It’s a solid question—do we just check the box, cross it off our list, and move on to something else?
Like a garden or physical fitness, your technical prowess requires constant (ok, frequent) tending to.
I mean, in the end entropy will get us all, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep these hard-won technical skills fresh?
Believe it or not, this is the most popular option. Whether you call it “reversion to the mean” or “poor planning” or “life happens,” the most common thing to do is to get complacent and slowly lose all the stuff you worked so hard for.
Doesn’t have to be this way though.
You could go back to the beginning of this course and look at it all again with fresh eyes. Chances are you’ll whip through it much faster than you did the first time. Both in the sense that it won’t take you nearly as long to get some of the motions down, and in the sense that you’re probably ready to turn the metronome up a little faster (or try new subdivisions).
If your musical tastes run toward the extremes, you probably have more work to do. If you want to see what the best-of-the-best players in world are doing, you’ll want to check out Troy Grady. He’s been strapping slow motion cameras on badass picker’s guitars for a decade. We used his terminology in this course, so everything you’ve learned here should port directly into what he’s doing there. I personally subscribe to his Masters In Mechanics series—twenty bucks a month well spent.
My personal favorite though, is to use the meta lessons of this course to make everything you learn into a new exercise. Five or ten minutes a day, working through different picking solutions for the music that interests you, & the licks of your favorite players. It’s a great time to explore the systematically weird. Keeping your pencil sharp doesn’t have to consume every moment you have available for practice.
After all, the point of playing music is to enjoy yourself, to express something within you. A few minutes a day spent keeping the pathway clear between your brain and your hands is a solid investment.
Chicago, May 2017