The Curse Of Internet Overload

by | Jun 22, 2017 | Articles | 15 comments

It’s kind of ironic that I’m writing this to you.

(After all, Fret Dojo is now one of the most popular jazz guitar websites on the internet, but that’s by the by).

What I want to raise with you is something serious…

Internet Overload.




All that stuff.

Collectively, this is an insidious force – ever so sneakily whittling away more and more of our time.

I’ve recently realized that it’s been taking a real toll on my own effectiveness and productivity, and, most importantly, focus when it comes to wholesome things like (you guessed it) jazz guitar practice.

So many of us just go online to check a few email messages, but 27 Instagram posts and a few lame talking cat videos on Facebook later, lo and behold…

There’s no time for anything else.

If you want to get good at any craft that requires skill, dedication and a great degree of concentration, like the glorious jazz guitar…

Internet Overload is your enemy.

Here’s the thing:

Being bombarded by the Internet doesn’t just cost you in terms of minutes and hours.

It also impacts on your general focus levels throughout the day.

This is far more serious, as it starts to impede your ability to concentrate on anything for any decent length of time.

So, a few days ago I made the bold decision to take my Internet browser off my smartphone – and got my wife to set a password to prevent me from reinstalling it.

She found it all rather amusing.
So what brought all this on?

I recently picked up a great book called Deep Work by Cal Newport, which explains what extended sessions of distracting activity on the Internet can do to your brain – it’s scary. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

So – turn off the dang iPhone.


Turn on your amp, grab your six-string, and do something worthwhile with your time.

Making music is far more satisfying than the latest online doohickey.

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info:

Thanks for entering this little meditation with me today.

Let me know what you thought about this article by leaving a comment below.

Now go play some jazz!



Greg O’Rourke,
Founder, Fret Dojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

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  1. C.R. Marshall

    Not sure if my comment got posted (I hit subscribe and it took me to another page.

    You should also check out Cal’s earlier book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You. It contains an interview with a guitar player and talks about specific things he did to get good.

    Also, some of hte online interviews with Julian Lage have some good insights.

  2. Hans

    Greg, you are so very, very right!!
    The same goes for watching television, by the way.
    It’s also a dangerous timekiller.
    Better listen to good music, read a book, do nothing at all is also o.k. for a while, meditate , go for a walk in the open etc etc.
    Please do give your mind some rest!
    Thanks for bringing this up and sharing it with us.
    In the mean time we still have to follow the course, of course!!

  3. Akin Fatunmbi


  4. Alvaro

    I agree 100% , and it also affects actual relationships… many of us get immersed on those social media sites while surrounded by friends or relatives trying to have a normal conversation with us.

  5. Jürgen Schwibs

    You are right but on the other hand it opens so much possibilities. So I think it is a question about filtering and focusing.

  6. George Hanepen


  7. topaz tschinnery

    Hi Greg,

    Do it the simple way (like I do)……………………………………………………
    I have nothing to do with any of the “Social Media” sites at all, I have no facebook account, no twitter account, no instagram account or any of the other “moron” sites that so many people suddenly can’t function without – I don’t, and never have, worshipped at the foot of the gods “mobile phone”, and “text message”, which have bred a generation of individuals who can’t spell, can’t write, or think for themselves – we all got on with life quite happily before they came along, such a shame they have turned out to be more addictive than tobacco!!!
    And now, back to re-stringing my Gretsch Superchet with flatwound strings!!!

  8. Richard Agostini

    Greg, I’m glad for you and I personally wish the whole world would use a tool for what it does for the whole that is good and not be addicted to it.
    I do not own any cell phone, flip, or IPhone. I have been at social gathering and what I see is people sitting by themselves on the cell phone, what happened to people talking face to face. So it is easy to see that world is losing its ability to take the time to “Work Deep”. Again Congrads”

  9. Emmet

    Oh man .. should I take the Greg challenge and have my wife put a password on my phone … sounds interesting !
    – Emmet

  10. Larry Peyser


    From the song “Sea Diver”, Mott the Hoople c.a. 1970: “Wright on my son/ Wright on/ Write on until you fail.”

    I had a young, 12 year old, golf student who told me he would not study his rule book until he was done playing his video games. Next day he failed the rule book quiz, and he was over tired such that he could not concentrate on golf instructions.

    Today when I get one or more millennial student in my GED math, algebra, geometry class I tell them the story of the young golf student, who has since died of gunshot wounds suffered in a gang fight. “The idle mind is the Devil’s playground.”

  11. Frank Saunders

    Hi Greg, I agree with internet distraction and would like to discuss something related yet somewhat divergent. While looking online for knowledge of jazz approaches I’ve run into Chris Cooke’s, learn jazz faster and others. While they share certain elements they are different too which creates neurotic blocks when exploring various practice approaches.just wondering what you think about this.thanks,frank

  12. Vivian Short

    Greg, I have absolutely no time to focus on the guitar these days mainly due to taking care of my elderly Mother but with everything else I must do on a daily basis, I find the internet taking up most of my day and time. It is ridiculous and doesn’t have to be this way. I don’t need another social media event to get involved in. Checking e-mails is enough! I’m going to start checking them once a day and not throughout the day. Good you’re doing what you did with the browser. Hopefully, I can start practicing at lease 1 hour a day. The late musician Prince hated the internet. I guess this was why he managed to get so much done musically. My goodness…

  13. Lou

    Thanks for that insight Greg . . .
    as always, I enjoy your views and your constant efforts to improve
    both yourself and others.
    It seems that Cal Newport has hit an ‘Elephant in the Room’ type nerve !
    I shall get a copy of the book, because I too am beset with far too many
    Hoping your current lesson series is progressing smoothly.
    Ciao for now . . .

  14. Ray

    U.R.So Right.


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