This micromanaging boss could be killing your jazz guitar progress

by | Jan 23, 2018 | Articles, General Updates | 2 comments

Have you been ever at work just trying to do your job, and there’s that micromanaging boss peering over your shoulder every five minutes, making sure you’re doing the job correctly?

Yes, it’s annoying – and gets in the way of your work.


Those “helicopter” parents that hover over their kids, watching and overanalyzing the tiniest details, and giving them a stern talking to every time they make a small mistake.

Here’s the thing:

When it comes to getting better at their instrument, a lot of jazz guitarists are approaching their practice in this “micromanaged” way.

Overanalysing themselves when they make any mistakes.

Wanting to get something perfect right then and there, and spending hour after desperate hour playing endless drills and exercises, but not getting anywhere and giving up thinking “Well, I’m just not good enough for this.”

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

The problem is not their ability – it’s how they’re approaching their practice.

Let me explain:

Basically, the mind has two levels – the conscious mind and the subconscious.

The conscious mind is like the captain of the ship, giving orders to the crew and determining the direction the ship should go.

The subconscious mind is the crew – it’s actually what does all the work when it comes to guitar practice. The conscious mind’s job is simply to present problems to the subconscious mind. The subconscious is what does all the “heavy lifting” – figuring out the problem while you go walk the dog.

You need to leave the subconscious mind to simply do its job and not interfere.

In summary:

The best way to get better at your technique, or improvisation, or anything else, is to intimately know the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind.

Because when you do…

You can structure your practice session in a massively more effective way, making loads more progress than if you bang your head against the wall for hours a day on end.

So now, the big question?

Are *you* micromanaging your practice, like that annoying obnoxious boss peering over your shoulder?

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:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

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  1. Ron Davis

    Is this a purely finger picking approach?

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Hi Ron,

      The new course will cover all styles of picking – plectrum, fingerstyle, and hybrid i.e. pick and fingers. I have a co-instructor for this course, Stuart King, who will be taking care of all things plectrum, whilst I’ll be focusing more on the fingerstyle side of things :)


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