All The Wrong Notes With Guitarist Rotem Sivan

Welcome to another captivating episode of the “Future of Music” podcast.

In this edition, we are thrilled to have the extraordinary guitarist, Rotem Sivan, as our esteemed guest.

Prepare to be immersed in a world of mesmerizing sound and transformative force in jazz as we delve into Rotem’s remarkable journey. Renowned worldwide, Rotem Sivan has left an indelible mark on the jazz scene, captivating audiences with his unique sound and unparalleled talent. Topping jazz charts and amassing a massive online following, Rotem’s expertise and musical genius shine through every note he plays. Join us in this insightful conversation as Rotem takes us on a captivating journey through the future of music. Discover the inner workings of the touring and recording process, and gain valuable insights into content creation from a true master of his craft. But that’s not all.

We dive deeper into Rotem’s thoughts on the future of music itself. Explore his perspectives on the groundbreaking advancements in music AI and how it will revolutionize the music landscape, impacting listeners and creators alike. Brace yourself for an enlightening discussion that will challenge your perception of what’s to come in the world of music. Tune in to “The Future of Music” with our extraordinary guest, Rotem Sivan, and prepare to be inspired. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain invaluable insights from a true musical visionary. Subscribe now and stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving world of music.

Find everything Rotem here: Rotem Sivan on Spotify @RotemSivanGuitar on YouTube This is the Podcast for you if you enjoy: The Future of Music, podcast, Rotem Sivan, guitarist, mesmerized audiences, unique sound, transformative force, jazz, topping jazz charts, online presence, talent, expertise, touring, recording, content creation, future of music, music AI, impact, listeners, creators, groundbreaking advancements, music landscape, enlightening discussion, musical visionary, inspiration, ever-evolving


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The Future of Music Podcast – Guitar Content Expert Tips

Transcript

All right. Hello everybody and welcome to the Future of Music podcast, where literally it, I mean, it’s in the name. We, we talk about everything in the future of music. It’s a little bit of the now as well, right? But we, we always like to dive into those nitty gritty things about AI and, and technology and what it means to musicians, music, music, learning, all of the crazy stuff that is music, hence the future of music.

And you can see right next to me, I even flipped my camera for you. I have to point in the different direction. I don’t even know. There, there it is. There it is. There is Jonathan Boyd. Hey Jonathan. Good to see you. I’m really excited to chat with you because we wanted to do something a little different, right?

Because obviously you and I are kind of a staple here and our faces are consistently. On the screens here at this point, and we wanted to kind of break that apart a bit and really help everybody understand a little bit about you. And it’s funny that I brought up the idea of honestly just interviewing you the co-host of this, just because I feel like there’s so much in there.

And it’s, it’s really exciting. I’ve known you for years and I can’t wait to dive in. But first, before we really start to dive in, I need to remind everybody, everybody watching. Make sure you do the subscribe thing. All right? Make sure you subscribe, make sure, I think there’s a bell still, isn’t there? I don’t even know.

I’m at this point. I feel, so click somewhere, 

whatever it says, 

subscribe, click, and then like whatever you need to click to get notified when we post new episodes. And of course, if you’re listening on one of the podcast channels, make sure that you follow as well so that you’re always reminded of every single time we post these so that you stay up to date.

But that’s enough of that. Let’s, let’s dive in. John, I am so excited to chat with you and open up that brain of yours because again, like I said, we’ve known each other for quite a while and I’m really excited For those of you that don’t know John, outside of a wonderful announcer voice on the podcast here mm-hmm.

Is, 

that’s you, man. 

Is, is actually the founder of Breakthrough Guitar. And I feel like if you’re a guitar player, especially you’ve more than likely. Scrolled across Jonathan’s face at some point, and you’ve been able to see him on social platforms on YouTube somewhere in your life. Jonathan has infiltrated.

He has been there. And, and it’s, it’s really amazing because I personally know you, but I also know a lot of your students because a lot of them come from those channels and we all really have conversations together. And the go-to things that everybody tells me about breakthrough guitar and, and what you have done and what the company has done are just like amazing as a guitarist to another guitarist.

