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The TRUTH about Learning Guitar
 
The Basics > The Principles > The Guitar Principles Story
The Guitar Principles Story



Most guitar methods merely give you content..they show you WHAT guitar players do. They do not teach you how to train yourself to do it too! That is where GuitarPrinciples is different.

Before GuitarPrinciples, there was no step by step method for students to follow that absolutely guaranteed success by showing not just the notes they needed to play, but how to train their fingers to play those notes! Before GuitarPrinciples, some people managed to "get it", and many people didn't, and gave up in frustration.

 


The Original "Principles"

After GuitarPrinciples, there is no good reason for any student to fail to learn to play well, and no good reason for any teacher to fail to turn every willing student into a real guitar player. After GuitarPrinicples, no student should ever accept this musical kiss of death from their teacher that goes like this "Sorry, but you have no natural talent". After GuitarPrinciples, it has been proven that anyone can learn the guitar well, whether they have "natural talent" or not.

 

 

How GuitarPrinciples Began

The story of Guitar Principles began in September of 1998 when the first ”Principles” book was published, or should we say, printed. More like a booklet than a book, it was 62 pages long, and was bound by a white plastic coil which caused the book to contort into various bended shapes with heavy use by Jamie’s more serious students. “The Principles” had no photos in it, but instead had several “technical” illustrations.

The manuscript was brought to the local Minuteman Press by the good old-fashioned method of camera ready artwork… paste up and mechanicals. The first printing was a volume of 50, and some of Jamie’s students, friends and supportive relatives bought them for $15 each.

The day it was picked up at the printer’s there were celebrations by everyone who knew Jamie….mainly because it allowed for all the 8 1/2 X 11 paper signs to finally come down from the walls that were scotch taped all over her house like wallpaper. The taping process had typically started with the refrigerator but within days, expanded beyond. No room escaped from being part of the guitar instruction book project, not even the bathroom!


An illustration of “The Cup” position from “The Principles”, circa 1998

Each sheet had a concept written on it, sometimes just a few words, sometimes an entire sentence was scribbled out in magic marker, pen, pencil, whatever was handy at the time the thought occurred which needed to be included in the book.

Jamie’s place looked like a hobo home for over three years, and when the “Principles” papers were taken down to reveal the most putred gray fake wood paneling, the walls actually looked even worse than when it had the “Principles” wallpaper covering them. Many friends and family members felt they had made a mistake teasing Jamie all those years. They had made for great conversation, and people missed them. In any case, the wallpaper became the book, and the paneling was eventually painted white.

The “Invisible Details”

Prior to the first printing of the “Principles’ book, Jamie had been teaching guitar for over 25 years to every type of student, from children to teenagers and young adults to senior citizens well into their 80's, as well as every style of guitar… folk, jazz, rock, blues, and the classical guitar.

When she first began her teaching practice as a teen, she wondered why so many people were having trouble learning to play guitar. They either quit, or got stuck at some level of ability beyond which they could not move. Two central themes showed themselves to Jamie as the predominant factors. She explains it as follows:


“My students did not know the "invisible" details of body mechanics involved in guitar playing that good players take for granted. They did not know how to practice in a way that allowed the hands and body to gradually adapt to the new and unusual demands that guitar playing places upon us. Instead, their practice habits created deadly muscle tension that locked into the body which either prevented or limited all future progress.”

Jamie’s handwritten notes in Little Victor’s book

Over her years of teaching, the answers to these problems began to emerge. She became obsessed with developing a guitar practice method that would supply all the essential knowledge of how to practice from the very beginning of picking up the guitar,  and one that would be used forever after, no matter what the level of the player. She developed a system of progressive exercises to train the hands and fingers for flawless functioning on the guitar, and one that guarantees success in learning to play. "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" was born.

Guitar Principles…“It works!”


The very first purchasers of “The Principles”, Little Victor and Big Phil at the home in which the Principles was authored. Follow the arrow to see what they brought to every lesson.

With the advent of the internet, Jamie became a consultant for the AOL guitar group and wrote many “Principled Essays” called "Weekly Wisdoms". The feedback from readers was incredible! Students from around the globe began using her method and getting great results from their practice. There wasn’t a day that went by where the emails did not pour into Jamie’s inbox reporting great progress. One student simply wrote in… “It works! Thanks, Jamie!” Her private students, too, were moving along fast and overcoming their long-time playing obstacles. Her “Principles” system was in full gear.

It wasn’t long until Jamie decided to break from AOL, and on June 26, 1999 she launched her own site on the Worldwide Web, Guitar Principles , named after her book. She had a crystal clear idea of what she wanted to accomplish with her work and the website’s Home Page stated just that:

 

The GuitarPrinciples Mission Statement

"To enable anyone who wants to learn the guitar to be able to do so, regardless of age or background. Also, to enable anyone who plays the guitar to advance to their next level as a player.

This is done by teaching the student how to practice to get results by using "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar".

Less than a week later, the first $15 check arrived in her Post Office box in response to her website advertisement. The Guitar Principles word spread on the net as being the most effective and results-oriented method available to learn guitar and the books started flying off the shelves.

