Learn a Cool Trick From a High-Level Circus Performer

On a sunny afternoon in June, my friend Andrew and I met up with Emmet Louis, an ex Circus Performer turned coach, to learn about object manipulation and other interesting skills.

Emmet watched us fumble as we tried to perform a simple exercise:

  • Hold a ball in one hand,
  • hold your other hand out,
  • without moving the empty hand, throw the ball from one hand to the other.

You can make this exercise as complicated as you’d like by choosing where to place the receiving hand (e.g. in front of your waist vs. behind your head)

Here is what happens to most people (both Andrew and I fell into this trap):… Continue Reading

The Best Way to Learn a New Chord [video]

Learning a new chord sucks.

If you’ve ever tried to play guitar, you’ve had to go through the rocky road of chord acquisition. when done wrong it can be slow, painful, and worst of all, it can hold you back from learning a song you love.

What if there was a way to accelerate the process, a method you could follow to add chords to your quiver faster than anyone else?

Luckily, there is a way. (If you don’t want to read and just want to watch the video, scroll to bottom of the post.)

Playing With Pressure Screenshot

Before I share my favorite technique with you, let’s backtrack for those of you who have no idea what we’re talking about…. Continue Reading

Can You Guess What This Student is Doing Wrong (guitar)

This post comes from a 2-part series from my newsletter.

Last week I asked you to listen to a 15-second recording of one of my students playing guitar. Your mission was to guess what he was doing wrong.

If you didn’t do it last week, give it a quick try before reading on.

This is an issue that almost every beginner experiences at one point or another. It’s very important to learn how to identify the problem early on in order to implement the solution.

(Towards the end of this post I’ve included a 40-second video medley of this student’s current level)Continue Reading

This Will Change the Way You See Bodybuilders Forever.

When I was 12 or 13 years old, I remember switching channels to a bodybuilding competition. I’d never seen bodies like that before. I was fascinated.

They looked so strong!

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I called my parents over, showed them the men on the TV, and asked them how I could get strong too.

I did not get the response I was expecting.Continue Reading

How I Went From Cool Kid to Weird Kid Overnight (and what I learned)

I was 10 years old, and I couldn’t understand why the kids in my new school were laughing at me. I’d never been the one that was laughed at.

weird kid

I spent the first 10 years of my life on the East Coast of the United States of America.

In the US, I wasn’t considered one of the cool kids at school, but I was never picked on either. I had a good group of friends, and I got along well with most of the other children.

When I was 10 years old, we moved to Paris, France, over the summer. My parents wanted us to have a French education and be closer to our extended family.

They sent me to a strict private school.

On the first day, I immediately noticed something wasn’t right. It only took a few hours for my fellow students to decide that I was a weirdo. And in school, weirdoes are picked on…. Continue Reading

The Illusion of Tomorrow

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I’m constantly surprised at how fast 3 months can go by. The older I get, the truer this feels. I blink, and here we are, 90 days later. It’s so easy to let those weeks go by without changing the routine, without challenging yourself, without giving life a nudge. Nobody wants their life to stay […]

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The Path to Learning Anything – 7 Phases to the Threshold

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Once I discovered this framework, everything changed. Since then, I never approach a new skill without making absolutely sure that I’ve identified what the Threshold looks like and where I am relative to it. My one goal from then on is to make it to the Threshold. Only then can I rest. If you don’t […]

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The Web of Connected Skills: The Shortcut to Learning Anything

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The speed at which you learn anything new is linked to your amount of connected skills and your level in each one of them. The Web of Connected Skills and the 7 phases leading to the Threshold and closely connected. When used correctly, connected skills will allow you to skip the early phases and learn […]

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What are you ALMOST good at?

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It took me two years to publish my first good article. I’m not joking. 24 months. I went through dozens of drafts and a ton of feedback before I finally hit “publish”. I can’t say that I’ve since become a great writer – far from it – but I’ve definitely Crossed The Threshold. These days when I sit […]

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Why is this fucking thing not working?

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A friend teaches you a great shortcut on your computer. You can clearly see how it’ll make your life better. You try it a few times before moving on with your work, happy you’ve learned something new. A few days later it’s as if that moment never existed. The shortcut is only a distant memory. […]

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How I Go From Terrified to Confident (With One Simple Trick)

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It was years ago, but to this day I still recall every detail of how utterly terrified I felt when they called my name. For the first time in my life, I was about to sing to a live audience, alone on stage with my guitar. The loudness of the microphone made me flinch when […]

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Introducing Coffeehouse Connect Week

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We asked everyone in our coffee shop what they were working on. We had no idea how much of an impact it would have on us, and how much it would change the experience of working in the presence of other people. After receiving overwhelming requests to push this further, we just launched #CoffeehouseConnect Week […]

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Why YouTube is the Worst Place For Beginners to Learn Guitar

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A friend gives you a guitar so you can learn how to play. Where do you go first? YouTube, right? There are thousands and thousands of videos covering virtually everything there is to know about guitar on that platform. You’ll get to see a teacher who’ll show you exactly what you should do as a […]

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3 Tools That will Save You From Yourself

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A few days ago I was feeling very anxious. Instead of dealing with it intelligently, I cheated my way through the day with incessant dopamine fixes. I couldn’t help myself. In his book “Guitar Zero” Gary Marcus cites neuroimaging research by Knutson and Cooper that found: “new knowledge can bring the same sort of surge […]

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What skills scare you to the point of paralysis?

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How would you feel if I showed you two electric wires dangling from my ceiling and asked you to install a small lamp there? Would you know what to do? (Hint: it takes less than 2 minutes and all you need is a screwdriver and a small contraption called a terminal block. It’s teachable in […]

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