And hearing about all of these other guitar players. The quotes that always get me every time that I hear from your students are things like, you’re doing the guitar version of the TTO Stone, and that’s talking about visualizing the fret board and learning the language of the fret board, which it is a language, let’s be honest.

Mm-hmm. Every time my wife who majored in Spanish is like, When are you learning yet another language? I’m like, I already did. Sorry, I already did. I I know notes and I know how to read music. So, you know, that’s, that’s kind of the thing. I guess. That’s my excuse. And speaking of music I mean, people have said it’s the magic key that they’ve been looking for in terms of the guitar and opening up their eyes to something that they’ve always dreamt of doing with the guitar, but probably haven’t for years.

We’ve all been there with our instruments. Doesn’t matter if it’s guitar but the one that I really wrote down and love the most was Breakthrough Guitar is the most remarkable feat imaginable when it comes to guitar. And that’s gotta feel really good to hear time and time again, because I want everybody to know that Jonathan, you have helped like a million.

Guitar players at this point, it’s probably over a million at this point. And you’re a humble guy, so I know that you’re feeling really awkward in that like very big audacious introduction, but it’s true. And I have to over it. Yeah, and I think, I think when I think of you and, and who you are, and if I had to summarize who I think you are outside of like the accomplishments of breakthrough guitar, I, I really consider you like a go-to thought leader in music education, not even just specifically guitar education.

Because it’s all about music education in the way you teach. It’s outside of the norm and I’m a product of the norm. I’m a product of college education for music theory and composition. And it’s one of those, I don’t know, it’s one of those topics and I’m sure we’ll get into it where we have to question ourselves sometimes, even as like a classically trained person here, a lot of times I have to question like, did I do it the right way though?

Like, was that the most beneficial way for me? Mm-hmm. Or is it completely out of the way of a structured teaching that’s been given through curriculum year after year after year, and they just say, this is the thing. It’s what we’ve been doing forever, just is just do this. Sure. So for me, I, I think you’re a really incredible thought leader in that space.

Kind of redefining what music education needs to look like so that people really live in a space of, of music and can actually play and like, connect to music. It’s not just like, you know, oh my gosh, the technicality is overwhelming. It’s actually expressing themselves. So mm-hmm. All of that to say, I’m excited you’re here.

Welcome. And yeah, first and foremost, I, I know that it’s hot where you’re at, so I wanna make sure that, you know, if the viewers are watching and they notice maybe some potential sweat coming down. That’s, it’s, 

it’s okay if I’m looking a little shiny. It’s hot in here. All right. Yeah. Yeah. It’s not the grease.

It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, I’m sweating. 

It’s okay. You know other, I just sweat all the time. Doesn’t matter. So you’re all right. That’s fine. That’s fine. But yeah, John, welcome first of all, and you know, I feel like I know you so well that it’s hard for me to pull myself back and act like I don’t know you.

Mm-hmm. So let’s do that for a minute. Let’s act like I don’t know you, and just like some of the people listening, they may not, how the heck did you do all of this? How the heck did you get where you’re at with breakthrough guitar and what you’re doing with music education? Like, take me all the way back.

I want to hear your, your experience with music in the beginning and, and kind of where you came from and where you are. 

Sure, yeah. I mean, obviously that’s a loaded question. There’s a lot to it and there’s a lot of things that I want to make sure we talk about that you already mentioned, like how music is a language, you know, where it’s at now.

There’s just, there’s so much to unpack there. I’m really looking forward to getting into that. But, you know, to, to kind of make a, a brief story about. How we got here, it was actually kind of an accident. In fact, it was an accident at first, and then it, it wasn’t an accident after that. But what I mean is I grew up I guess you could say kind of in a musical family, but I would say around some people who played music I wouldn’t say musical family.

Some of my family played music and my dad played guitar. I had two older stepbrothers who played music. In fact, they still play and they still go on tour and, and play shows and things like that. So obviously I was around it some of the time. And when I say some of the time, I, I, when I was little, I, I went to my dad’s house I think every other weekend.

