The one key that determines whether or not you will become a master
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You now have all the tools you need to practice effectively and get the most out of what you put in. But what’s going to make you practice? Why would anyone spend hours performing very small and repetitive movements with their fingers? Why do we bother? Well, it’s really quite simple right? We’re doing it to get something. It’s not a new car we want and it’s not a thing really, it’s one of those things that you cannot buy with money – What we want is a new skill.
But the only reason why we want that skill is because of what we believe that skill will give us! So what are your skills going to give you? What’s the reward that your brain thinks it’s going to get when you learn what it is that you want to learn? I’ll tell you what I imagined that I would get out of my hard work when I started going for it full tilt. Here’s a list:
1. New friends (who would recognize how great I really am)
2. A lot of fun playing with people who are also great musicians
3. Recognition from total strangers greeting me in the street
4. Pride knowing that I could do something very difficult
5. The admiration from women who would see me as the ultimate alfa male!
6. A new identity as a successful person
7. Money and fast cars
I could go on for quite a few more minutes, The point is this: I had so many reasons for learning to play like a tornado that I practiced like a maniac every day. How many reasons do you have? Be honest with yourself. Are you sure you haven’t forgotten one or two things on your list? The longer and more compelling your list is, the more motivated you’ll be to practice Give your self 5 minutes to create a list of your own.
Lloyd Dobyns and Clare Crawford-Mason
Short term rewards boosts your motivation
But my brain didn’t stop there, no, no, no.... it got very specific. It imagined very vividly what it would get out of learning the one lick I was working on at the moment. I would ask myself questions like these “What am I going to feel like, playing this in front of an audience? What will the audience think? How will I look when I’m playing it. How will I stand? How will it sound? How great is it going to be? What will people say to me after the concert?” I then imagined playing my usual stuff and then suddenly breaking out into this cool run or lick, leaving the audience astounded and extremely impressed. In other words: I imagined getting part of the ultimate reward (My list) very soon! I admit it, I was almost exclusively focused on the skill itself and not the music, but you can definitely come up with a similar list of goodies that you’ll receive as a reward of your efforts.
Awareness creates results
Most guitarists would like to have better skills, but the majority of them can’t find the necessary motivation to really go for it. We tend to believe that some people havethe motivation and some just don’t. And we don’t really give much thought to it. Like it’s something you can’t control. But motivation doesn’t just come out of the ground or suddenly pop up by coincidence. There are very specific things that motivated people do in their heads, and there are very specific things that unmotivated people do as well. These patterns of the mind are mostly unconscious so we don’t really think much about them. But when they become conscious we can direct and control them and create the passion and motivation we need. If you do the same things in your head as motivated people do you’ll be motivated yourself. And if you do the same things that unmotivated people do you’ll be just as unmotivated.
Try this cool phrasing lick. Be sure to mix it with your other runs and sequences. To achieve the right sound, notice when to use pull offs and when you to use picking
Time and reward
Your brain likes to be rewarded. It likes to put in the effort but only if it get’s rewarded, preferably immediately! It doesn’t like the reward to be too far of in the future and this is the key. If you take on a huge challenge that will take you three or six months to learn, your brain is going to sound like a kid before Christmas eve: “I can’t wait that long, I don’t want toooo” So you haveto practice things that will give you a serious bang for the buck as quickly as possible. How quickly that has to be, is different from person to person. Think of your brain as a child you have to satisfy. Don’t start up things and then not complete them too often, because it teaches your brain that there’s lot’s of work and no reward. Take small but seriously cool things, and practice them to perfection, Then learn another small thing and then build larger things, with these small things. And remember to be proud of yourself every time you make even the smallest bit of progress. That’s why the metronome game works so well: It makes every little progress you make very visible and measurable. It gives you a way to celebrate daily, how far you’ve come. Remember to constantly calculate and recalculate when you’ll reach your goal. It gives the brain hope and certainty that the reward is nearby.
"Dang boy, what happened to you?!"
When you look at someone who plays extremely fast. React with curiosity instead of getting overwhelmed by the sheer mass of practice time that went into building these skills. Start dreaming of the day when you’ll have the same skills and! This is very important: Think of the next, little thing that you are absolutely going to master. As I mentioned before I used to take little things and master them completely. So from being able to play nothing fast I suddenly emerged in a practice session playing a little run or lick so fast that people where like.... “dang boy, what happened to you?!” Focus is the key here. Don’t practice twenty different things at once. Practice one or two things and focus on them. Picture how it’s going to feel when you play them in front of people who’ll be impressed. And don’t go “Arh, I don’t want to be a show off” Allow yourself to be proud of what you can do and allow others to be proud of their accomplishments! Put it on yourself! Envision yourself standing with on leg on the monitor on stage shredding like crazy - just this one lick... Just these four weeks and you'll have that lick down for good...
How to avoid getting better
Now people that are not motivated often tell themselves that it’s not worth the effort. They convince themselves that you don’t have to be able to play fast in order to play great music (Which is true) but then they really keep envying people who have more skill than they have. You know who I’m talking about right? These people who looks with disgust at you if you play something fast. “Oh, my god that run you just did was so booring, it sooo lacked musical content, yawn” Remember this: What they say to you, they will say to themselves, in their head. So every time they feel the admiration for something and the urge to do something about it, they talk themselves right out of it again. Because deep down they are convinced that they don't have the talent, the ability, the time or the money to reach that level themselves.
Focus in on a single little lick or run that you can master totally. Sell yourself on the idea that you can master it in a very short period of time if you practice regularly. Visualize how cool it will be to be able to play it. Lay down a plan. Schedule your practice sessions. Use the techniques described in this course. Use the metronome. Measure your progress daily, Adjust your numbers if you get stuck. Go for it full tilt. Create one successful experience, then another one, then another, - that will inspire you to go for more.
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