Posts Tagged Practice

God is love

god-is-loveDear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. (1 John 4:7)

Unconditional love is a subject that some avoid. A subject where as much as has there’s been written about it there are as many cases against its validity and the belief that it can truly be exercised. It could be, as a Christian, one area of our life that will challenge us the most because love is tested when emotions drive us away from God’s intention.

For me, I have had my share of battles not only conveying this type of love but being the reciprocal party. At times, it doesn’t take much for us to push away from a friend, a co-worker, or a loved one. Sometimes the simplest thing that we hold tightly to that in the end holds us hostage from God’s intention for us to live in peace and joy with one another. To be content within ourselves.

For me, there are two things that I reflect on when embracing unconditional love in my own personal life: Read the rest of this entry »


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Compound Intervals

In the last lesson, we discussed augmented and diminished intervals. This week I will review compound intervals and how they are determined. Compound intervals are those that go beyond or above the octave or think of it as an octave + interval = compound. The following table below illustrates the combinations:

Next week I will discuss the use of ninth chords and show how I have applied them. Also, check out the All-Guitar-Chords website and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory for additional references.

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Augmented and Diminished Intervals – Lesson #4

This is the section that had always confused me early on in trying to learn theory. After being instructed that you can’t alter a fourth or fifth interval, we are now learning a prefect interval can be raised or lowered. Meaning, if you raise a perfect interval a half step it becomes augmented or if you lower the perfect interval a half step it becomes diminished. Examples are as shown:

In the key of C, the fourth is the F note. Raising the F a half step to F# results in a augmented 4th.

In the key of G, the fifth is the D note. Lowering the D a half step to D flat results in a diminished 5th.

Most of the time you  may not run into using either of the two intervals but it is good tools to learn and keep in your toolbox of theory.

Next lesson we will begin to wrap up the section on interval and move onto scales. Good luck with your playing!

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Acoustic Guitar Magazine No. 221- Smart Practicing

In an earlier post Approach to Practice, I asked the question of the readers what practice tips or strategies they used. I believe that practice strategies differ by the individual and can be even unorthodox at times. In the May 2011, No. 221 edition, the article Smart Practicing does a great job of collecting practice tips from various artists such as Don Ross, Grant Gordy. and Tyler Grant to name a few. I wanted to utilize this post to summarize the points in case you didn’t get the opportunity to read the article.

1. Remove distractions
2. Pay attention to posture
3. Loosen up – use warm up exercises
4. Begin with the basics
5. Ease into it – settle in before the tough stuff
6. Don’t hurt, be happy – if it hurts, something is not right
7. Think quality, not quantity
8. Take breaks
9. Set deadlines – use schedules or agendas
10. Listen before play
11. Sing it
12. Learn it right the first time
13. Start with the tough stuff
14. Slow down the trouble spots
15. Steal from other instruments – transcribe other instruments
16. Take it section by section
17. Consider the big picture
18. Practice in your head
19. Try it with a test audience
20. Take it easy on performance day – practice light
21. Let go of perfectionism

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Major and Minor Intervals – Lesson #2

In an earlier post, The Degrees Of A Scale – Lesson # 1, we learned a more formal way to express the movement from one note in a scale to another. Seems pretty simple but you also have to deal with the pitches that are in between the basic notes. These pitches are called sharps and flats and to get a visual of this concept think of the black keys on a keyboard which represent these notes.

  • When a note is flattened it is called a minor interval.

  • When a note is played in its natural state it is called a major interval.

Next week we will be reviewing perfect intervals.




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What Can I Do To Help?

As a guitar player, I am always looking for inspiration that can help me become a better player and I often find that from many different styles and experience levels of other players. In return, I would love to help others find answers to questions or provide inspiration so that we can all can become better players. I am humble in the fact that I am one of millions of players and I have so much more to learn but I want to be a part of an effort to continue to provide education and possibly a different approach to playing the acoustic guitar. As a means to that end, what can I do to help? Please reply with questions or suggestions for future blogs.

Thank you,

Brian Suman

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The Degrees Of A Scale – Lesson #1

This week I would like to review the degrees of a scale. Now, this is with the assumption that everyone generally understands that scales exist and scales are made up of notes. Each scale includes seven notes, eight if you include the root note played one octave higher. Since each note has a pitch when it is played, a numbering system was created so that each note of the scale could be identified quickly. See the C Major scale as an example:

The degrees are formal names that are applied the the numbering system and are a more accepted way of identifying the interval.


First (Root), Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth (Octave)

Next week we will be discussing major and minor intervals.

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