Getting Started


Welcome to Playing By The Rules – a creative approach to guitar instruction.

The goal of Playing By The Rules is to build in you a solid foundation of music by way of playing the guitar. Once you have completed this course you will be able to apply these same principles and rules to any instrument or style of music that you wish to pursue. Playing By The Rules is a simple, easy to use method of instruction.

The secret: Playing By The Rules uses the natural functions of the brain to create synapses (hardwiring of connections) that establish a sequence of events into one complete thought process or function.


Says Physics Professor Raymo: “There are as many as a hundred billion nerve cells in the human brain. Each cell is in communication, through a treelike array of synapses, with thousands of other cells. The possibilities of interconnection are staggeringly intricate.” — Scientific American

Okay, so now, you’re thinking …. “What did he just say? Sounds way too complicated.” Let me explain: If you were asked, “Do you know your way home from work or school?” You would immediately answer “Yes”. Why? Because you have driven or walked that route so many times, the route you take becomes embedded, essentially hardwired, into your brain’s memory bank.

As a result of these hardwired connections, you think only of the route taken as one total process and you do not think of all the stops and starts, left and right turns etc.. However, those individual functions (left/right turns, stop and goes) are subconsciously stored away in your memory and can be called back in an instant. This is something your brain does millions of times throughout your day and will continue to do for the rest of your life.

Playing By The Rules is not a course that delves into note or sight reading. It is a course that concentrates on applying our natural thinking process to learning to play the guitar in a simple, easy to understand way. This method develops a desire to progress and expand your musical journey in whatever direction you choose.

So, with that in mind . . . Playing By The Rules starts off teaching you the: A B C D E F G chords in a sequence and their proper finger positions. If you practice playing these chords in this order for about 20 to 30 minutes per day, after about 3 days you will develop synapses in the cerebral and occipital cortex of the brain. Then, after a short practice session, if I were to ask you to play a G chord, your brain will instantly process the route that takes you to the G chord; and, at the same time, re-embeds the proper fingering for the A B C D E F G chords along the way.

Rather than learning the G chord, then a C chord, then E chord etc…etc. as individual chords, Playing By The Rules teaches the brain to automatically recall the A thru G chord fingering pattern as one thought process or function. You are not just learning how to play the guitar but learning a whole new way of thinking and looking at life through the world of music. You will develop a greater desire to progress and music will become a large part of your life.

Playing By The Rules is a guitar instruction course that fills the gaps many other courses leave out. It inspires confidence, creativity, and a sense of freedom.

Some pointers on practicing: Keep a daily practice routine. Allow yourself a sufficient amount of time. 15 minutes per day will turn into 30 minutes without notice. Do not rush your practice. If you notice you are developing some bad habits with finger placement, improper hand position or technique, stop immediately and make the needed adjustments. Concentrate on relaxing as you practice. Enjoy the moment. Learning to play any instrument involves hard work and dedication, but is well worth the effort.

Listen, watch, and share your knowledge of what you learn from Playing By The Rules. Play with other musicians at every opportunity. Continue to expand your musical journey. As you do so, you will experience just how much Playing By The Rules has enhanced your confidence as a musician and heightened your appreciation for the world of music.

“As your instructor, I will focus on your comprehension of what you are learning. I feel that this is the most important aspect of teaching. You will not be just learning to put your fingers down on the fret board and learn to play a bunch of chords. You will learn the fundamentals of music and how it applies to playing the guitar. And when you understand why we approach a certain lesson or exercise in a certain manner, your confidence will increase and you will find greater enjoyment playing music. You become more relaxed. When you are relaxed you play with more confidence. When you play with confidence you progress. Your quality of playing is enhanced. Even a single note played or a simple chord change sounds seasoned to the ear because you connect to what you are doing by actually hearing and feeling the sounds and vibrations. You become the listener. And, best of all, you have fun doing it. I am confident that you will experience great results.” — bsmck