Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm very grateful for 2008. It was a fantastic year and I'm looking forward to an even better 2009. Over the next few days I'll be writing goals for the coming year. I encourage anyone who is not clear on what they want to also write their goals down.

Write down 5 goals on a card and keep it with you. Keep it somewhere where you'll see it often during the day - put it in your wallet, pocket, etc. When you see the card, briefly think about the goals - see yourself accomplishing them in your imagination. We need to be reminded of what we want to do, be or have - because it's very easy for the mind to be distracted from the outside world.

Make all the goals extremely clear - learning a fully detailed program, getting scales to a particular tempo, recording a 20 minute demo, learning 5 pieces in higher positions, writing a piece for the guitar, etc. etc. The clearer we have the idea and the more we think and act upon the idea, the quicker it will come. Clear goals = clear results. Vague goals = vague results.

Your goals may not feel comfortable at first - that's good. It means you probably haven't accomplished something like it before. We don't want comfort, we want growth. We can only grow by putting outselves outside of our comfort zone. It may be fearful at first, but go forward anyway. Know that by facing your fear and acting on the goal, you are automatically growing.

Happy 2009

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Silen Night 2008

This is my last Christmas arrangement for this year. The arrangement is also available for free at Wishing you much happiness in the new year.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do without Doing

"All things godlike run on light feet" - Frederick Nietzsche

Anyone who is supremely fluid technically, lets go of the need to control technique. They simply do without trying. This is the great study of technique - to do all by doing nothing. The paradox is - the more we try to control, the less control we have.

Wanting control over any situation is triggered by the fear of losing control over the situation. Tension is a physical manifestation of fear. Tension makes movement difficult, which then incites more fear in the player. More fear = more tension. It's a never ending cycle. When we relax our mindset, and stop fearing our loss over control, the body relaxes and control begins to happen naturally. This is a simple, but profoundly deep study. This is "playing" the guitar.

Watch any guitarist with fluid technique and notice how light and playful the approach is. Realize this comes from a mindset - it's not just a physical act - it's his or her mind being represented by the body. When we fully grasp this concept, all technique becomes a study of letting go of fear and control. Only then can the body be free to do what it does naturally and beautifully.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

an interesting video related to creativity and play

how does this relate to your practicing and performing?