The Naggest of them All

Sigh...There are some guitar skills you can only teach by nagging. Again and again, you remind the student, until finally, they start reminding themselves.

And which skill is The Naggest Of Them All? Play slowly and carefully when you’re practicing something hard.

Invariably, when I teach a beginner a hard piece of music, they launch into it much too fast, and as a result, they make mistakes all over the place. If you’ve read my blog post on muscle memory, you know that mistakes should be avoided as much as possible: How To Practice Guitar.

I’m always looking for ways to spruce up my nags, instead of just mumbling, “Slow down. Slow down. Slow Down…” all day. Yesterday I came up with a good one:

Imagine you’re writing a love letter in ink, and you only have one piece of paper.

Comments 7

  1. “Slow down. Slow down. Slow Down…”

    That is what I tell my three year old when he’s trying to do something for the first time. However, being his dad and wiser, you would think I have this NAGGING line embedded in my own head…not really. I know: slow down.

  2. Rob, I’ve got your voice stuck in my head. I’ll start playing a piece, and immediately hear, “Slow down, slow down.” Can’t. Escape. The Nagging. Of course, two songs immediately come to mind–“Slow Down” as performed by the Beatles, followed by “Nag” as performed by Joan Jett.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. The brain and muscle connection doesn’t know and doesn’t care if it is learning to play correctly. It is just as happy playing it wrong. You have absolutely got to play it right no matter how slow you go. Have you tried eloctro shock therapy with your students?

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