RLG Principles

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Here at Relax and Learn Guitar (RLG) we believe in several guiding principles. These principles are the foundation for your success as a guitarist/musician. This is a growing/living list and these are not in any particular order:



1. You are never too old to learn.
If you have the will and desire to learn the guitar then you can. Our brains may work a little differently when we are older. Maybe a little slower. But they still work. In fact, playing the guitar will help you in so many ways including your memory. You will have to put the work in because….


2. You will get better through hard work.
It takes many many hours to master a craft. 10,000 hours is the number of hours that are thrown around. No one is born knowing how to play the guitar. You have to work at it. I believe that you can get there….


3. A little at a time.
HOW you practice is more important than HOW MUCH you practice. Some people become masters in less than 10,000 hours. Start by practicing the correct things and you can be ahead of the curve. Remember….


4. Don’t give up.
People don’t quit playing guitar because they are lazy or they can’t find the time. They give up because they stop seeing progress. We all need to see ourselves moving forward in order to stick with something. People stop progressing because their practice is ineffective. Little steps lead to bigger leaps and learning these little steps can be a lot of fun. Build on them and you will be amazed at what you can create. Maximize your effort by following……


5. The 80/20 rule.
Or Pareto’s principal. 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort. Know what your 20 % is and practice there. I can show you how. Focused and consistent effort will be the key to your training. Start there and…..


6. Find your zen.
Find your flow. Playing the guitar can be very relaxing and the time will pass by quickly as you train your brain through practice. And remember….


7. Slow and steady wins the race.
Just like learning any other skill, or learning a new language, breaking it down into manageable pieces and going slow is key. We tend to do everything fast. Going too fast is why many fail. Pay attention to…..


8. Patterns and repetition.
Our brains seek out patterns and we work hard to complete them. Make playing guitar a habit and practice the right things and soon you will…


9. Learn how to listen.
Be present and you will discover how to listen to the music, your instrument, your inner voice and how to get the sounds in your head into the movements of your hand. It all comes down to…..


10. Talent vs. persistence
We don’t all have the talent of the greats. But we can have great persistence. That is totally in your control. Persistence will lead to talent. There is no failure, only feedback.



RLG Method


Any set of principles needs a method to apply them to. Here at RLG, I will teach you to follow these steps in order to make learning easier, develop your rhythm and to help you grow as a musician:


Step 1. Get the song or lick stuck in your head. Listen as much as possible. Hum it, sing it, drum your fingers too it.  Annoy those around you.


Step 2. Break it down. Learn songs in chunks or small pieces. Celebrate your progress and the steps along the way instead of stressing about the final big prize.


Step 3. Play those small broken down parts without looking at tab, chords or lyrics. Start out small and work your way up. Try playing just one section without looking.


Step 4. Play along with the record (or iTunes, MP3 etc.) or a metronome. This will get you familiar with the chord changes. Start out slow and play the notes cleanly before moving on.


Step 5. Figure out your problem areas. Look at those chunks and work on the one you are having trouble with. Slow down. Remember, repetition and patterns are key.