From the Morning, The Goldilocks Rule and Guitar Practice 

Hi, welcome to my blog about what I’m up to in my life as a musician, husband and father. I’m new to this so here goes… 

I recently left social media as I found it wasn’t really benefitting me much, watching The Social Dilemma gave me the final nudge. I recommend everyone watches it! So this blog is my space to share, please feel free to comment and get in touch. I’d love to hear from you! 

So far this year I’ve been learning a new cover song every week. This is a commitment to myself to get myself back into a positive music practice routine after being floored by covid and the demands of being a father.  This week I have been working on a version of Nick Drake’s From the Morning. It is a song I have dabbled with but never got round to finishing. It is in a weird tuning (like most of his songs) – BEBEBE, so I never have the guitar set up to just pick up and play. So this week I tuned my beloved Martin RS1 and went for it. And I’m pretty happy with the results for one week’s work. 

Click here to listen to From the Morning 

Also this week I’ve finished reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits. I came across it a while back when looking into bullet journaling, and it appeared again in a conversation on one of Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s Live More podcasts. As a time-poor dad of two, the idea of small changes in habits making a big difference really strikes a chord and motivates me. I’d lost my way as a musician for a while and implementing the ideas in his book has been really helpful to me. 

Towards the end of the book James writes brilliantly about the Goldilocks Rule which states that people are best motivated when they are working on something on the edge of their current abilities. In the words of Goldilocks herself, just right. And it got me thinking specifically about guitar practice. The songs I or my students have most engaged in have been the ones that have been achievable, but with some challenge, some new element required. A new chord, fingerpicking pattern or technique to master that is just a little bit out of our comfort zone. 

So in my quest for new covers to try this year, I may save some of the Jon Gomm percussive guitar stuff for later this (or another) year, and look for incremental improvements as the weeks and months progress. 

Over and out for this week, I’ll be back next weekend with a new cover and some thoughts to share. Have a good one! 

Paul

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