Tag Archives | guitar practice

Mark Lettieri on playing with Snarky Puppy and life as a touring musician

mark lettieri

Photo courtesy of Alexander Ariff

Mark Lettieri is one of the three guitar players of Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy. If you have never heard of this band, head over to Youtube and check them out, you won’t regret.

But don’t forget to come back!

Mark Lettieri is a busy guy. As a session player he works with many different artists: Erykah Badu, Phillip Phillips or Tamela Mann. He has also released two instrumental albums under his own name and currently is working on his third album.

I was amazed by Mark’s guitar skills the first time I saw him playing. His unique style incorporates many genres and influences from Eddie Van Halen to Wayne Krantz. His solid rhythmic foundation gives his guitar solos almost “danceable” qualities. To my ears he sounds very fresh and innovative.

My goal for this interview was to uncover some “secret” strategies that Mark uses to develop his extraordinary guitar skills. We were talking about his guitar practice routine, creativity and the importance of talent for your growth as a musician.

Enjoy! Continue Reading →

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#1 Key to the most effective guitar practice session you’ve ever had

Human psychology is a fascinating thing.

We say we want something but when there is an opportunity to actually work toward that goal, we do nothing.

We want to become the best guitar players humanly possible but when the time comes to walk the talk and put in the work we start looking for excuses.

We says things like: “If only I had more time…:”, “It’s too difficult…”, “I don’t have talent…”, “I can never be so good…”.

We are searching for an easy way out when we should toughen up and keep our nose to the grindstone.

Even though we understand that the only way how to become good at playing guitar is by deliberately working on things that we can’t do, we pretend that we can get there by half-assing our practicing.

I see it constantly with my private students and there is abundance of this mentality online.

Here are few quotes that I’ve found online:

“I play guitar every day, but usually late night, unplugged in front of the TV. Every night I watch some old Law and Order episode, then pop in my Star Trek DVDs and watch those. While I am watching, especially the Star Treks, which I know almost forward and backwards, I play my guitar.”

“I also play unplugged in front of the TV watching baseball, Sports Center or Lost. Run up and down a few scales in different keys, practice songs I know so I don’t forget them. And work on new songs.”

“I play un-plugged while surfing & watching TV.”

Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing bad about “practicing” your guitar in front of the TV and watching Seinfeld reruns. I am not here to judge people. Do whatever you like.

You can watch all the TV in the world but don’t complain that you are not as good as you wish to be. And don’t tell me that if you just had more talent or more time then everything would be different.

That’s bullshit.

Things will be different only if you change your attitude towards practicing your guitar.

Let me put this straight:

You are not good because you don’t take your practicing seriously.

And the same is true for me:

I am not as good as I wish to be not because I lack talent but because for very long time I was not willing to give what it takes to become a good guitar player.

I believe that mastering the art of practicing is really the first and probably most important step for your success as a guitar player and musician.

Effective guitar practice is no accident. There is a key to massively improve the way you practice guitar.

Do you know what that is? Continue Reading →

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