There is a saying that Bob Toski (one of the all-time great Golf Coaches who was the head of Golf Digest Golf Schools when they were the best) impressed on me when I visited him for a lesson back in 1981 and the penny has just dropped now when trying to learn the guitar.
He told me: “Take it back slow to pick up the flow, if you do it fast, you are not going to last!”
The world we live in is “rush, rush, rush!” and again a great quote from the past from Walter Hagen when he said “Take time to smell the flowers along the way”
In my journey to learn the guitar over the past 40 plus years, I have picked up the guitar many times to put it down frustrated and declaring that I just was not musically inclined. What a cop out! The truth of the matter is that I had not realized the importance of several factors that either set you up for success or doom you to failure.
- It is a “journey” and the “process” and the “right steps” are needed to keep you on “The Path”
- We need quality equipment – I needed a quality guitar to be able to hear the right notes and feel good when I hit them.
- Without a Quality Teacher/Coach we will never reach our full potential for the effort we put in – especially important at the start.
- Starting at the beginning is SO IMPORTANT! For me with the guitar, the finger exercises for both left and right hand are critical. These need to be part of every practice session. (In golf – the correct grip and “pressure points” in the fingers against the grip of the club and against each hand are super important to know and train in right from the beginning or whenever you decide to upgrade your swing and game
- DRILL TIME: Short sessions on multiple times a day work best. However, if you are not disciplined to be so “thorough” then short sessions on a regular basis will deliver much better results than one or two longer sessions a week will ever do. Also doing the DRILLS without hitting a ball will build more precision in technique. If we neglect this process, we will never gain a quality technique that can be transferred to an “automatic process” when hitting the ball or the playing of a musical piece is to be done.
- Daniel Coyle in his book “The Talent Code” wrote:
Whatever you’re practicing, chunk it up into the smallest, possible units.
Lastly, to fix mistakes, you have to spot them. That is easiest when you chunk down your practice into its smallest, possible units.
For example, you could take just one sheet of Beethoven’s 5th, divide it horizontally, so all you’re left with is 4-5 small pieces of paper, each with a single line of the piece on them. You can then practice all of these individually, mixing them up in order, and fixing every note you get the wrong one by one. Then you can piece them together again and voilà, you’ll deliver a really great version of the first page of Beethoven’s 5th!
As you can tell, this takes a lot of time, but it’s the only way to truly master something.
In my case, as a writer, I could try to write 20 different versions of just one sentence, and then compare them and pick which one is best, or even look at a few dozen variations for just a single word.
Divide your practice into tiny units so you can fix your mistakes on the smallest scale. Then put everything back together again for a great result that you can practice with repetition.
- Baby Steps and Enjoy the process and the Journey.
- Slow and Thorough wins out at each step along the way.
- Good Golf and Good Guitar is Easy! Done with ease and not serious – It all is a Game!
- For those who wish to take the golfing journey, please start here: https://pushgolf.kartra.com/page/iyK55
Enjoy the Hit!