAR VIRTUOSO? Every day, social media shows us six-year-old guitar virtuosos, overnight billionaires and an endless parade of brilliant and beautiful people. Of course we know it is a mistake to compare ourselves with others. But the sad truth is that when we see how good some people play guitar, for how fast they run, etc sometimes instead
This Is Slow Down, You Move Too Fast, Blog #2 (Want to play faster? Stop playing faster–instead, expand your mind!) Into The Matrix Playing fast isn’t just a physical skill; it is mental. Without changing your perspective, playing faster will be difficult or impossible. One of the most common mistakes intermediate guitar players make is trying to build picking speed
I ASKED 12 TOP GUITAR TEACHERS THEIR SECRET TO RETAINING STUDENTS –AND WHAT I FOUND OUT SURPRISED ME Meet Tia! Meet Adam! Meet James! Meet Eric! Meet Emilio! Meet Tony! You know that if you want to build a studio, you have to be able to not only attract, but keep students! So as the founder of one of America’s largest independently operated guitar schools (we had over 3,000
Slow Down, You Move Too Fast The Number One Practice Mistake In Music (And Life?) And What To Do About It I like to read and to listen to Audio Books. And when I listen to Audio Books, I typically use the “speed up” feature to listen to them at double speed–or 1.5 if I’m feeling mellow. “Daaaad,” my daughter, Neoma tells me when she gets in the car. “That super fast talking
How Paying My Kids $50 Helped Me Lose Weight, Sleep Better and Release My Inner Flosser Dear NYC Guitar School Parent, Would you pay $50 to have incredibly better dental hygiene? How about paying $50 to get way better sleep? And the weight loss industry in the United States is a 66 billion dollar industry–so would it be worth $50 to you to lose a few pounds? I’ve done a
Got A New Year’s Resolution? Good job–you’re already 10x more likely to improve than someone without a resolution. Now, supercharge your success with these 3 simple concepts! Hello Amazing NYC Guitar School Students, Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution to play more guitar, make new friends, eat healthier, or otherwise become more of the you who you want to be? I hope
Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail– Read This To Succeed In The New Year! Hello Amazing NYC Guitar School Students, The air is crisp, the sidewalks are full of shoppers, New Year’s Day is around the corner, and millions of us will begin 2019 with an exciting resolution to learn a new skill or form a new habit. Unfortunately, most resolutions are doomed to fail. In fa
14 Easy Four Chord Songs for Guitar Beginners With G, Em, C and D7 Guitar may take a lifetime to master–but unlike the harpsichord and trombone, beginning guitar players can start making beautiful and awesome music RIGHT AWAY. These chords are huge. A guitar student who learns to pivot from G to Em to C to D7 has taken an exponential leap in guitar capabilities, because that combination of
13 Three-Chord Guitar Songs For Beginners With only three chords–D, G and A7–beginning guitar players can start playing guitar right away, with lots of amazing songs. In fact, if you know these three chords you can even start playing “Happy Birthday”–and that means you and your guitar can be the lynchpin of any birthday celebration for the rest of your life.That’s cool! O
The Post-It Note Of Power Little tweaks in your environment help you get and stay on track. This works for lunch–and for practicing guitar! I think it would be a good idea if I took a lunch to work more often. Using up leftovers instead of getting lunch out is a WIN for the environment and proper respect for my wife’s awesome cooking! Eating home-cooked food means avoiding unhealthy f
From Tiny Acorns, Mighty Oaks. From Little Chords, Mighty Songs. No matter what your master plan is, just take it one twig at a time. When I was a kid, my mom used to say, “From tiny acorns, mighty oaks.” She meant that small beginnings lead to great results over time. The little acorn spends years and years reaching up into the sky for the light and down into the earth for th
Rock out to Imagine Dragons’ “Believer,” guided by star teacher Michelangelo, featuring Madeline! Good luck and keep shredding! For more tutorials, click here. To take a lesson with Michelangelo, click here!
Be The Guitar Player You Wish To Be How Getting Better At Guitar, Having More Self Respect, And Creating A Better Society Are Kinda The Same Thing “…who is not busy being born is busy dying.”–Bob Dylan You and I are on a journey through time–and we are a little bit of a different person at each stage of the journey, at the end of each year, week and day. It’s not just physical tr
Guitar may take a lifetime to master–but unlike the harpsichord and trombone, beginning guitar players can start making beautiful and awesome music RIGHT AWAY. In fact, with only two chords, D Major and G Major, you can already start playing lots of amazing songs. But as a beginner, it can be hard to figure out songs which are simple enough to play along with. That’s why, in this blog post,
**Or, gosh, a better anything! Dear NYC Guitar School Student, I know we’re all guitar players…but in order to learn to become better at guitar, for a moment, let’s pretend that instead you want to get REALLY STRONG, with FIRM and SHAPELY MUSCLES. Sound good? Objective: Firm, shapely and strong muscles. What will you do to achieve this objective? You decide to work out,
Three Reasons Student Shows Accelerate Student Progress …and Three Tips For Teachers To Maximize Student Show Participation And Success Written by long-time Queens and East teacher Tony Calabro, edited by Jobelle Mesa While we as teachers should never pressure a student to participate in a show, a little encouragement is sometimes all it takes to get them on stage. Letting a student know you
Power ballad you heart out with Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes,” guided by star teacher Michelangelo! Good luck and keep shredding! For more tutorials, click here. To take a lesson with Michelangelo, click here!
(**Your(future)self, that is!) Dear Guitar Student, Last night I walked into my son’s room, grabbed his guitar, and started jamming on some Ozzy Osbourne while he did homework and listened to music. Shockingly, his taste in music is not identical to mine. “Dad,” he complained, “if you’re going to play guitar, can you at least play along with the songs I’m listen
Serenade someone special – or yourself! – with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” guided by star teacher Kyle! Good luck and keep shredding! For more tutorials, click here. To take a lesson with Kyle, click here!
What Makes A Guitar Student Into A Raving Fan? Dear NYC Guitar School Team, A few days ago I met a Brooklyn Guitar School student who proudly showed me the NYC Guitar School business cards which SHE herself had created to hand out to people she meets. Let me repeat that…she was so eager to share her experience with others that she designed and printed her own business cards with all ou