Do you Need "The Path Level One"?
Do you have trouble changing chords?
Do you have trouble really understanding rhythms to songs?
If your answers to Questions 2 & 3 are "YES!".....
....then, my answer to Question 1 is...
"OH YEAH, YOU NEED THE PATH"!!
See if you understand the rhythm
to this song.......
What are people using "THE PATH"
saying about it?
I just wanted to get back to you with some more detailed observations about your new book, "The Path" Chords and Rhythms.
As you know, I started guitar lessons 2 years ago at the age of 44 after having never played an instrument in my life. I floundered around during the first year with several different teachers where I didn't really learn anything of lasting value except a cursory ability to read music.
I was not born with a sense of rhythm, nor any natural talent for playing guitar -- just a love of music. However, after reading your new book and working with it for the past 30 days, I can tell you that I now know that smooth chord changes and a sense of rhythm can be developed and that it is hard to do for many people, not just the "stupid ones.
I am finally, after two years of training to play a guitar, getting better at my first few chords: G, Em, C, D, (soon) Am. I am also improving at reading and strumming along to different rhythms, including syncopated rhythms and 16th notes (which are quite challenging for me). I am having lots of fun, and your new book has given me a new fervor for learning to be a musician.
Thank you for always admitting that playing a guitar is hard to do, but anyone can learn to do it if they have the have desire, attention, and awareness. I'd also add they need to read and adhere to your methods that you've detailed in The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar and Level One: Chords and Rhythms. I'm waiting for Level Two: ... so that I'll understand where to go next! I sure hope that you're working on it!!"
Jim, Chicago, IL.
"THE GUITARPRINCIPLES PATH
LEVEL ONE: CHORDS & RHYTHM"
"The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" was written in response to the all too obvious lack of a comprehensive approach to learning the guitar that really achieves its intended result: the creation of a real guitar player. It is not obvious if one looks at the millions of guitar methods out there, but it becomes obvious as soon as one looks at the millions of people who own these books, and still cannot make any progress on the guitar!
This was of course my belief when I wrote "The Principles", and it was the undeniable conclusion of thirty years of teaching the guitar, all styles, to all types of students. It was clear that only the talented survived. The vast majority who try do not learn to play, and most that do, even the talented, do so with often severe handicaps to future growth, especially growth into the highest levels of playing ability.
After thousands of book sales, and thousands of testimonials, it is clear that my belief was well founded. However, it is very important to understand why the existing material, (all the wonderful instructional material out there), does not end up at its intended destination: actual playing ability in the guitar students' fingers.
It is because the musical material, that students are given, and the approach to learning it, is incomplete, right from the beginning. The truly important dynamics of the "body learning process" we call "playing the guitar" are not taught, and so practice is often more harmful than helpful. It must be seen that the mechanical operations of the body necessary to playing the guitar are very complex, and all parts of the complex system must be included in a holistic way, right from the beginning of training. A student simply cannot be allowed to develop the fingers while at the same time holding their upper extremity muscles (in the shoulder, back and chest) tense. And they always do!
Method books usually make the major mistake of training guitarists from a musical standpoint, instead of the more primary physical standpoint. There is no getting around the fact that playing the guitar is first and foremost a physical activity. If there are problems in that area, there are going to be problems in the musical area, if the musical area has even been able to develop. It makes no sense if a student can read all the notes in the first position, but is severely locked up with physical tension while doing so. That student is headed for frustration and heartache.
"The Principles" have provided the answer to this "tunnel vision" approach to learning to play the guitar.
In a similar way, the type of musical material that students are given as they go through development as guitarists, is usually dangerously unsystematic. Chords, for instance, are taught in either a random fashion, as they are called for in the teaching of random songs, or, again, from a musical, rather than physical, consideration. So, the chords in the key of C may be taught first, because C is the "first" key, even though those chords, especially the F chord, is very difficult for a relatively new player, or may be impossible to attempt without creating excessive tension. Or, chords may be learned in whatever order they are needed for the "song of the week" , as we wander from song to song, by ourselves, or in lessons.