So it was sporadic, right? It wasn’t all the time. But obviously, you know, growing up around that, you hear, you know, my dad was into stuff like classic rock and probably. Typical stuff that most people who are into music listen to. In terms of when it comes to like rock and roll, classic rock, the, the biggest, you know, rock acts and, and things like that.

Obviously we listen to other styles of music as well, but that’s, that’s kind of where it all started. And I don’t remember what age I was maybe, I don’t know, 10 ish, somewhere around there where I got my first guitar, I think for Christmas. It was a really, really cheap black Strat copy looking thing.

And to be honest, I, I don’t remember when I got the guitar. I don’t remember get picking it up right away and really learning and starting to, to progress with it and to do stuff. I actually remember just having it. I know I messed around with it a little bit here and there, but, you know, put it under the bed, get it outta the way, didn’t really do much with it.

And it wasn’t until I think maybe. Shoot, I would have to say maybe beginning of high school, middle of high school where I had some other friends in school who we were into music and had some other friends that had started trying to learn to play guitar. So I kind of got a little bit more into it at that time.

And I can’t remember where this influence came from, honestly, but I got really, really deep in the blues. So when I first started learning, it was, well, a real struggle, and I’ll get to that in a second. But when I first started really developing and actually understanding how to play the guitar and make it sound something remotely like music was, was actually from the blues.

But before that, before I got to that point, and I would say when I was for the Blues thing, I’ll get back to that in just a second. But if we rewind a little bit, I would say for about, well, from when I, the time I got the guitar, let’s say I was about 10 years old Never really did anything but mess around, you know, not even serious at all.

Probably for five years, six years, something like that. And then because I had friends who would play, I started to get a little more serious about it, but it still wasn’t serious. Serious. But, you know, it wasn’t one of those things that came natural. I was always kind of intimidated by those guys who could play.

And like, I, I always wondered if, well, maybe I just don’t, I mean, I’m just not wired like that, you know? I just mm-hmm. I’m just not one of those musical people, you know. And then it wasn’t until fast forward, back to the Blues thing, where maybe middle of high school, end of high school, probably around end of high school, beginning of college, I started getting involved more with people who were playing and playing in bands and things like that, and being around them.

And I started kind of getting into the scene, if you will, and. You know, had some bands along the way. That’s when I really started learning how to play songs and how to play, you know, shows and, and how to make set lists and how to rehearse and, and do all those things. But the funny thing is, even though we, meaning, you know, our, our band mates and, and myself, even though we played shows and we, we did all that stuff, I didn’t really know what I was doing on the guitar, you know, and I got to the point where I tried to get, I, I tried to get really serious about it.

I’m trying to make this, you know, kind of more concise. There’s a lot more to it, but I, I tried to get more serious about it, and I, I just wasn’t getting it. I remember buying a lot of theory, music theory, books scale books, all kind of stuff like courses, all the stuff that everybody, you know, going on YouTube, watching videos.

I literally watched videos until the sun came up and sure, like you could learn a few things here and there, but I could pick up a little, few bits and pieces and whatnot. But I just never really could connect it all together. I never really understood. You know, how, how did it all work? How do I actually make this thing sound musical?

How do I have freedom on the guitar? And, and how am I gonna, you know, how can I do more than just play a few bits and pieces of songs? And then eventually, I would say end of college ish I had a couple of teachers who turned me onto some, some, to some ideas that I had never heard of before. I never saw anything on the internet.

One of the guys was a local jazz teacher. I lived, I lived near a university and I just happened to be able to get a couple of lessons with this university jazz teacher outside of college. I wasn’t in this school. And like I said, he, he turned me onto a few simple ideas that I had never heard of before.

Never seen any book, I’ve never seen any YouTube video. And it, and it just kind of brought everything together. And since that point, actually, that was the beginning of like, kind of what opened the doors for me. You know, what opened up a whole new world for me on, on the guitar to where I realized, you know, I even eventually realized that.

I was actually able to play music on the guitar, and it was like, I’m not trying to play guitar anymore. And that’s, we’ll get to that later, you know? That’s the problem that I think a lot of people struggle with and they don’t even realize it. But I was finally able to express myself on an instrument.

