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The Basics > Yoga Of Guitar > Introduction: The Yoga of Guitar - The Union of Body, Instrument & Music

Introduction: The Yoga of Guitar - The Union of Body, Instrument & Music


"The Yoga of Guitar" ....The Union of Body, Instrument & Music

It has been 20 years since I wrote "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar". "The Principles" was the result of 25 years of research, teaching and testing with thousands of students. Since its publication, it has brought guitar enlightenment to many thousands more aspiring guitar players around the world, bringing them to a deeper level of understanding and ability about what it really takes  to become a good guitar player, and keep getting better.  

Over the years, many people have suggested to me that I write a "Principles 2". Well, I have done that, and it is called "The Yoga of Guitar". It is an entirely new system for the study of guitar, and brings all of the power of "The Principles" to a higher level that I could not have imagined when I finished "The Principles" 20 years ago.  

For the last 20 years I have worked intensively with "The Principles", using them myself and with my students. In that time, a tremendous number of new insights revealed themselves to me, and I have worked very hard to collect them, refine them, and organize them into a new system. As I have worked with and developed these new insights and methods, I realized that this system could only be called "The Yoga of Guitar",  because of the two meanings of the word "Yoga".  

"Yoga" means "union" and this union is achieved through "skill in action", and that is precisely what this new system of study does for the guitar student. It fosters the powerful connection between player and instrument that all great guitar players have attained, and because of that connection, gives us the ability to express the essence of our music unburdened by the endless obstacles that prevent so many guitar players from achieving that state often called "effortless mastery". 

Get your copy of "The Yoga of Guitar" now......

For those who have carefully studied "The Principles", you have already been trained to a great extent in the essential and fundamenta training that leads to great guitar playing, but now we take everything to a much deeper level. In fact, everything in "The Principles" prepares us for achieving a powerful union between body and instrument, but you will see that "The Yoga of Guitar" takes the foundation laid in "The Principles" and uses it to reach the highest levels of guitar playing ability.

“The Yoga of Guitar” is a communication of deep knowledge about playing and learning guitar. There are 5 components to this system. Consistent study of the various components will give you many new ways of thinking about, and doing, your guitar practice. 

“The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar” is where the foundation of your abilities on guitar are built. “The Yoga of Guitar” extends and builds upon the training you receive from study of “The Principles”. If you give your complete and sincere attention and effort to the material found here, you will experience continuous growth in your playing abilities, as I have in the decades I have spent formulating and using them.

Is This For Beginners?

Hi Jamie,

Is your new book appropriate for a beginner? I have just started with your
Principles and First Chords books.

Thanks, John

Hi John,

That is a very good question, one that I found myself asking as I was putting "The Yoga of Guitar" into its final stages. As often happens when it comes to teaching, I let my experience guide me to the right answer.

So, over the last year I have found myself, even when teaching a beginner, supplementing the material in "The Principles" with the deeper knowledge and methods in "The Yoga of Guitar". I have found that students that know YOG simply do better than when they use "The Principles" alone.

Why is that? Well, some people, like me, do better if they know why they are doing something, rather than just being directed to do it. Everything in "The Principles" trains the student to do things correctly on the guitar, from sitting, to placing the hands, developing the fingers, and interacting with the string. But "The Principles" does not go deeply into why these things work as they do.

It's kind of like when your a kid, and your parents tell you not to talk to strangers. They don't tell you why, because it would just  confuse the issue. So, you follow their advice and you stay safe However, in order to function as an adult effectively in the world, you will need to add to your understanding, and become more nuanced in your perceptions and actions. Life is difficult at 30 if you're still running away from people you don't know.

"The Principles" starts you absolutely correctly, and keeps you safe from the usual guitar maladies. You are safe to make further progress any time you wish, without the crippling  bad habits so many players get. When you study The YOG, you will understand why the Principles trained you this way, and you will be powerfully positioned to take everything to the next level. If you study "The Yoga of Guitar" along with "The Principles", you will go farther, faster.

"The Yoga of Guitar" goes very deeply into the physics of how the human body interacts with the flexible medium of the string itself. When a student understands the vital concepts of the cycle of the note, the 3 Phases of the Note, and the necessity for cultivating a dynamic physical relationship to the strings, they have a great advantage during practice. With increased understanding comes greater awareness during practice. and when it comes to ability on an instrument, awareness (as the great pianist Wanda Landowska noted) is what it's all about!

Now, does that mean I am telling everyone in your position as a beginner to study YOG as well? No, I am not. I am telling every serious beginner who has the curiosity and the energy to study both, and who wants to move as fast as possible with guitar, to study both. A beginner who studies YOG will begin to form the advanced comprehension of what it is to play the guitar that the best players have.

However, I am telling all of the many thousands of people who have found their playing ability greatly improved by study of "The Principles", people like a Ron Hill, a long-time user of "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar", who says "What  Jamie teaches is unique and without it I wouldn't' be where I am today musically and where I hope to go."....I am telling these people that if they want new and powerful revelations about playing guitar, and want to be as good as they can be and get as much out of their practice time as possible, get "The Yoga of Guitar", and use it!


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