While this haphazard approach to learning music may be fine for an already developed player, it is deadly to the beginner. At the very least, it slows down progress. At worst, it will prevent learning altogether. No, a systematic, step by step approach is best-an approach that progresses from one technical achievement to another, each one building upon the last- and all of it teaching the fundamental principles of guitar technique along the way.
This is the aim of "The GuitarPrinciples Path: Level One" . It will provide that structure so necessary to the beginning student. Excursions into other musical material can be more safely undertaken once the foundation has been established.
It has always been my contention that the student should be enabled to create a musical experience for themselves as soon as possible, and that means as soon as the basics of mechanical functioning have been covered, and the building of solid technique is underway.
"The Principles" serve the purpose of building that solid technique, "The GuitarPrinciples Path: Level One- Chords & Rhythm" will bring that first musical experience to the student, while at the same time building on, and expanding upon, the technical foundation begun in "The Principles".
"The Path: Level One" is in two parts: Chords and Rhythm. In the section on chords, we begin with the chords in the key of G. They are the easiest to learn, and even they should be learned in an order that is dictated by physical considerations first, then musical ones. There's time enough for playing all the music in the world once we can actually get our fingers to do what we want!
But we don't have to wait to play music, as you will see. In the chord section of "The Path: Level One", we learn chords in a way that makes it possible to avoid the biggest pitfall that all "chord learners" fall into, the one that makes them say "I've been playing guitar for six months. I know lots of chords, but I can't switch them smoothly enough to play a song".
We begin by learning a chord that anyone can do, and a song that needs only one chord. We then move on to a full G chord, and instead of learning a C or D chord next (as would usually be done), we learn to switch smoothly into an E minor chord, because that is easier to do. We will also use this chord change to learn some very important principles of left hand functioning on the guitar, principles that will be a powerful part of your technique throughout your playing lifetime: left hand movement "with support" and "without support". These concepts are directly related to what is being learned and reinforced in "The Principles" and by practicing the "Foundation Exercises" therein.
The other half of "The Path: Level One" is a treatment of the subject of rhythm. Because of the highly inadequate presentation of this vital element of music, this subject is depressingly impenetrable to the vast majority of guitar students, unless they are lucky enough to have an excellent teacher who is going to make sure they have a firm understanding, or they are attending a professional musical education institution.
There is no getting around the fact that a firm grasp of the subject of rhythm notation, even in its fundamentals, requires a degree of effort. We must put all the "fun stuff" down once in a while and do some real "head work" here, but it must be done. Even if a guitar player decides not to learn how to read music, they must still understand rhythm, and rhythm notation.
So, the course is going to provide all the missing pieces necessary to understanding this subject. Concepts are explained in a most fundamental fashion, and everything that I have found to be missing in existing material, I have provided here.
Taken together, the two parts of "The GuitarPrinciples Path: Level One, Chords & Rhythm", will provide the next firm addition to the foundation established in "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar", one that can be relied upon to allow continuous upward growth in abilities, and understanding as a guitarist, and musician.
|Why Is It Difficult For Beginners To Change Chords Smoothly?
Because of the actual complexity of manipulating untrained fingers into "simple" chord shapes (at the first fret, where the arm is maximally extended away from the body, causing great stress by itself) many people hit a road block at this point that they never recover from. It gives rise to the syndrome of "I have been playing two years and know lots of chords, but can't play a song all the way through because I can't change the chords fast enough". The people that do get past this point usually still have handicaps they don't know about, handicaps that may or may not surface later on, depending on how far they attempt to go in their playing abilities.
I have called this book "The GuitarPrinciples Path Level One: Chords & Rhythm". It is designed to serve two purposes: 1) provide everything a student should know after they have studied The Principles and begun work on the Foundation Exercises, and 2) provide the vital understandings and skills appropriate at this point of development that simply are not to be found anywhere else, and make MUSIC while doing so.
