Friday, June 01, 2018

And now for my other preoccupation...

“All these incredible on-line resources — it's a wonder anybody bothers with personal instruction at all anymore.”

So said the fellow I was receiving personal instruction from, for guitar. One month later we shook hands and parted ways.

I've been on-line ever since.

In my heart of hearts I still believe one-on-one, two people in the same room, interaction is THE BEST way to learn anything. But it does require significant capital and, often, travel-time. And then there's the whole business of settling on the personal instructor who's going to lead you into the Promised Land.

In my case we were both having communication issues. One concern I was not making sufficiently clear was just how far I was willing to walk back my training. His philosophy was, “If what you're doing brings out the right sound, keep doing it.” But after 30 years of campfire strumming, I knew I'd picked up a few seriously bad habits — the most significant of which was a death-grip on the guitar neck whenever I did barre chords, or slid up the fret-board. Within months after taking on a couple of fancy new moves, I found myself addressing something new to me — an overuse injury. Now I needed instruction in better ergonomics, as well as the technique I was keen to acquire.
Turns out there is a wrong way to hold a guitar.
There is no shortage of YouTube authorities, subscription-based instructional services, or Udemy (and the like) courses. I've dabbled a bit in nearly all these platforms, and courted injury to my mouse-hand in the process. The best resource I've found, to date, is Justin Sandercoe, aka Justin Guitar.

First selling point: his stuff is free — as in, FREE. I don't begrudge the nickels I spent in any of those other places, but the beauty of Justin's program is you can quickly suss out just how helpful it's likely to be to your given place in the guitar skills spectrum.

Speaking personally, he's addressed and corrected a host of ergonomic elements along with all sorts of other technique nit-picking questions I've had. His instructions introduce both newcomer and intermediate players to the various boxes that offer elemental expression. Then he gently breaks open the box to give the student greater range of expression.
Anyhoo, if giving your guitar skills a nudge is at all your concern go on and give him a look. His YouTube channel is here, and his website is here. And if you find him at all useful, take the next step and do the right thing — pay for his services.

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