Getting Better As A Musician

I’ve been behind the ball ever since I returned. This is just to let everyone know I’m still blogging – I just got hit hard since my return from the UK. I’m still trying to get some pics up.

Here are some great tips on rehearsal from a great guitar-playing, producer friend, Darren Clarke, in California. These tips almost all apply to all musicians, not just guitarists.


These simple tips will help you get to where you want to be as a guitar player.

TIP #1
It may sound obvious, but practice what you’re bad at, not what you’re good at! If you’re practicing what you’re good at, you’re not really practicing. You’re playing. If you want to get better, practice what doesn’t come naturally!

TIP #2
It’s better to practice for 10 minutes a day than to practice for an hour a week on your day off. Consistency is crucial, especially when building dexterity, speed and agility on the fret board.

TIP #3
Always practice to a beat! Rhythm is often one of the hardest things to master in music. Learn to play like a pro by playing along with a CD, to a click track on your computer, a manual or digital metronome or along with your buddy who plays congas!

TIP #4
Listen to a variety of music. Great guitar players always have a great number of influences and a big music collection. You have got to love music to be a real musician.

TIP #5
Play with others as often as possible. Don’t fall prey to the alone-in-my bedroom-I-am-a-rock-star syndrome that is rife amongst guitarists. Learning to jam and improvise with other people will bring all that head-knowledge and muscle memory to life!

TIP #6
If you want to play fast, it’s all about accuracy and economy of movement, so practice the part really slowly, with attention to detail, and slowly speed up the pace. If you’re not getting it, slow down again and work back up.

Written by Darren Clarke,


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.