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Wednesday, 17 September 2008 16:48
By German Schauss
Hello and welcome to my new exclusive column for In this column I will discuss different topics ranging from practice tips and musical development to music business and everything in between.

The Lightspeeder’s Practice Routine

As an active clinician and teacher, I am often asked by students about the best ways to practice. First of all, I would like to say that here is no single way to practice. Good practice with great results can be different for everyone. However, I employ the following methods in my own practice and I also suggest these same methods to all my students.

The first and most fundamental aspect of practice is consistency. Practice everyday. Once you have identified the best time of day to practice, it is important to practice everyday at this time. This is one of the most imperative aspects of developing good practice habits. Daily practice at the same time each day will become a non-negotiable routine necessary for consistent quality in performance. You will not have any more excuses that you could not practice that Db altered XYZ Scale!

The second indispensable aspect of practice is organization. Organize your practice material into different categories. Create as many categories as you like. For example, Picking, Sweeping, Legato, Tapping, Chords, Sight-Reading, Improvisation. Place all your exercises from all your various sources, like guitar lesson handouts, books, magazines, websites, etc into a folder or a box. Take a sheet or two from each category everyday and practice it. After you are done, place this sheet in the back of the category. This method of organizing your practice material will allow you to be thorough in your daily practice and it will prevent you from repeating the same material over and over again.

The third and most important aspect of practice is to keep a record of your practice in the form of a musical journal. This will help you objectively review your progress and journey in music. Sometimes, it is hard to see the progress you have made on your instrument because you do not have a point of reference for comparison. With a record of your daily practice, you will be able to compare your actual progress and also plan your next step or goal.

It is good to remember that maintaining one goal can sometimes be a tricky thing. Very often, your goal will change even while you are working to advance your musical skills. Your interest may shift towards another goal that is related to these newly advanced skills and knowledge that you have just acquired. I always compare this to the story of the boy with the carrot and the donkey. The boy dangles the carrot in front of the donkey so that it will continue to move forward towards the carrot. However, the donkey never gets the carrot because the boy will always dangle the carrot a little ahead of the donkey. The goal is not the concrete goal that you set for yourself. The real goal is in the process. Once you are on the path you are on a greater journey.

Thank you for reading my column and be sure to check out my website at for more information, lessons, and music. If you have any comments or questions, or have any suggestions for a future topic, email me anytime.

Rock on!

About: Close Encounters with The Lightspeeder: German Schauss

With dizzying precision and graceful agility, German Schauss takes us on a journey through the outer limits of sound through mind blowing guitar playing and melodic guitar lines soaring through stratospheric heights against the gravity of a rich and complex orchestral score. Using odd and even meters German fuses the classical influences of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin with modern instrumental rock guitar music through epic music structures and lush soundscapes.

As a composer, performer and educator, German has participated in various music projects from musicals to a funk band, his own solo projects to teaching at Berklee College of Music, writing articles for MelBay and developing an advanced Rock Guitar course on “Shredding Techniques” for the National Guitar Workshop’s online school “”

As an endorser of Parker Guitars, Laney Amplifiers, DiMarzio, DR Strings Maxon, Rocktron, Presonus, Jim Dunlop, Native Instruments and Morley, German plays clinics and concerts at international music fair and trade shows such as Musikmesse Frankfurt, the NAMM Show, and other shows around the world. He has also been awarded in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, the ASCAP Plu$ Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

German currently resides in Los Angeles where he teaches, performs, records and writes new music for his album due to be released next summer.


Daily Video Lesson

Daily Video Lesson
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    A five week long, cross-country tour featuring some of the best known and most respected figures in rock and blues has been set to celebrate the legacy and music of Jimi Hendrix. Presented by Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., the Hendrix family-owned company founded by James A. “Al” Hendrix, Jimi’s father, entrusted with preserving and protecting the legacy of Jimi Hendrix together with musical instrument giant Gibson Guitar, this year’s Experience Hendrix Tour represents a dramatic expansion beyond last year’s seven sold out performances.

    Featured artists who will be performing music written by and associated with Jimi Hendrix include blues giant Buddy Guy, contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Johnson, Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos as well as Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
  • 01:53 - 26.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Italian distributor M.Casale Bauer proudly announce the grand opening of the Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy. It is the third such international exclusive Fender guitar destination, joining the elite Fender Custom Shop Lounge (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Fender Showcase Tokyo (Japan).

    The Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy is in Bologna, Italy, and is housed in a building by California-born Italian designer Gretchen Alexander. The showroom is located near the offices of M. Casale Bauer, Fender’s Italian distributor since 1962, and was created to provide Fender dealers, their special guests and artists with a comfortable place to find, try and buy some of the most beautiful guitars in today’s market. The showcase features an impressive array of high-end guitars crafted by the master builders of the Fender Custom Shop and provides artists and dealers (and their VIP clients) with access to some of the most unique high-end Fender instruments ever made available in one place. The showroom houses an unparalleled selection of Fender Custom Shop instruments, as well as Bauer’s personal collection, one of the largest and most valuable in the world.
  • 03:41 - 23.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Los Angeles, CA – World-renowned Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will  release Center Stage, a live concert DVD on October 14th via Favored Nations Acoustic.  
    The full-length concert DVD follows the recent release of the Center Stage  double CD, both having been recorded live for the PBS television series “Sierra Center Stage.” Filmed in eye-catching high definition, every element of modern technology was used in production, creating a stunning package, both aurally
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  • 00:09 - 19.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Montreal, Canada- September 16th, 2008: Renowned guitarist Daryl Stuermer will be giving Godin Performance Clinics in and around Quebec and Eastern Ontario from September 29th to October 3rd 2008.

    Having performed in studio and toured the world with both Phil Collins and supergroup Genesis for years, Daryl is a player who is on top of his game and has the chops to prove it. Performing as the Daryl Stuermer Duo, he will be accompanied by keyboardist Konstantin Efimov during the clinics and will also be giving attendees his perspective on playing live, recording, technique, and his gear, by fielding a Q&A session after each performance.
  • 09:29 - 03.06.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (June 2, 2008) -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Groove Tubes LLC. Among other assets, FMIC purchased the Groove Tubes brand. Groove Tubes company founder Aspen Pittman will continue in a consulting role.