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Lesson 82: how to get from good to great

Sometimes it can be especially tricky to get better at something that you can already do pretty well. It feels like you know just about everything about everything. And then the things you don´t know are just not interesting enough! and you don´t want to spend any time with them. And in this way you get yourself into a dead-end street. You don´t learn anything really knew anymore hence your guitar playing doesn´t develop anymore. And that is such a shame.

There is always so much more to learn and to investigate.

My favorite way of investigating new things on the guitar is to transcribe. I listen to a solo - it doesn´t have to be a guitar player - and when I hear something especially appealing I stop the track. I sit down with my guitar and try to understand what is happening. Which notes over which chord is being played? how can I play it on the guitar?

And the I just play the line over and over again. Like 30 minutes. The same thing. The same tempo. The same line in the same position. It´s sort of a meditation.

As the very last step I transpose the thing through the cycle of fifth. That I can really hear it.

I don´t worry about the line appearing in my solos. It´s not the goal. The goals is to digest it and let it marinate. How it influnces my playing? I don´t know. I don´t care. I just work on it.

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