I was, I was finally playing music. And, you know, since then, long story short that’s kind of the beginning of when I was able to basically play me my music. I was able to start writing things, improvising playing whatever music I had inside and actually expressing that. And that to me is what being a musician is, and I know what we’ll get to that.

And I may, I wanna make sure that we talk about what being a musician means and how music is a language, et cetera. But in terms of catching us up to, to today after, basically I started getting really good on guitar pretty quickly once I. Learned these few concepts. Right. And a lot of people started asking me for lessons over, over the years.

I eventually started a, a actual guitar school. So I used to have classes people would used to come into my studio, things like that. And what’s funny is the, the stuff that we were, that I was teaching there was, was the stuff that opened the doors for me. Right. And what was interesting is that nobody somehow had ever heard of this stuff.

And you know, at that time, it was like 10 years later after I had learned it. And I remember thinking like, this is really strange because people keep coming in and, and somehow they’re not able to find this, they’re, this isn’t out there anywhere. Mm-hmm. And that was so weird because again, it had been 10 years and I’m like, surely, surely somebody is teaching this stuff.

Surely. But they weren’t so, Basically, I had a lot of students who kept asking me to, you know, put it together in a more formal way to start sharing it with more people, et cetera. And again, really long story short, that was kind of the beginning, the super beginning seeds of Breakthrough guitar and how it actually started.

It started because people weren’t finding the answers. I was teaching something, you know, very specific and unique that they weren’t finding anywhere. And I couldn’t find it either, even after, you know, 10 years of looking for it. And that’s kind of how it started. So I, I started, you know, with one course started with some people who were close to me.

They started getting really, really, really great results. Sharing, you know, spreading the message, if you will, telling other people about it. And I just kind of steamrolled from there. And obviously there’s a lot more to it. That’s been a few years now, but we find ourselves literally having helped a million people and, gosh, I think it’s 28 countries last time I checked.

So insane. Yeah. That, that’s how we got here so far. 

That’s insane, man. So many things, so many questions. Also, by the way come from, come from just that quick overview. But that’s super impressive and, and amazing and I’m always impressed by your story and, and kind of just, I don’t know. I think we all have those moments where we can either build something new out of like nothing that we’re like, I think something’s here and we do it or we don’t.

But I think something we’re gonna talk a lot about today that I really wanna focus on too, is the ability to be able to do that stuff today versus like, you know mm-hmm. When we started guitar, right? Because back in the day, something like breakthrough guitar, what you do, it’s, it didn’t exist. It wasn’t there.

Mm-hmm. You know, I remember actually losing students to like the first release of YouTube. That’s obviously why I have gray hair. Because I’m that old, but I remember the moment of like this, this transition of thought in music education, which was like, you know, you had students right in front of you, it’s what you did.

Mm-hmm. You went to a studio, you got a lesson, and then you went home and you practiced and you came back. And then I started having students going, did, did you see this guitar player on, on YouTube? Mm-hmm. I’m just gonna do that instead. So that, you know, then they just started. Right? The YouTube people just started accumulating.

And I know we’ve talked about it a lot before. It’s this idea of enough information versus overwhelm of information, and that’s kind of where a lot of people exist right now. But let’s go a couple steps back. I want to dig into your story just a little bit more before we move on. Sure. First of all, starting guitar, I feel you on putting it under the bed as well.

I think when I first started as well, it was a black Yamaha Strat. Like, there you go off brand kind of looking thing. It was used, and I don’t even know you needed to tune it. Like I didn’t, I didn’t know that was a thing, so I would just pick it up and it would just be like a single finger across all strings on one foot.

Mm-hmm. And I was, you know, I’d be playing with music thinking that it sounded perfect. I’d be like, great. Nailed it. I’m shredding. It was terrible. And then the jazz man I remember in school going from classical to like taking some jazz courses and I did not make it. Mm-hmm. So the fact that you learned like the key element from a jazz instructor, you, you’re doing better than I did.

I got, I think I got made fun of heavily by the jazz guys when I asked something like, they doesn’t improv. Yeah. I was like, I was like it was a session where they were jamming and they were like doing improv where they were just hot seat pointing mm-hmm. At guitar players. And they pointed at me and I, I stopped them.