Jamie needed help with what was becoming her small, independent publishing company. She first hired Steve, one of her rock guitar students while he was still in college, and soon after she hired her best friend, Geraldine, who had a handful of small businesses to her credit, as well as an artistic background. Geraldine is with Guitar Principles today.

 

The first Guitar Principles website logo

 

The Happy “Un-Ending”

With Jamie as prolific as she is, and with her continued passion and energy to teach guitar and see results from her students, the Guitar Principles website grew day by day to over a thousand pages in a few short years, with over a million visitors a month. Since then, a wide range of resources including books, DVD’s, and the most recent addition of online courses and downloads have been created, each one filling a vital need in the existing guitar instructional literature.

 
The last page of the original "Principles", which tells people to constantly re-read the book - since then, thousands of people the world over report that they do!

Guitar Principles continues to grow in both size and stature with its sole purpose remaining intact, as expressed in its original Mission Statement. Although it has changed in many ways since, all Guitar Principles is really interested in is helping guitarists reach their full potential. Thousands of players worldwide travel the journey toward their own excellence and are discovering for themselves the undeniable power of "The Principles" to propel them constantly forward to their goals.

Unlike most stories, this one has no end. It continues day by day, practice session after practice session, insight after insight, as Jamie continues to produce the most comprehensive guitar instructional material the world has ever seen, or likely ever will.

And so, the story of Guitar Principles continues…

Geraldine Petty

GUITAR PRINCIPLES CHRONOLOGY

(1998) The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar
(2001) How to Play Series#1: Practice Secrets to Playing Spanish Romance
(2002) The Guitar Principles Path: Level One, Chords & Rhythm
(Online-2002) General Guitar Development (Mel Bay Volume One: Note by Note)
(Online-2004) Guitar Principles: Hammer-Ons & Pull-Offs
(2004) The Deeper I Go, the Deeper It Gets
(2005) The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar: Second edition
(Online-2005) The Guitar Principles Classical/Fingerstyle Foundation Course
(Online-2005) Toward Mastery of Scales
(Online-2006) How to Play Series#2: Stairway to Heaven: Note by Note
(2007) Beyond the Basic Practice Approach
(2007) Rock & Blues Electric Guitar Foundation Course
(2008) The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar DVD
(Online-2009) The Six Essential Major Scales
(Online-2009) How to Play Series#3: The Secrets to Playing The Renaissance Dance
(Online-2009) The Chromatic Octave Exercise
(Online-2009) Inside the Virtuoso Mind
(Online-2009) How to Play Series#4: House of the Rising Sun

 



article 1
What Are The Principles?
Imagine playing your favorite songs on the guitar easily, with no struggle, and always getting better! There is a method of practicing guitar that will train your fingers for perfect action on guitar.
> Read More...
article 2
Why Is The Principles The Best Way To Learn To Play Guitar?
In short, because learning the guitar is a "body learning" process, and all existing methods teach you from the logic of the guitar, not the logic of the body. Learn why this is profoundly important!
> Read More...
article 3
Sign Up For The Guitar Principles Newsletter!
Our newsletter is like no other! Weekly delivery of POWERFUL information and methods to improve your guitar playing!
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article 4
A look inside The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar
Are you curious about what is really inside "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar"? Well, why don't you take a look!
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Guitar Principles Newsletter Archive
See all of the incredible content in our past newsletters!
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article 6
Preface to The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar
This "Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" is unlike any other guitar book you have ever seen. Read the Preface and you will understand why.
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article 7
The Principles DVD - Excerpts
Seeing is believing - and understanding!! These excerpts from "The Principles" DVD illustrate some of the primary yet profound aspects of learning guitar that must be learned to succeed on guitar.
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article 8
Learn To Play A Guitar and How To Practice
If you want to learn to play a guitar, HOW you practice the guitar is the single greatest factor that determines whether you will become a good guitar player, or struggle endlessly to play.
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Why (Oh Why) Do I Suck At Guitar!!??
Answering this question is the beginning of your recovery!
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What You SHOULD Have Learned In Your First Guitar Lesson!
In this lesson for beginner guitarists, I tell you the 2 most important concepts a guitar student must know in order to teach the fingers how to move in a smooth and relaxed way.
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Are Your Guitar Exercises REALLY Helping You?
The sad fact is, for most guitar students plugging away at "guitar exercises", they are not only wasting their time, their "practice" is actually making them worse! Here's why....
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article 12
The Foundation Exercises
The "Foundation Exercises" are unlike any other guitar exercises you have seen, and yet, they are the key to mastering the guitar, without struggling.
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Industry Reviews of The Principles
Read what the professional guitar teachers and players say about "The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar"
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Customer Reviews Of The Principles
Read what real players, who are using "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar", have to say...here are some reviews.
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IN THIS SECTION
What Are The Principles?
Why Is The Principles The Best Way To Learn To Play Guitar?
Sign Up For The Guitar Principles Newsletter!
A look inside The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar
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