Learning to Play


Think of the best musician you can think of now. I’m a guitarist myself so I’m going to throw out some old school shredder’s names like EVH, George Lynch, Nuno Bettancourt, but you might think Jimmy Page or B.B. King, or maybe Andre Segovia really kick ass.

When you listen to a virtuoso – a guy so good he makes his talent seem effortless – you’re not listening to just him, you’re listening to all the musicians who influenced him, who inspired him, to become the musician he is now. You’re essentially listening to (or at least variations of) the riffs, licks, arpeggios, melodic stylings, etc. of all the musicians that came before him to which, out of passion, he was inspired to commit to memory.

It’s important to remember, when you hear a great guitarist that his ‘improvised’ guitar licks are still built upon a solid base of a series of learned patterns that harmonize within a given key of music.

A good musician practices his scales, and learns the runs of the guys who influenced him, note for note until they’re subconscious, then he can improvise with them. Likewise a good player caters his learned approaches to the tune of the woman and the environment.

Many critics of Game fail to understand what the ‘A’ stands for in PUA – “artist”. If it seems like a forced script to you, that’s because you haven’t practiced it enough to become a fluent ‘social artist’. Rote memorization of any subject is never conducive to actual internalized learning. All of the subroutines and “canned material” do in fact have a teaching purpose, but it will never seem ‘real’ for you until you understand that they are simply teaching tools to help a greater learning of an internalized Game.

This is why it’s seemingly easy for critics outside the community sphere to ridicule Game; it all seems like laughable parlor tricks and 70’s disco club pick up lines repackaged for the 21st century. All they see is the ‘how to play guitar’ book and the practice tablature intended to teach the skills needed to play the instrument. They don’t (refuse to?) see the jump between the practice and the learning, to the internalized skill, that to everyone else seems like a natural, enviable, ability. Even the guitarists who never create an original piece of music, but play cover songs so well they can play professionally are still equated with have an effortless skill.

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Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

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12 years ago

It’s not just the critics that fail to see the artistry… it’s the PUAs themselves. That’s where the term social robot comes from.

Which isn’t surprising since so many of them are engineers, programmers, IT people etc.

They need to train their creative, spontaneous side and move beyond IF > THEN > ELSE thinking.

12 years ago

I agree with this — it’s easy on the outside to look downwards on this material (mostly from AFCs who are clinging to their preconceptions via culturization OR in the non-acceptance stage of inter-gender dynamic truths) — but practice is how improvement is made — and just as one point great focus was needed to switch between a series of scales, it eventually becomes, second-nature and sub-concious.

9 years ago

Going to put in a correction here. You’ll just have to put up with the nitpicking-LOL. The name of the founder of modern classical guitar technique is Andrés Segovia

Or more completely, Andrés Segovia Torres, Marqués de Salobreña. Spanish people do love their long names.

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