Thoughts on Discipline

by Jack Grassel

This picture was taken on the night I decided a seven string was not the best choice as a vehicle to present my musical vision.

fter practicing it for 2 years, I realized that the 7 was diminishing my 6 string ability. On the previous night's gig, I broke a string on my 6. I didn't replace it and finished the gig with 5 strings and learned that 6 were enough. On the night pictured here the band kept playing during my "solo" and were the only ones that knew the direction I was going to take. The audience thought that I had a mental breakdown, but in actuality this was a completely sane act. They came up to the stage and picked up the guitar pieces for souvenirs. The neck was hung on the wall at the Uptowner for a few weeks then mysteriously disappeared. The feeling was wonderful.


Musicians often come up after seminars and say they "have trouble disciplining themselves"

What does the word "discipline" mean?

What does the word "play" mean ?

Frequently, students will say: "I have no discipline and have trouble forcing myself to play !"

There are two solutions:

To play music well, you need to make it enjoyable, so that you will practice a lot and prefer that activity over others that are less enjoyable.

Practicing becomes frustrating when the material to be learned is too hard and there's no progress. Choose mildly challenging reachable goals.

Have many items to practice, so that every 5-20 minutes you can change material, to maintainconcentration.

Practice three or more times a day and do something different each 20 minute session.

Give yourself permission to enjoy practicing.

Everyone has different learning needs and attention spans. You need to know yours.

Is your posture so bad that your body hurts when you practice?