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  • Writer's pictureBrian Mason

9 Life Lessons I Learned at Guitar Camp

One of my new found joys is attending Guitar Gathering, a hands-on guitar workshop and conference, hosted by Steve Krenz in Nashville. I started practicing the guitar about two years ago and having a hobby has really changed my life. While I've always been a learner, the experience I've had with guitar has reinvigorated a yearning within to try new things, to practice, and to slow things down. Learning the guitar is all about going slow, repetition, and incrementally improving. It's been humbling to apply that approach to other areas on my life.

During this past conference, Steve shared these 9 keys to learning which I believe can be applied to any activity or practice that you are undertaking. In addition to my own guitar journey, my meditation practice and other interests have progressed as I've applied these keys to improving my skills and experience. Simply interchange your activity where it says 'music' and you'll see how universal this guidance truly is!

Practice is about problem-solving- what can I believe/do differently to improve?

You’ve got something to give– Everyone has their own voice and your voice is unique and valuable. The people around you need your voice.

Making music, learning guitar,isn’t about ‘who’s the best’– Making music is about creating something that only you can do; creating something that moves you and other people. It’s about developing and growing as human being.

Play – Play whenever and wherever you can. Always play; you need it and others need it. Don’t let fear stop you from playing in front of others.

Keep working to learn, there’s always more than one way to learn a skill– If you’re challenged or bored on a particular topic, try something else for awhile. Learn a new chord a week.

You can conquer anything if you slow it down and break down the task enough- Decide, though, that it won’t stop you. The obstacle is the way.

Play for yourself– Find a song that you like and play it at the end of the day. It revives the soul.

Don’t just practice until you can play it,practice until you can use it– Practice the skill or chord in a variety of keys, places on the neck, or in a variety of musical situations.

Don’t believe the ‘little lies’.

  • You won’t get any better – You will.

  • You can’t conquer your current learning challenge – You can.

  • Your music doesn’t matter – It does.

  • You’re not ‘good’ enough – You are.

I'd love to hear from you if you've had similar experience with your life's practice; post here or send me a message!

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