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Neil D Santos, Pentatonic Way, Guitar Practice Blogger, on The Table Read

Written by Neil D Santos

Making the time to practice guitar can sometimes be the hardest part of learning to play the guitar. I decided to share my daily guitar practice with my audience via live streaming and on my blog.

My goal was to inspire other guitarists that were trapped at home during the pandemic to take advantage of that fact and practice every day, because that’s when real progress happens. Even though it only takes 30 days to start a new habit, I ended up posting live streams on my blog for over 100 days!

Neil D Santos, Pentatonic Way, Guitar Practice Blogger, on The Table Read
Neil D Santos

What Inspired Me

First let me explain, my passion for teaching the pentatonic scale came out of my limited time to practice. Just about 11 years ago my oldest son was born, and during that time I was working during the day and teaching guitar in the evening. I also wanted to spend as much of my spare time with my newborn as I could. When would I possibly have time to practice?

I decided to wake up early each day and devote 15 minutes before heading out the door to practice. With such limited time I looked for something that I could practice a little bit each day that would make a huge impact on my playing. I decided to focus on a 5 note scale called the pentatonic scale.

Without getting too far into the weeds, the pentatonic scale is a versatile and deceptively simple scale that can be used in everything you play. If you are a lead guitarist in a hard rock band, prefer jazz, or country, focusing on these 5 scales will improve your playing.

The best part is if you only have 5 minutes a day it will still work!

Writing The Pentatonic Way

At the time my son was born, I was working as a graphic designer and a Berklee educated guitar teacher. Naturally, I looked at learning the guitar as something that can and should be visual.

Neil D Santos, Pentatonic Way, Guitar Practice Blogger, on The Table Read

Having written two visual beginner guitar books, ‘The Guitar Simplified’ and ‘The Lefty Guitarist’s Survival Handbook’, and finding my own pentatonic way, it was time to build a website. My first attempt was The Global Guitar network. This is where I first cut my teeth on blogging.

I found that a global network covering all things guitar was too broad for me to make real change in the folks I was trying to help most, guitar students.

Developing My Approach To Blogging

Fast forward several years and two self recorded and published albums later, RSG-1 Random Song Generator and Found Art and oh yeah another son. I needed to focus.

My wife and I like to say “Keep it Simple Santos”. So I started building a new interactive membership website where guitarists of all levels can go. They can learn at their own pace and focus on the pentatonic scale and see improvement by practicing for a few minutes a day.

I wanted to again show my audience in a visual way what the pentatonic way could do for them. I already had a blog. However, now I’m in my basement office, a year into a global pandemic and this introvert needed to jam with other guitarists.

Developing A Community

I made the decision to live stream my practice time and have others join me and I’d make a video for my blog. Talk about motivation to practice! Getting to play and help students one on one during a pandemic was awesome. Guitar practice can often be a solitary venture. Many times by choice.

However, the Pentatonic Way uses a different approach. There is a community aspect to the website. I want my members to be able to reach out to me directly with their questions or share their successes. Not just with me but with others on a similar journey.

Neil D Santos, Pentatonic Way, Guitar Practice Blogger, on The Table Read

Pentatonic way member Paul Sherry, “I want to say how great your explanations and quizzes are. Leaps and bounds, leaps and bounds, aha moment after aha moment, for me anyway. And I haven’t even gotten past Hut Three yet….let alone started to go through the Woodshed section.”

Paul is talking about the clear path I have designed for your personal journey. Once you are a member and put on your guitar, similar to hiking, you are on a clear path with fellow hikers and you move as fast or slow as you need to through lessons, quizzes, videos, infographics, bi-weekly group coaching sessions with me, a full resource library, Interactive apps and so much more all while talking to like minded souls along the way.

Starting To Live Stream

The first couple of live streams were nerve racking. Would anyone show up? Would they be trolls and give me a hard time? Would I mess up? As luck would have it though, everything went pretty smoothly. Only a few people showed up but that was okay with me. It allowed me to work out the bugs.

Neil D Santos, Pentatonic Way, Guitar Practice Blogger, on The Table Read

As the days went on I got more excited to see who would join me. I would practice even if no one joined and make the video available so it could be watched when someone was ready to practice. I winced less as I made mistake after mistake due to my being excited to spend time Jamming, knowing mistakes are how we learn.

Though there was some relief once my hundred days were up. I miss that rush before my daily practice of preparing a lesson, wondering who would join and hoping technology would not fail me.

You Too Can Blog

I’ll leave you with a challenge. If you don’t have a blog yet that’s cool. Just start to write something each day, even just a paragraph. If you have a blog, find a way to be consistent, whether it’s weekly or daily. If you have been blogging for a while and need a challenge find a new way to interact with your audience. Perhaps you can meet up with them daily.

Find More From Neil D Santos:

One last challenge for all you six slingers out there, you know who you are.

Use this link to sign up for the pentatonic way for the next 100 days.

The Pentatonic Way Bridges the Gap Between Beginner and Guitar God!





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