Electric Guitar

Newcastle Guitar Lessons

In the spirit of the late Don Andrews, Angelo does not want to make you a clone of himself—he wants you to be all you can be as an artist.

Playing games

What do kittens and children have in common? Watch the way the kitten sees the little piece of string. Its tail begins to swing back and forth in excitement. It crouches, ready to pounce. Pow!! – got the string. It seems to never tire of the game. One day, that kitten will be a great hunter. Or look at the kid with the soccer ball, bouncing the ball; first on his or her feet, then thighs, head, and switching between the two. If any of you remember the movie Goal, the scout, Glen Foy, asked the coach whether he taught Santiago how to play soccer, to which the coach said ‘God taught Santiago to play.’ Santiago loved soccer.

Cats and kids love to play games and they have fun doing it. In doing so, they build strength in their bodies and learn coordination. In the novel The secret garden, Mary’s cousin Colin was a cripple in bed, but there was nothing actually wrong with him. When Mary and Dickon have Colin playing games in the secret garden, Colin became strong and was able to run, jump and play. Mary and Dickon did not behave like a physiotherapist and say “you need to do this number of this type of exercise, and then this and that, increasing this many times per day.” No, they played games and had fun.

We often do this as musicians where it is all work and no play. I was speaking with a boy the other day that played piano. He told me he went for his fifth grade AMEB but failed because a piece was not to standard. He made it clear to me that he actually hated playing piano – it was all work to him. His friend had a similar attitude, but not quite as bad. To them, Bach was hard work. He was amazed when I shared with him the beauty in Bach and the fun it is to get the different lines of music to stand out. We are so busy trying to become better that we often forfeit fun at the expense of excellence. Yes, scales are important. Yes, studies are important. Yes, technique development is important. However, you can build up a lot from just picking up your guitar and just experimenting. Over the last two years of suffering with RSI caused by having too much fun playing scales (I was doing over an hour of scales every morning – I don’t know of anyone else who could get a doctors certificate to not have to play scales), I have had to do short stints on the guitar. But during this time, I made up musical games to play and experimented with the sounds I could get from the guitar.

If you look at world class soccer players, I bet they started off enjoying playing the game. Do the same with music – make it fun. Develop a passion for music, which in turn will develop into a passion to develop your craft.

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