Considerations on practicing – the power of your mind.

10 Nov

       Your mind is a very powerful thing. Have you ever thought how many single actions are necessaries to play an instrument? Even in its simplest form, play a single note on the guitar, it must involve hundreds, if not thousands of impulses in our brain and around our body. This never ceases of amaze me. At the same time something so incredibly complex and powerful, can be our own worst enemy. How many times during your first attempts at playing a C major chord have you said to yourself ‘this is too hard’ or ‘I suck at this!’. Your little inner thoughts are silent for the rest of the world, but they resonate very loudly within yourself, don’t they?

      The best piece of advice I can give to my students when they approach an instrument is to be critical, but in a positive way. How is this possible? An example: let’s say I want to play a piece of music I like, but I find it challenging. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated with it and go ‘sod it!’* and throw the music out of the window. You know then for sure that you will never be able to play that piece of music. A better approach to the problem is to ask yourself ‘why can’t I play this tune?’. Am I playing it too fast? Trying to play it all in one go and I should rather break it down in smaller pieces? I assure you this ‘find what’s wrong with what  I am doing-and fix it’ attitude will get you to your goal quicker.

       To sum it up: avoid negative thoughts from the very beginning as negative thoughts feed only other negative thoughts, and nothing else. As time passes you will look back and realize how much you have improved and how easy it is now to play that C major chord you thought it was impossible when you picked up your guitar the very first time.

 Good luck


 * for the non UK population: sod it= a very British way of saying ‘forget it, I've had enough’

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Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by . Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country's finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree "Magna cum laude" in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States' east coast as a freelance musician. Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”. After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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