A Guide to Effortless Playing
I've been wanting to write a book or some sort of guide about learning guitar technique. It's a very specific area of playing the instrument and not that important to many people. Most individuals can make their way to a level where they are satisfied with their playing and just keep on cruisin'. However, I always liked the difficult stuff and wanted to learn to play it. And it was a huge struggle to me. I simply didn't know what to do and spent hundreds of hours trying things that simply didn't work.
That isn't to say that this book wouldn't help everyone no matter the skill level playing whatever instrument they happen to be familiar with. It's just that guitar is what made me get here. There used to be a time when I thought: "No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to play this." Today I feel like: "If I put a specific amount of time in practicing, I can master anything." This is a practical guide to help people to break through that barrier. All you need is a few simple methods.
Why here? I think these forums are a perfect place to jot down notes about this stuff, because eventually it will be erased. I read the yep's guide to mixing that someone posted here and thought a forum might be an excellent idea (hey, I'm writing, aren't I?) Also, there might be individuals here who are struggling with the same stuff and can help me to really get to the bottom of what I'm trying to explain by asking tough questions. Here's for hoping! I don't mean to keep this very structured. It will most likely be a huge text dump that I structure together at a later date.
How did I get where I wanted to go?
I did need help. But it was mostly research. And not always on music forums! This is a solid foundation to learning a relaxed way of performing with any instrument without having to put hundreds of hours in it. Of course, the more time you use, the more you learn, but in my opinion, learning the physical aspects of playing shouldn't be a journey that takes years and years. You just gotta know how to approach each challenge and it'll be a piece of cake.
The Internet is full of guides that will teach you very unpractical ways to learn how to play, and in my experience, they just don't work. If anyone learned how to play by hitting +1bpm on their metronome while doing their rudiments, I assure you, it was a happy accident.
I'm not the technically most advanced guitar player on Earth, but that's just a matter of priorities. The point is: I could be. And so can you. It's just that without proper tools, the journey is going to be impossible. And this guide is all about teaching you the tools. When I discovered how to learn anything, I gradually lost the interest in trying to learn everything. It's weird how you sometimes just try to obtain the unobtainable. I'm a lazy guy, so I just wanted the quickest possible way from point A to point B and was ready to do all the research necessary to find that way. Others, "the hard workers" (just the thought gives me the jibblies), can be content in just doing their daily routine and trusting that there will be a prize at the end. But will there? This is an experience I'm completely void of.
It is odd that this information doesn't seem to be more readily available. It's like everyone decided to start following the guy who spoke in the most convincing tone of voice. And some people, such as my teenage years' idol John Petrucci, still teach you ways to practice that in my experience just lead nowhere. It is bizarre.
Most music technique books start with a disclaimer: "Don't expect this to turn you into a master immediately. Perfecting anything takes years and years." I'm telling you that you should expect results immediately. And by immediately I mean the first ten minutes of doing things my way. If you don't, then you're doing it wrong. Plain and simple. There is truth to the idea that mastery requires a lot of practice. But if you're completely stuck in a rut, then that doesn't make a very satisfying music experience. When you do things right, you will go forward. Fast.