"....Yes, I agree about the Path. That book is definitely worth getting. I knew next to nothing about rhythm notation when I first opened the book, but Jamie managed to cover this subject in such a way that even I can understand it!
If I can learn it, anyone can!"
Mike in the Forum
There are two parts to the book. The "Chords" part is an extension and completion of the "Beginner Path Lessons" which I began over a year ago in response to so many letters from "non-starters", people who just couldn't learn to play, no matter what.
These lessons, along with the practice methods taught in "The Principles", will get ANYONE up and running as a guitar player, making music, and on the way to making more music! I have been using the book with a number of people, and the results have been tremendous. Also, people that I have seen who have used the lessons as they have been published separately (before incorporation into this book) got fantastic results, beautiful hand positions and flowing relaxed chord changes. The book also contains detailed directions for overcoming another common and major obstacle to getting to "first base" as a guitar player, being able to strum AND sing to a steady beat.
And that brings us to the second part of the book, my course on "Rhythm". I am very proud of this work, as it is the fruit of my 30 years teaching experience, in which time I uncovered the root causes of why I was continually faced with a most disconcerting fact: no one seemed to understand, really understand rhythm! Even students who had played a long time, or students who had played other instruments, did not have a firm grasp of the system of rhythm notation used in written music. Most had a "working" understanding that worked, at least some of the time. Many, of course, could copy rhythms by ear, but that will only take you so far as a musician.
Music exists in two dimensions: sound, and time. Time, being an abstract, presents its own special set of problems for the student. The reason so many people are confused concerning rhythm (just try getting a satisfactory answer to "what does the bottom number of the time signature mean, and why is that important?) is, as usual, the absolutely inadequate teaching methodology presented to the student, which is usually no method at all. Like learning the guitar itself, everything that is important to know, IN THE BEGINNING, is missing. There are those who stick with it and figure it out as they go along, and then there are the majority of guitar students out there.
Believe me, it is not rocket science! If it were, I wouldn't have understood it myself. Math is not my strong suit. But you will discover that it is only because vital links in the chain of understanding are missing that you are confused by the subject of rhythm notation (as in, what exactly is a "beat" anyway?). You will find yourself finally being comfortable with syncopations, sixteenth notes, ties, dots, rests, etc. You will be able to count and tap rhythms, and have that translate into increased abilities on the guitar.
An absolutely precise conception of rhythm is vital to you as a player. It is intimately linked with your ability to give your muscles the precision instructions they need as they "cut" the notes into the right length required by the rhythm you are playing.
Get On "The Path" Today!
78 pages, 32 photos, $27.95
Click to BUY NOW!!
More Information On How "The Path" Will Get You Past The Two Biggest Obstacles Beginners (some of who have been "playing" for years!) Face:
Changing Chords Smoothly
Strumming And Singing Along
What are people using "THE PATH" saying about it?
"The six chapters in the Rhythm section of "The Path" breaks down the elements of rhythm into the atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, and quarks Jamie speaks of in another writing.
It tackles rhythm from a completely
different angle found in most music publications.
"The Path" deals with rhythm in such a way, it made the light bulb come on for me (as well as many others).
My words simply does not do this publication the justice it deserves."
"Received Jamie's new book yesterday, WOW! I must say she has done it again, explained the unexplainable.
I wish that I had this book when I was learning how to read music. Would have saved teachers and myself a lot of time and headaches. Just the chapters on rhythm are worth the cost of the book!
Oh, and the chord chapters! I could have saved a few years of practicing chords just with those pages. It is definitely a first to have information like that in print!
With Jamie's books aiding musicians in learning, a "new breed of musicians" is being born; the level of musicianship even from beginners in the next few years will be extraordinary.
Great Book Jamie,"
New Orleans, LA.