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Dropping a note, tryin' to get social a bit


Local Dive Bar Favorite
Jul 12, 2020
I've been following this site since it's initial inception, following email updates and so on with it always in the back of my head. Life's had a lot of ups and downs, inconsistent contract work gets stressful and focus gets difficult. I climbed a ladder up to management in stores thinking that'd be a dope gig, realized it drains the life out of you and left it for the tech world. Went to school for software development and shortly after dove in to technical consulting for congressional campaigns. Major turn and not anywhere near where I had thought I'd be at this point in my life. Somewhere along the way I realized, while I can manage doing this tech work and don't mind it, it's not where I want to be. It doesn't make me happy, and I struggle to focus on much of anything. Give me a good day, I'll bust out a few days' worth of work in a couple hours then zombie off to twiddle my thumbs the rest of the week. I'm lucky to be in a position working for a company where this is possible, but it's a drag.

Buddy of mine recently picked up his guitar I convinced him to get in to years ago, and it re-inspired me to pick mine back up. I had done so many different things trying to create mental queues to pick it up and practice. I've gone as far as setting it right in front of my desk so I HAVE to look at it and walk by it before getting to work, with no luck. With him getting back in to it, it inspired me, in part out of my competitiveness of "You can destroy me in CoD but I won't let you beat me in music!" and also, he started asking questions that I forgot the answers to, which encouraged me to start researching and learning and getting back in to it.

So, I fished around a bit and went over some basics to refresh my memory and muscles, then remembered... "Syn started a school for this stuff, I should really check it out." And...here I am!

My current method of practice is:
  • 1 lesson per day
  • Study a lesson, get comfortable with it
    • Mark as complete when fairly comfortable, but no expert by any means
    • Track this "completion" on calendar (this is important!)
  • Move on to next lesson, study it
    • Use previous lesson as warm-up exercise before starting next lesson
  • Repeat first steps, move on to next lesson
  • Repeat 2nd step, using both previous lessons as warm up
  • By now it should be about Day 3, remember where we recorded that first lesson completion?
    • Time to review it. Do as much from memory as possible
    • Compare notes, focus on what was missing

And the cycle repeats.

I've taken this from studies in best ways to learn, which is really important in the software dev world. Our brains are like a weird mesh of tentacles and nodes. One node learned a skill, another node on the other side learned a different skill. They seem totally unrelated, but some how as we start learning other new skills, our brain-tentacles start reaching out and referencing these different skills to understand how the new ones work. Memory-based and time-based training gives these tentacles an opportunity to form answers to questions and give a better idea of how new skill works. Our brain is a muscle, much like any other muscle, and given the time to rest it will recover and grow stronger. Give each node at least 2 days to recover, revisit that node's topic, and see how much easier it is now compared to the first time you visited that topic.

In the same concept, it's important to not spend TOO MUCH time on a given new skill node. If after 15 minutes of practice you find yourself still struggling, step away. Don't think about the problem. Go for a walk, get some food, play a game, whatever you have to do to take your mind off that problem for a good 5 minutes, then come back to it and try it again. Much like working out. You go for that new PR in flat bench after warming up and doing a few sets at 70% 1rm. You're tired out, so you step away to recover a bit, then go for it and hit it. Same thing, but with your tentacle brain muscle. You tired it out, give it a chance to recover, then jump back in.

These are just some theories I've put in practice in a lot of different areas, and I'm applying it to music now. I grew up playing guitar off and on, was in school band playing trumpet from 6th grade up to 10th grade, then played piano for a couple years. I'd played a couple local shows and of course the high school talent show. I always loved the adrenaline of performing for people, and had always dreamed of being able to play for audiences professionally some day. I never really dreamed of making it big, but being able to make a career out of it was a goal that drifted off after some early life choices that led me a different route. That set me back and here I am. What better time to dive back in and get in to the gig work whenever this pandemic stuff ends, right??

Anyway, me in a nutshell, TL;DR - have been around music since I was a kid, finally diving back in to it seriously as that's where I feel I best belong, and so I'm here. I hope to learn a lot from you all and I hope I can help others out along the way! Always open to chat!
Last edited:

Dominik Gräber

Hot Topic Tourer
Contest Winner!
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Hey man! Glad you've decided to Dive deeper Into the school! Your practice Routine seems really good, except I would encourage you to step away from that strict one day - one lesson method. Some Lessons offer a Lot of content and there is a Lot you can do with it. It's also a great exercise to apply what you learned and Show us in the Media section! That way you get valuable Feedback and Had to Spend a good Bit of time to apply what you learned. :)

    But that's Just my 2 Cents on it. Looking foreward to See you around!


    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Jul 12, 2020
    Oh sure, I definitely appreciate feedback! That's definitely more of a generalization than set-in-stone method. For instance, the first 3 sections were more of a "1 lesson" thing as a whole. The CAGED system I broke down just a tad, to get myself up to pace, but also noticed that the farther in to it I got, the more it was a general over-view for each part. So that'll mostly serve as daily reference/warm-ups. For me, "one lesson" may be multiple sections to build a full class to better get the full picture. That goes hand-in-hand with the "brain-tentacles" theory, helping nodes connect and build skill up from learning the other concepts, forming new connections and such. I could really spend a good few days diving in to that more!

    But you're definitely right on that. I wouldn't restrict it to, say, "Lesson 18 today, lesson 19 tomorrow, lesson 20 the next day." If they can all be built upon to form one complete lesson to refresh and reference later.

    As far as the media part, that's definitely in the plans! Will be in the middle of moving soon, but I could use feedback on a lot, particularly rebuilding creativity and not staying so strict to scales and such. I'll be spending a decent chunk of time re-learning common techniques, and hopefully soon I'll make some tasty lick to share.

    Thanks for the response and feedback! I look forward to learning with everyone :)
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