TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • 7yrs How’d That Happen?

    Posted by jumpinjeff on April 28, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    How my last year at TAC went: My last year at TAC has been my best year yet. I played my guitar every single day of the year there was not one day missed. I worked on embracing the benefits of repetition with excellent results. I continued my exploration into leading tones and 1/4 tones. I transitioned to playing with my eyes closed using my minds eye to see the fretboard. I have been working on this for a few years, but this past year the fog in my minds eye lifted and it is becoming second nature (almost) to see/visualize and feel where I am at any given moment on the fretboard. My time spent on exercises/lessons is very well spent as my focus on the lesson is sharper than previous years. I practice focus.This is intentional: focus is the last frontier. I no longer think about speed as in…”I would like to play that faster”…my focus is 100% aimed at reducing every bit of tension that creeps in. Speed is the stressor that challenges my focus and tension management. Speed had become a means to and end and is no longer the end. When I keep my focus; monitor, address, and eliminate tension, speed comes automatically. The absence of tension allows me to be both accurate and precise. I can hit notes exactly as intended and do it repetitively with intended results. I have embraced curiosity. This is a practice. Curiosity has relived me of self doubt and self limiting beliefs. This last year has been the best year because of the practices I employ. Long ago I stopped practicing on my guitar. I became a player and every time I pick up my guitar I play it. Even if it is doing the same thing repetitively for an hour…I am still playing it while I practice Curiosity, Tension Management, Focus.

    What am I planning for the next year: I plan to play everyday. I will utilize exercises/lessons to challenge/improve my flexibility, dexterity and speed. Tension will govern my speed and my progress will be measured by how effectively I manage tension challenged by progressive speed. I will focus on physical and mental tension. I will continue to embrace repetition as a means to an end and see it as a tool that allows me to be the player of my desire.

    I will continue looking for ways to communicate with other musicians IRL through music. Music is an amazing way to communicate. It is why I play. I will keep looking for other folks interested in having Tone-versations.

    This next year very specifically I will spend time getting the chordal shapes of E and A into my intuitive playing the way that I use the D shape. Saving the C shape for last, gotta have something to look forward to right? I have theoretical familiarity and use the shapes when I rehearse them but I am looking for organic intuitive integration into my playing.

    I will continue to work on my 10 song list of songs I can play cold. For me this means that not only have I learned how to play them right…I have also disassembled and reassembled them so much so that I can not play them wrong. For me that sometimes means measure by measure. I have been working on a Pink Floyd tune (Comfortably Numb) for years. I finally got the last mystery piece of the puzzle figured out using Sus A chords at the end of the chorus. I am no music wiz just an apprentice with tons of determination. I have always said I was near the end of the line for musical aptitude but somehow I was near the front of the line when determination was being passed out.

    TAC’s structure has provided me with the frame for which I have been able to build myself into the player of my desire and intention. It took me a while to figure it out but the process has given me everything I need to be the player I want to be. I look forward to the coming year with excitement and wonder…the possibilities are only limited by me. Free from myself there is no end to what I can learn and do on the guitar. Thanks Tony and TAC team for making what I thought was impossible a reality. Thank you to the TAC community for being there and helping me to see there is a forest through the trees.

    Strums and Smiles; Peace, Love and Music; No Fear; If It Sounds Good, It Is Good; Expectation Is Where Fun Goes To Die. These sayings solve 99.44% of my musical problems

    There goes the DoDah Man so I am gonna get behind him and keep on truckin’…and jumpin’

    Moonhare replied 1 year, 11 months ago 8 Members · 17 Replies
  • 17 Replies
  • Mrfredsporty

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    Fantastic and well said!

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 28, 2022 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks Mrfredsporty.

  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    Happy 7th TACiversary 🎂🎼🎂 @jumpinjeff 👍🤩👍 You’ve developed an extremely admirable philosophy about guitar playing😱 and I applaud you for it 👏👏👏 as well as being the pillar of this TAC Community that you are (no BS)😎 I wish you a wonderful journey in this coming year and many, many more TACiversaries🎼🎼

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 28, 2022 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks @Bill_Brown , my philosophy was learned and honed right here in these forums with your help and the help of others who participate in the community. Thank you for your contributions. Makes me a better player and the community is richer for it.

  • Marty73

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Happy 7th @jumpinjeff you were one of the first to reach out to me when I joined 4 1/2 years ago. Your words of wisdom really helped. Proud to call ya friend! 😊🧙‍♂️😎

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 28, 2022 at 6:45 pm

      Likewise @Marty69 , I still have hat envy over your steampunk topper. It has been fun progressing together. One of these day we will get to play together IRL. Putting it out there on my vision board. Thanks for making the ride fascinating and fun.

  • Loraine

    Member
    April 28, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    Happy 7th TACiversary @jumpinjeff ! You have a great outlook, and you’ve been a great mentor since I joined. What specifically are you doing ro reduce mental and physical tension?

