Last week I had a chance to talk with a pro bastketball player who also teaches and mentors young students. We discussed how when we both (me as a guitar coach) show someone something new, the students often begin to play or simluate what we are teaching them BEFORE we are done showing them what it is that we want them to do. Apparently, this is not exclusive to guitar players 🙂

So, we laughed about that because when you are on the other side of the table – it’s true.

He then told me something about mastering new techniques that he sticks by:


With guitar playing, this goes something like this. When learning, we often want to play anything new fairly up to speed and then we slowly adjust something if a part of the riff, lick does not sound good or clean. This is a LONG way to getting something to sound right because we are “feeling out” what is wrong – we’re guessing. With enough time in and with enough guesses will you clean up your riff, lick or whatever? Probably yes! But it takes a loooong time and we don’t have that much time now versus when we were 15.

Even if you are 15 and are reading this – start doing it the right way!

The way to get anything fast is to play is SLOW until you can play it at a slow tempo SMOOTH. The trick is that once you are able to play anything new SLOW & SMOOTH – the speed finds YOU. In other words, you don’t have to work hasrd on getting faster. It’s amost is if, if you take the time to put in the work to learn something slow … speed shows up BECAUSE you no longer have any “ifs”, “not sures”, or “gray areas” that internally (in your mind) stop you from beinfg (or feeling) free to play faster or fast.

One of the worst things to hear is someone not get the intricacies of a lick or riff down and hear him play it lightning fast. Uh, no thanks.

Lessons, studying – yes, we all learn and make mistakes, make adjustments. It’s all good. But, I’m talking about the music store heroes playing stuff they’re not ready for.

So, I want you to think about the above and really stop yourself if you feel you’re not following the above advice. I’m confident is saying that because I’m 100% certain that it works.