Author Topic: San Diego, Ca 10/19/13  (Read 3094 times)

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Offline douge47ca

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San Diego, Ca 10/19/13
« on: October 23, 2013, 03:57:01 pm »
Review 10/19/13 San Diego, Ca

On meeting Justin and Marty:


Both Marty and Justin were very friendly, down to earth guys.  Both seemed to really enjoy doing these classes and made us feel comfortable during the session.  The guys you see in the videos are who they are in person.  Marty was kind enough to invite us back, my wife included,  to the studio after the last session to just hang out and have a beer and shoot the breeze.  Despite being extremely jet lagged Justin hung out with us until 9:30 or so.  Both guys were very cool and I really enjoyed hanging out with them however I was a little nervous through the whole thing as it was my first time meeting them and playing guitar in front of people.  Unfortunately I didn’t think to ask all the questions I wanted to ask.  They were very open to discuss anything and they both possess a wealth of music knowledge.

The Lesson:

I took the beginners improvising class.  We covered the first position minor pentatonic scale, adding the blue note to that scale, and the dorian mode.  The theme of the class was spacing..letting music breathe.  One of the important aspects they emphasized was the importance of not over playing.  We each took a turn playing with Justin and Marty and then around noon the drummer showed up and we each got a couple 3-4 minute jams. 

It was the first time I had ever played with another musician and it was kinda scary.  It reminded me of how difficult public speaking was for me when I began college.  I had only practiced improvising over a backing track a couple of times so I was lost when it came to my turn play.  Unfortunately I spent my prep time trying to increase my speed on the pentatonic scale…not at all what this class or improvising is about at this point.  Justin and Marty were very cool about it though and were very encouraging.  Like any good instructor they have the ability to sense your level and adjust their feedback to what suites your particular skill level.  These guys have been teaching for a long time and it shows

My Take away from Lesson:


Focus for 5 minutes. Justin made a point that the average person can effectively concentrate for roughly 5 minutes…for some maybe more or maybe less.  I think Marty said his limit was around 3 minutes.  Taking 3-5 minutes and just really focusing on what you’re doing is important when learning a new skill.  There is a place for developing muscle memory such as playing around while watching tv or just strumming/picking or whatever to unwind after work but just like studying in school, the critical learning happens during focused periods of practice.  When I thought about this on the way home I realized I spend way too much time playing around and not enough time focused on practicing.

I got a brief tutorial on some specifics of my guitar.  Besides being outstanding musicians they are very knowledgeable with anything guitar hardware related.  On that topic Justin mentioned that in “general” it is best to have your guitar volume set at 10 and control the loudness with the amp volume.  I think he mentions this in one of his videos.  Someone a while back in the General question forum section wrote a technical, detailed comment that explains this.

Do not stare at the fret board.  I know this is covered in his online lessons but I still have a bad tendency, especially after making a mistake, of staring at the fret board.  I’m going to do some playing with a blindfold to help correct that problem.
The importance of aural training and transcribing for connecting/understanding the notes in your mind’s eye…if that makes sense.  I always thought of aural training as a way to figure out how to play your favorite song so I pretty much skipped that portion of Justin’s beginner course.  I’ll have some catching up to do there.

Importance of playing with musicians better than you are to improve your skill set.  The preferred order of practice affectivity.  1 – Band.  2 – Jam buddy. 3 – backing tracks.

Conclusion:
Money well spent and I plan on doing it again the next time they have one of these in Ca.  They show a lot of respect to their students….even those of us who are…struggling beginners.  No favoritism was shown at all to the more advanced students.  We all had equal time and received feedback suited to our skills.  Next time I will have a better idea of what to expect and how to prepare. 
I would love to have a one on one with either Justin or Marty and if anyone has the chance I would highly recommend it.  Given Marty is within driving distance from me….well a long drive…. I plan on getting a one on one session with him at some point in the future.


Offline misterg

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Re: San Diego, Ca 10/19/13
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 05:09:31 pm »
Thanks for that - especially for taking the time to write up your reflections on it afterwards. I'm sure that meeting Marty and Justin was pretty awesome!

Offline stitch101

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Re: San Diego, Ca 10/19/13
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 06:10:03 pm »
Thanks for the review.


Quote
Focus for 5 minutes. Justin made a point that the average person can effectively concentrate for roughly 5 minutes…for some maybe more or maybe less.  I think Marty said his limit was around 3 minutes.  Taking 3-5 minutes and just really focusing on what you’re doing is important when learning a new skill.

This is the most important thing that most people don't get. Focus For 5 Minutes. A lot of the
beginners here say they practice for 2 or 3 hours and don't understand why they don't improve. It's
because 2 hours of noodling and playing around is not practicing.

I'm glad you included this in your review. It means you're one of the few who get it. 

Offline douge47ca

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Re: San Diego, Ca 10/19/13
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 01:22:45 am »
@misterg...your welcome....It was a lot of fun meeting Justin and Marty...great guys....I forgot to mention...one of the best parts of the whole thing was hearing those two jam together.  They can play..really really good. 

@stitch...its amazing how easy it is after you learn something basic to just mess around and wanna just play that and lose focus.  The hardest part of being a beginner is putting in the time to do the mundane drills that are required to play at a reasonable level.  Hearing that from Justin really helped cement what should be a simple part of learning but is so easily overlooked. 

 

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