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 28, 2022 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks @Loraine , great question too. It comes down to awareness and speed control. I go through my mental checklist over and over while playing. Loose fingers-check, loose shoulders-check, loose neck-check, loose shoulders-check, good posture-check, loose hands-check. Practicing this check list has become second nature. I almost don’t have to think about doing it any more. If I find any mental tension or physical tension that keeps returning at close intervals I will slow down my playing speed until the both mental and physical tension dissipates and remains at bay. My mental tension comes in the form of panic as I can’t remember where to put my fingers next and the train jumps of the tracks. I am better today at recovering from this on the fly but I remember a time not to long ago where I would have to start everything over from the beginning. The only thing I can say contributed to being able to mess up and carry on is many hours in the saddle. After recognition of precision and accuracy over a satisfying period I will then start adding speed and start the process over adjusting, relaxing, focusing. I try to stop every 30min to stretch but will take a moment to stretch and refocus if mental tension begins providing the foothold for frustration to creep in. I continue until I have adjusted and achieved that tension free bliss. I used to stop when frustrated but that did not get me results I was looking for. I really considered what it meant to make a practice of stopping at a high point (Tony P.’s suggestion)tried it and while it was tough at first the benefit was exponential. I have seen video of myself when I am in the groove, tension gone, and my head sort of rolls around in weird guitar playing way but oh well I will take that over tension. One of the best things about repetition in lessons/exercises: I get super focused on the process. It is why I have come to recognize how important repetition is for my progress. It used to drive me nuts but now I focus on the results of the effort and appreciate how it allows me to progress. There are sessions when elapsed time seems to become meaningless: the magic of effortless perfect repetitions are all that is happening. I hope that answers your question.

      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        April 29, 2022 at 6:00 am

        Thank you for that detailed explanation @jumpinjeff , I also wanted to know but neglected to ask🤔

      • Loraine

        Member
        April 29, 2022 at 10:55 am

        Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I can see where it would seem onerous and difficult when learning to recognize stress, thoughts, tension, and the act of letting it go. I have fibromyalgia, and I carry pain and tension constantly, and it is such a constant that I don’t recognize the stress, tension, and even the pain. I have to consciously think about it sometimes to recognize what are of the body is currently affected (which is usually most of it). I’ve tried meditation, mindfulness, body mapping in the past. It’s probably a good time to look into some new techniques and give it another whirl.

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        April 29, 2022 at 11:40 am

        @Loraine , yes give it another whirl! maybe start with just one aspect. I remember one of the first things which I was able to have that physical awakening was with my fingers themselves. I remember experimenting with how lightly I could fret a string and still get the tone I was intending to make. I was really surprised at how little effort it took and how much excess energy I was using in over pressuring the strings. I learned how to target the strings I wanted to play. It was a watershed light bulb moment when I realized the Bar used on the F chord was really only touching three strings. I learned to arch that index Finger so the pressure was applied to the Low E string and the B and high E strings while letting the pressure of the bar off of the strings that were covered by the other fingers. It was amazing how little pressure it took to do this. Same when playing single strings: if placed in the right spot it takes very little pressure to get the string to ring out. Once the string starts ringing the guitar body can take over allowing for even less pressure. Play around with the sound of a mute and add as little pressure as possible to make a ring. Maybe this is a case of precision over brute force. Give it a go and see what results you come up with.

  • albert_d

    Member
    April 29, 2022 at 8:22 am

    @jumpi I really appreciate your introspection and sharing your process. I have a lot of respect and admiration for purposeful living and I perceive that is what you do. You approach music from a place of the heart and mind. Happy TACiversary.

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 29, 2022 at 11:46 am

      Thanks @albert_d , purposeful living. I like that. Yes, lets go with that! Birds of a feather me thinks.

  • Carol-3M-Stillhand

    Member
    April 30, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    @jumpinjeff Happy 7th TACiversary to You!!! Holy Smokes has it been 7 years? I think mine is coming up in June (#7 for me too) so we’ve been TACers forever I guess!! It’s always gratifying to read your wise words of wisdom- my fav one is the “Expectations are where fun goes to die”, and also “speed kills”, and the “3 take rule” which I break frequently, haha!! (Speed is just a side effect of good technique and relaxation)

    It’s been a wonderful time of learning guitar and friendship over the years, Buddy!! Wishing you many more years of guitar enjoyment to come!! Congratulations!!

    • jumpinjeff

      Member
      April 30, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      So great to share these last 7year of our journeys Stillhand. I would not be even half as far as I have gotten without your example and contributions. We have shared some incredible IRL moments in our music journeys as well as the fantastic lightbulbs you lit my path with. Those moments remain wellsprings of inspiration and good feelings about ending on high notes. Those are natural highs in case anyone thinks they might have been sharp, flat, or even accidentals. hehe. Gotta be more where those came from!

    • Moonhare

      Member
      May 10, 2022 at 1:12 am

      “I think mine is coming up”… and doesn’t it just shine out from your playing @carol-3m-stillhand 🤟🙂🎸

  • Moonhare

    Member
    May 10, 2022 at 1:09 am

    A pleasure to read this account of your 7 years. Of course you are quite literally not the man you were when you started (I understand that every cell in our body is replaced over a seven year cycle) but you have explained so beautifully the journey so far and this is something those of us still at the beginning can take inspiration from. Thanks! 🤟😎🎸 Darren

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