How You Can (Legally) Copy My Best Guitar Students

I'm a huge believer in modeling the actions of successful people. It helps to significantly reduce the amount of trial-and-error learning that takes place. This a simplified version of the process that I use…

Step One: Define what results that you want to get.

Step Two: Find someone that is getting the results that you desire.

Step Three: Find out what they do to get those resuls.

Step Four: Do what they do.


At this point you might be thinking…

"What exactly has this got to do copying Craig's best students?"

That's a great question. But before I answer that, we need to take a small step backwards…


Why You Need To Be An Excellent Guitar Student

Guitar teaching is a really interesting way to earn a living. I get an opportunity to look at the learning strategies of many different guitar players. It's also really intriguing to see how people progress at completely different rates. And there's one thing that truly fascinates me…

Excellent students progress at a truly remarkable rate compared to the less diligent students.

It's not just a small difference. It is a profound difference. Like the difference between night and day. So if you want to maximize the benefit that you get from your lessons, you need to learn to be an excellent student.


The Top Eleven Learning Strategies Of My Best Guitar Students

Here is a list of eleven of the learning strategies used by some of my best students that I've taught over the years. It's rare to have a student who uses all of them. But my best students will use a large number of the following strategies on a regular basis…

Strategy #1: Vision

They have crystal-clear goals that are in writing. They've put a LOT of thought into what they want to learn. They also have a good idea of how they would eventually like to play.


Strategy #2: Regular Lessons

They attend lessons on a regular basis, and they rarely miss lessons. In fact, the only time they usually miss a lesson is when I'm on holiday!


Strategy #3: Record Lessons

They use a portable recording device (like an MP3 Dictaphone) to record the lesson. This allows them to listen to the lesson again at home. It also allows to them hear what I actually said rather than relying on what they think I said. :-) (If you don't have a good memory you NEED to be recording your lessons).


Strategy #4:  Post Lesson Notes

As soon as they get home from the lesson they write down in their own words what they learnt from the lesson. If they've recorded the lesson, they will transcribe important things that I say during the lesson. (I say some pretty damn profound things during most lessons…just kidding! :-) )


Strategy #5: Post Lesson Practice

They have a practice session as soon as they get home from their lesson.


Strategy #6: Practice Journal

They keep a practice journal. And in the practice journal, they document the following…

  • Their practice goals for that week.
  • What they practiced.
  • How long they practiced each item for.

They also write down any questions, problems or concerns that might crop up. That way they can ask me at the next guitar lesson.


Strategy #7: Limit ChitChat

They understand that they are there to learn and tend to limit chitchat to a few minutes. They understand that if they talk for 30 minutes during the lesson about their week, then that only leaves 15 minutes of available teaching time. And this would have a very unhealthy effect on their learning.


Strategy #8: Focused On Mastery

They understand that the key to mastery on an instrument is internalization. They practice things until they can do them without thinking.


Strategy #9: Teachable

They are teachable. This includes the following things…

  • They listen carefully to what I say.
  • They are open-minded and are willing to try new things.
  • They are able to follow instructions.
  • They ask questions if they don't understand something.
  • They are able to "let go" and trust the teaching approach that I use. In other words, they have faith that what I am teaching will help them reach their goals. (If someone can't trust their teacher, then it's time they found a new teacher!!!).

This is more of a quality than a strategy. But it's so important, that I included it. I should also point out, that if someone isn't teachable then the other 10 strategies pretty much are useless!


Strategy #10: Daily Practice Congruent With Goals

It is rare that they miss a day of practice. They realize that reaching their musical goals will require a significant amount of daily practice.

The amount of practice that they do daily is also congruent with their goals. If they have ambitious goals then they practice a shitload each day. They are setting themselves up to win.


Strategy #11: Self-Directed Learning.

As well as practicing the lesson material, they also work on their own stuff. This might include things like…

  • Composing their own music.
  • Transcribing their favorite songs by ear.
  • Learning licks from books that they have bought.
  • Recording guitar parts onto their computer.


Back To The Modeling Stuff

If you are getting lessons from a guitar teacher, then you can copy the 11 top learning strategies of my best students. This will allow you to duplicate their success. If you're NOT using all eleven strategies, then you are probably not progressing as fast as you could be.

So be a great student if you want to play some kick-ass guitar! Otherwise you'll get guitar bullies kicking sand in your face. And you don't want that right?

Return To: Guitar Lesson Success

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