Simple ideas that have helped me

Hello again! Jeeze- it has been about a year and a half since I last blogged. No good excuse, just a lack of enthusiasm to put fingers to keys.


I decided to write a list of all the things that have helped me to become a better musician, and hopefully some can help you as well. If any of you have other tips to add, please put them up in the comments.

Maybe I will not take as long to post another blog, but I’m not guaranteeing anything!


1. Practice.

2. Have a devoted practice space- all your necessary equipment should be ready to go with a flip of a switch, and it should be decorated in inspiring ways.

3. Always use a drum machine or metronome, at all tempos and feels.

4. Strive for great tone all the time.

5. Practice with your gigging equipment.

6. You can learn from everyone.

7. Practice regular self-analysis.

8. Be specific in what you want to achieve.

9. Focus on the simple: everything that I have “discovered” that changed my musical life has always been butt-stupid. I felt like I was the last person on earth to learn that specific thing.

10. Go outside- listen to birds.

11. Practice in the dark, or with your eyes closed.

12. Practice in the morning.

13. Listen to drummers, and become fluent on drumming on everything around you.

14. Listen to bassists.

15. Know your gear- explore all of its possibilities, not just its intended uses.

16. Often, the best way to get better is not necessarily to learn more, but to learn what you know better.

17. Believe that you can accomplish anything. Harder things just require more work.

18. Don’t be afraid to stop doing something if it isn’t working.

19. Listen to music with your ears, not your eyes.

20. Be mature and childish at the same time.

21. Achieve balance in all aspects of your life- but understand that balance is more like a pendulum.

22. Have other hobbies/passions.

23. Don’t be embarrassed of where you come from.

24. Less is More.

25. Be patient.

26. Be happy.

27. Have fun on the journey.

28. Write music.

29. Be an autodidact.

30. Always remember what it was that made you love music in the first place.

31. Be happy with what you have and can do.

32. Practice away from the instrument.

33. Record yourself often and listen to it.

34. Don’t think in stylistic labels.

35. Focus more on the picking hand than the fretting hand.

36. Listen to Willie Nelson.

37. Make a list of your favorite musicians and what it is you like about each of them.

38. Just when you think you have learned everything a song has to offer, more will appear.



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