Serious Shawn Lane Lesson in music

I came across this on youtube and feel this is one of my main issues with communicating with an instrument. I’m always trying to use my logic and force control over what I’m doing. But When learning how to talk I wasn’t anywhere near as aware as I am now, or lets say constantly checking myself, out of fear of losing competence and looking foolish. But babies’ babble and mumble sounding “ridiculous” for years. And through that trial and error mess they learn how to intuitively communicate.

I think this is also a reason why it’s so hard to master something at an older age, as you’re interfering with that embarrassing process to much so you don’t look incompetent.
You guys got any opinions on this?


I tend to get stuck in analysis paralysis. Focusing on details that aren’t actually going to help solve the problem, exact approach angle, pick point, picking depth etc etc. That’s a lot to think about when trying to play something.

Often the solution has been to just try it fast. Certain issues seem to disappear if I just speed it up and feel it out. Going super slow, there isn’t much to feel out… Even a very inefficient motion can feel okay at slow speed.


It depends on the person, but I think there are some people that, while they acknowledge that they’re not going to be where they want to be at the instrument at that moment, they won’t let themselves make mistakes. If you can acknowledge that you will and should make mistakes, and learn from them, then you will improve over time.

1 Like

I have read various “scientific papers” and learned through experience that mistakes are acually what teach you. We all want to be this kind of magician that knows the right thing by default. And mistakes are a show of weakness. But it’s the opposite, mistakes are literally a learning experience, if you were doing everything right all the time, you’d not learn anything, and I think you’d possibly not even exist as a conscious being, you’d be nature. Bit esoterical but I feel that… And I only feel because there is a force acting against me…

Most of the players that are unbelievable to me are very humble by nature and willing to be raw and vulnerable. I think that aspect of their personality let them learn from their mistakes from an early age. This concept goes beyond guitar and into everyday life, the only times I’ve acually learnt something was from being wrong and available to accept that humiliation to my ego.

Though being vulnerable is a risky state, it’s an awkward juggle to trust those around you not to take advantage of it…

It’s very basic stuff that seems silly to even spell out, but we’re all trying to prop up some kind of face, and in doing that we stop learning.

1 Like

It make sense when you think about it. Aren’t we always “correcting mistakes”? Finding the way that works for whatever we are trying to play? Whether consciously, or subconsciously, learning by feel?

1 Like

Exactly, I think to feel you need some kind of opposite force, it’s like searching your pocket for your keys, it’s a trial and error experience, you might know what your keys feel like (through past trial and error) but you still have to engage in that feeling out/trial and error excersice. But we don’t think of it as failing over and over, we just say it’s feeling for the keys. But ultimately, it’s all failure until we stumble across what feels right. Tho in every day life we kind of look at that as being incompetent for whatever reason. I think it all comes from trying to look competent to impress others and gain power without the actual humiliating work nessery to acually gain that knowledge.

It’s like that scene in Jurassic park :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

The ramblings of a genius. Doing what he did is physical genius. He doesn’t teach well. Learning from him is a fools errand.

I think what he said makes sense. If you’re always checking yourself all the time you can’t flow along. You have to spend time practicing playing without constantly trying to force where you’re going.

You have to accept it’s not going to be perfect and just fly through the mistakes without getting self conscious. The more mistakes you make the more you’ll actually learn. Eventually you can start to flow over the fretboard in the same manner we talk. But you have to get past that learning phase where whats coming out isn’t what you meant to come out. You have to sound like a bumbling baby for awhile before you can talk.

Otherwise you’ll stutter and foucus on getting that one word or lick to come out perfectly, doing it over n over again. Thats not music.

I think a great example is when you think about walking, lets say someones walking behind you and you start to get self conscious, you start to think how you’re walking and all of a sudden walking feels really weird and akward, and you’re worried you look even worse now and it’s this self perpetuating loop. Same thing happen in speech or guitar. If you’re too self conscious you trip yourself up.

1 Like

This video is great by Bruce Lee. Saying essentially the same as Shawn.

Don’t think, Feeeel. :stuck_out_tongue: Don’t concentrate on the Finger, or you’ll miss all that Heavenly Glory.

Also nonsense. But if you glean some kind of knowledge from it more power to you.

Idk why you think it’s nonsense. They seem very clear concepts to me.

I definitely resonate with this more than overly analytical practice.

1 Like

Me too, I love Concepts, as they are kind of universal and you can apply them to just about anything. Where as incredibly specific instructions are very limited to the exact thing it’s talking about.

You can’t use Two way pickslanting to improve your Squat technique, but you can use the concept of mechanical training and also letting loose. They complement each other. Like Chris Poland and Dave Mustaine lol

Like Bruce n Shawn said it’s hard to express yourself honestly, without stuttering. There is a middle point where things come together and flow, but you have to train both. Eddie Van Halen said it in a really cool way, “it’s like falling down the stairs and landing on your feet”.
I think we try to avoid that pain of falling down the stairs part too much and become overly cautious.