How To Get Real: Thinking VS Doing

Friday, March 6, 2015 by Jake Hahn | self development

I pay attention to what people say. CLOSE attention.

But I pay even CLOSER attention to what people actually DO.

Let me explain what I mean...

I sometimes come across clients who - when presented with seemingly "basic" information - such as a standard chord progression using an open position G chord to an open position C chord (for guitar players) - have this to say to me...

"Oh, I already know those chords."

Implying that they're ready to move on.

They're ready for bigger and better things! More complex ideas!

They simply want... VARIETY!

BUT! Be aware -


Put on the spot - most of the time they're unable to play those 2 "basic" chords in a musically interesting way. They tend to lack command of: Consistent strumming patterns, stamina, tone control, rhythmic dynamics, clean & clear notes, changing seamlessly from chord-to-chord, arpeggiation, and/or a firm grasp of the progression etc...

These are all things that musicians NEED to be able to do in order to make good sounding music happen!


These 3 ideas will be CRUCIAL for you: really consider them

1. Understanding something doesn't mean you've embodied it.

2. Knowledge isn't enough to actually make change happen.

3. Intellectual understanding does NOT equal physical/technical skill.


This is where repeated physical repetition (ACTION) comes in, and why it's so important to know the difference between THINKING & DOING.

Consider this -

Amateurs practice until they get it right.

Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.

This is a great way to gauge your overall skill level.

For example:

Consider how well you can actually perform a particular song.

• is it effortless?

• are you still having to think?

• does it still take concentration?

Remember this: for the listener - the technical skill of the artist is assumed.

As a listener - I don't really want to watch you think about what you're playing on a technical level.

I want authenticity.

I want to hear the story behind your lyrics. I want to feel how you feel. I want to be moved in some way.

So...really take a moment and consider these things:

Do you REALLY understand?

Can you actually PERFORM?

Do you OWN the technique?

Have you TRULY POLISHED your skill?

Do you REALLY have it down?

If you're gonna chase something new...if you're gonna chase NOVELTY...

Make sure you're chasing it ON PURPOSE!

Be honest with yourself. Live up to your potential. Don't assume that you're too advanced for fundamentals.

None of us are.