Welcome to the about PlayableGuitar.com page! My name is Jon and I’ll tell you more about myself in a minute. I thought I’d try to give you the gist of this website and my take on learning music first. (Along the way you’ll hear a bit about me as we go.) If you want to know more about me you can always read on after that.
Playableguitar.com is all about taking my years of experience as a teacher and a player and continuing to do what I love to do best other than play, which is to teach. That’s it. My strength is in my ability to convey understanding. I like to help people. I can help people. I have plenty of concrete proof of this fact. This site allows me to do that. It is the next best thing to live face-to-face communication. (Well maybe third best after “virtual face to face” on line like Skype and Face Time I guess.)
So what’s this site really about? The underlying ideology is that I know if I can “do music” then anyone can!
There are three main components or elements that drive the philosophy behind that last statement. Those three elements are to do with a mix of knowledge and skill. They lead to the creation of a fourth really important and far-reaching element that is really difficult to measure or even describe accurately. It is all about feeling and expression.
I call the whole thing “the four H’s”. I use this term especially as a mnemonic with younger students. In a nutshell we are talking about your Head, your Hands and your Hearing. The fourth “H” component, which is made up of innumerable ingredients and facets, is your Heart.
Ok so what is all this “hippie” talk? Well the ultimate goal of what we want to do as musicians is move people in some emotional way when they hear us. So the most important “H” is the Heart one. That one represents the almighty groove, the power of real expression and dynamic delivery of performance. It is to play with feeling and conviction. It is made from myriad factors that you acquire and/or develop when you put periods of effort into your practice and your playing over time.
As far as the first three “H’s” there is not any single one component more important than the other. They are all equal in their priority. Lets look at the less corny sounding version below…
Your Hands represent your technique. With out at least some usable technique you will struggle to get a meaningful voice from your playing. My “Guerilla Guitar Tactics” are designed to short circuit many traditional repetitive practice methods to get you there faster.
Your Head represents music theory. At the very least by having some understanding of your instrument and of western music you will allow yourself some freedom from sheer parrot fashioned muscle memory. At its best you will attain a clear picture of the western music system that allows you to communicate, share, compose, and appreciate and a whole lot more! I have developed a strong set of mnemonic blueprints to lead you to this place. This site is the only place you will find this.
Your Hearing is the probably very obvious idea of ear training. What ever your natural predisposition for this, it does work like a muscle. Really not just a single muscle but also a whole set of muscles. Which part or whichever one muscle or sets of muscles that you exercise will at some point show some development. I have (under construction for online format) a progressive set of incremental resources for aural development.
So really the big point is that if you are always nurturing one or more or all of the three “H’s” the almighty power of expression from H number four, playing with Heart, your true musicianship will come! The more you develop all the elements of musicianship i.e. creating a "groove", controlling dynamics and phrasing, measuring time, communicating... the list goes on... the more you develop the impact your playing has on others.
It really doesn’t matter what style or genre you are interested in. The basic skills are transferable. The only exception is technique. Once you reach a certain level it may be that you need to decide what requires adaptation or adjustment. It could be you are ready to move further down the road toward the right hand agility and posture of Flamenco music. Maybe the focus becomes a leaning toward the technique to master great jazz phrasing. Perhaps you decide to change to a new instrument. Maybe you would like to add a new instrument to your practice routine. Theory and ear training will remain the constant lowest common denominator throughout. The foundation of good technique laid at the beginning of your study will serve as an excellent launch pad to wherever you decide to go.
Whether you want to learn to ride a mountain bike or a road racer bike you still have to learn how to keep your balance and strengthen your leg muscles and increase your general fitness level. Whether you want to drive a car in the city or the country learning how to drive a car is still learning how to drive a car. I highly doubt that very many Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers went from no license at all to being a lorry driver without first being a car driver! I would also hazard a guess that many car drivers have never driven any other type of vehicle other than the kind of car they learned in.
Every person has his or her own path to follow and every person can be Happy Playing!
If you find that my approaches suit your preferred learning style please help me to continue growing this site.
It does take a considerable amount of time and some money to create and maintain a website. Supporting this site does not have to cost you any money or take up any time.
If you are local to the United Kingdom West Midlands Coventry Kenilworth Leamington Warwick Rugby Stoneleigh CV8 Post Code area and are interested in tuition feel free to arrange a “First session Free” Guitar or Theory Lesson. Perhaps you just want to *chat over a cuppa about the options for your children’s music education.
*N.B. Until further notice all interaction will be virtual or in full observation of distancing practices.
Rural Innovation Centre Unit 32 Avenue H
Stonleigh Park CV8 2LG +44 2476 998 500
International? Please contact me about Skype lessons. Se habla español – pues bueno un pocito!
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