Push ‘n Play Samurai: Small Steps Big Results


This is the last hint in a Japanese book called, “100 hints to Becoming Better at Guitar.” Have fun with your “pushes” and “produce” the life you want. (I would love a great translation of the caption in this book.) You can do this in any area of your life.

My little music theory experiment continues.   Music theory has scared me in the past but I have books that I have accumulated over the years that have laid dormant and untouched.   I have decided to take one book, Theory for the Contemporary Guitarist, pulverize it into little digestible bits and put it into my samurai notebook.   Each bit doesn’t take me more than two or three minutes.  Today, I will draw the F major scale in my notebook and call it a day.

Because I review my notebook, I will be seeing my new friend a few more times.  In the two months since I started this, I have progressed nineteen pages.  Because the bits are so small the process has actually become fun.  I have become a push ‘n play samurai.

There is no grand guardian blocking your path to any field of knowledge.  You don’t have to own it overnight.  There should be no,  “I am not worthy.” There is nothing you have to do to be worthy. You are already “blessed” with the ability to breathe and think on this beautiful and complicated world.  It’s a lot easier to start from, “what would happen if I just push a little bit and try to have a fun.”  Here are a few little tips:

  • you don’t have to put your creative/learning pushes out there for the world to doubt, hate, question etc.  I’m putting my little music theory push out there as a public service announcement but there are other pushes that are under the cloak of silence
  • you don’t have to know where you are going . . . I don’t really know if understanding music theory will really help my playing.  But it has seemed impossible, and that’s part of why I’m attracted to it.
  • keep thinking small is powerful.   Khatz, the dude over at alljapaneseallthetime.com, calls his immersion service Neutrino.  Teeny tiny particles.  According to wikipedia, my vast samurai mind powers, “a typical neutrino passes through normal matter unimpeded.”  When you pulverize your new skill into do-able bits, it’s you will pass through skills you’ve seen as obstacles before.
  • Don’t break the neural chain, man.  (You have to say this in a hippie voice!)  Even if you pick up your guitar (code, language, piano [ouch!], business plan, etc) for five minutes, you are making the next day of practice a little easier.

You won’t always feel great, but I think you might just get a lot farther than if you just beat yourself up about how you don’t know fill in the blank.  Skip the drama.  Become a push ‘n play samurai.


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