If you exercise because you’re “supposed to” then you’ll likely cut some corners here or there. You’ll run a little less, do fewer push-ups, maybe you’ll skip the last exercise or two. “That’s okay, at least I showed up at all,” you’ll say.

But if you actually like exercising, or if you want certain benefits that come with exercise, then you’ll go out of your way to do more of it. You’ll find new ways to challenge your body in order to see the results you want. You’ll read articles, watch Youtube videos, anything to improve your exercise habits.

Practicing is like that too.

And interestingly, faking it for a while can really work. Go watch some Youtube videos, or read an interview with your favorite musician. Try to emulate some of the things they do, or add a new exercise to your practice routine.

Do it before you really want to. Pretend that you’re insatiable and you absolutely must know more about music. You might find that the results of this kind of behavior set in motion a very real curiosity and hunger for learning and progress.



Every time you start over from the beginning, every time you play it a little slower, every time you play it just a few more times, you are in the company of the most successful musicians in history.

They aren’t all prodigies. They didn’t sell their soul. They’re the lucky few that were somehow convinced that it’s worth the extra trouble, it’s worth the extra attention, it’s worth the time, to get where they want to go.

What can you do to convince yourself of that? Is it worth a try, just in case?



Learn the first note first, then the next note. Don’t skip any notes. If you miss a note, go back to it and try it again. If you play the wrong note, go back and try again. Go as slow as you have to.

If we practiced like that all the time we’d make fast, consistent progress over the long term. It’s also the fastest way to completely learn something.

So why don’t we just do that? Do we forget? Is it less fun?

If you need a reminder, here it is. Learn the first note first.