I have been really fortunate to have had some truly fantastic guitarists/musicians as teachers/mentors. Each had their own area of expertise (James Robinson: Flamenco and improvisation, Hristo Vitchev: Jazz and Music Theory, Doug Doppler: Metal/Rock and Modes). A common thread they all share (aside from them all being great guitarists) is their commitment to excellence as musicians. Each of them are truly masterful and I’m very grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to study with them.

Perhaps the one lesson that has become the most useful and profound is one that James Robinson shared with me. I was having difficultly making time to practice and he said “just do a little bit every day, even 5 minutes a day and you will get better over time”.

After repeatedly trying (and failing) to make myself stick to difficult and extensive regimens, I decided to try his suggestion and do a little bit every day. The past few months I’ve been doing just that and I’m starting to see a difference. I created a daily routine that covers a wide variety of subjects that I’m interested in and limit the amount of time that I spend on each of them to 5-10 minutes a day. I do some ear training, guitar studies (fretboard knowledge, chords, sight reading, bends, scales, improvisation), theory, notation, bass, keyboards (scales and chords), songwriting/chord progressions and vocal exercises. Again, each area only getting 5-10 minutes a day, period.

Is it perfect? No, but I can see that I’m making progress and am happy to have something that is manageable and easy to stick to. Also, I have plenty of time left over to do other things like writing and recording songs, which is why I want to be a better musician in the first place.

Thanks for the excellent advice, James!