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Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words

A guest lesson/article by internationally renowned jazz guitarist and educator Chuck Anderson.

by Chuck Anderson, Anderson Music Publications

Chuck Anderson wrote a great blog entry about the three words Play, Practice and Theory that send the wrong message to players and the general public.

With Chuck's permission I've reproduced it here.

The Three Words

by Chuck Anderson

There are three words commonly used in music that should be avoided – or at least redefined.

These words are Practice, Play and Rules.

  • Practice - This implies boring repetition. It's uncreative and unproductive.

  • Play - This connotes casual fun - a frivolous, optional activity.

  • Rules - These are a rigid set of "law" which must be followed.

I would suggest that the word Practice be replaced with the word Explore.

I would suggest that the word Play be replaced with the word Work.

I would suggest that the word Rules be replaced with the word Principles.

Why?

When you Explore music, it becomes fun and exciting. To explore is to discover!

Work in the music business is not like work in any other field. Most musicians feel blessed to make music their career. So work in this context is joyful not tedious.

The Principles of music hold the key to the development of your potential. Within these principles, there is unlimited opportunity to expand your creativity.

End of Lesson

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee

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