So, did you read that Article on the last page?

The one about Contextual Learning?

Do you remember the part about…

“students need to make connections between new knowledge and experiences they have had, or with other knowledge they have already mastered.”

If only more people understood this about learning the guitar.


What’s The Problem?

Please remember, you’ve done nothing wrong, so please remember that.

You are not inherently flawed. you are capable of learning to visualize the notes on the guitar no matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been playing the guitar.

Then, what’s the problem, you ask?

Why haven’t I been able to do it, yet?

Well, like I said before, the people that you expected to show you how to do this haven’t delivered on their promise.

They didn’t realize they’re were doing anything wrong because they thought they were right.

It’s a case of the blind leading the blind.

They may know where the notes are on the guitar, they may even be great guitarists themselves, but they don’t realize what’s missing from their solution.

I know a lot of great guitarists that don’t know how to explain “how” they do what they do. It’s no fault of their own.

They just do what they do, and it works for them.

But, you are not them and they are not you.

And that’s alright.

Let’s move on.

What we need to do is get you to where the great guitarists are, even though they don’t know how to tell you how to get there.

What you need is a Process, a System, that will embed the information about where the notes are into your playing.

This is why I am glad you’re here with me right now.

Perhaps a story will illustrate what I am talking about?

So, a friend calls you up and says,

“Hey, I am going to be passing through town later this week, and I was wondering if it would be alright to stay with you for a day or two? It sure would be great to see you!”

This is a good friend of yours, and you haven’t seen each other in a long time. So, of course it’s alright!

There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for a good friend, right?

There’s a problem, though. You’re not at home. You’re also out of town.

But you trust your friend to crash at your place while you’re not there so you say, “sure, why not?”

But, there’s another problem.

Your friend has never been to your town, or to your house for that matter.

So, like any good friend you want to MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE for him to find your house, and get around town while he is visiting.

Here’s the question: How will you explain to your friend where your house is located?

You wouldn’t say, “just search for it…”

No way.

This is a good friend of yours, you don’t want to waste their time searching and searching for your house.

You want to give him the fastest and easiest way possible to get to your house. So you give him key information, starting with your address (your location).

He also needs to know key landmarks like the nearest gas station, or grocery store, and important cross-streets and intersections.

You, being the good friend that you are, want to give him the shortcuts, the quickest way from Point A to Point B.

For example, you might tell him,

when you exit off the Interstate, and come into town, you’re going to take _____ Street, which is _____ blocks past the Gas Station at the Intersection of _____ and _____.”

You might also say…

“If you want to go to my favorite restaurant while you’re in town then you will want to go 3 miles down ______, take a left on ______, just past ______ and it’s right behind the Market.”

What did you just do for your friend?

Yes, you provided him with directions.

That is obvious.

But, you also provided him with something even more powerful than that.

You provided him with CONTEXT for understanding the area where you live, and you did it by providing him with the ANCHORS that make that possible.

For your friend to understand how to get around your town he needs anchors, like your address, street name, favorite restaurant or nearest gas station in order to make sense of where other things are located. Those anchors create context for understanding everything else about your town.

This is also how we learn to recognize where the notes are on the guitar, by using the notes themselves as anchors.

If your friend knows where the nearest gas station is, and he knows where your favorite restaurant is in relation to that gas station, then he knows how to get to the restaurant, from either location. He now has options, or references, to choose from as to how to get from one place to another.

He has anchors.

Yes, octaves are a form of anchors. But, they don’t provide the most important information you need in order to be able to find the other notes quickly.

You Already Do This Every Day

Those directions you gave your friend consisted of a key ingredient in learning things on the guitar quickly.

Anchors are what life is made of…(the first few minutes is all you need to hear.)

After that let’s continue