I remember. And I was like, Like, what, what scales do you prefer I use, what should you do? Yeah. Cause my, my classical education doesn’t really lend to this idea of like, notes that aren’t in a key signature. Right. But it’s good stuff. That’s really good. Also last question that I didn’t know, I don’t know this answer.

I could be completely off. Did you say you went to your dad’s every other weekend? Yeah. Is that what you said? Mm-hmm. So were the parents separated? Yeah. At that time? Mm-hmm. Super interesting. My whole life. Yeah. Super interesting. I only say that because you’re a product of that. I am as well. And I think at least 50% of my guitar friends and family and and community are the same.

We kind of have, like this, this, we either go to like a negative thing in life, right? Mm-hmm. Potentially or we just kind of do the other negative thing, which is barricade ourselves in our room for eight hours and don’t have any social contact and play guitar. You know, it’s a better of the two, but yeah, sometimes.

But yeah, super amazing, super impressive. So I guess with that, we kind of talked a little bit about it, right? We talked about this idea of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, there not being really the ability to do what you do, let alone probably the new things that you’re working on or you’re seeing out there in the current space.

But I want to talk about kind of two big things, actually. Three. Mm-hmm. And I’m gonna leave them to you, but if you need to reframe, let me know. And you need to have the reminder. I want to cover. Mainly one thing you really spoke to, which was the idea of music as a language. Mm-hmm. I want you to kind of help us understand what you mean by that.

But also the second thing I want you to help me understand and just kind of talk through is one of the inspirations of breakthrough guitar in the music education space, which is this problem of traditional music education. Mm-hmm. And you know, again, the college guy asking you what that looks like.

But you know, beyond that, you know, we will get into the workings of, of everything you’re doing, how you’re utilizing technology, all of that stuff. But let’s just start with those two. Let’s just give you the two. What do you mean by music As a language? Mm-hmm. I’m interested in that conversation. And then with that I’d love to chat with you on the problems that you see with the traditional music education.

Sure. And then I also wanna mention music mediums, cuz you mentioned something when the advent of YouTube. I wanna make a note about that cuz I think it’s really important to play along this conversation. Music as a language. So we, we meaning most humans, and when I say most, I mean like over 8 billion people speak a language, right?

Did any one of us go to school to learn how to start talking or did we learn how to start talking first and then go to school? True. You know what I mean? So we went to grammar class. Did grammar class help you communicate with your, your classmates or, or anything? Like, does it, does it, do you even remember anything from, from grammar class?

I still confuse colons and semicolons, so no, I, I don’t remember anything. 

Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rules and weird names and whatnot. And you leave the class and then you just talk to your friends just fine. There’s no problem communicating with people. Right. So I’ll get to that. But language, I want to go super deep and super, super back to the, the, the absolute super basics.

We have this idea of evolution and survival. So the whole general idea is that organisms, you know, evolve over time to have better chances of survival. And when it comes to humans obviously it’s no different. I mean, this is, you know, a different topic, but I’ll say humans are also animals. So if you think about, if you walk outside and we all normal humans have the ability to hear, and we’re talking about music.

So we’re assuming that anybody listens to music, obviously can hear it and enjoy it. That’s why they listen to it. So if you walk outside and you hear a bird chirping, for example, a nice bird chirping, like let’s say you’re in a mountain meadow and it just sounds all nice, like that sounds pleasant, right?

It makes you feel good. But if you also, if you walk in a big big city and there’s a dump truck that goes by honking the horn, et cetera, it’s a lot of loud, obnoxious sounds that makes you feel bad. So in general, I’m not gonna make a case for survival or anything like that, but what I am gonna say is that it’s pre-wired into humans to know what makes you feel good.

Okay. I’m gonna say that again. We already have the ability within us, all of us to inherently know without having to think about it, to know what makes us feel good. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Okay. So when we listen to music, we know what songs we like, and we know what songs we don’t like. The songs that you don’t like, don’t make you feel good, say you don’t listen to ’em, but the songs that, let’s think like the, the Anthems of your life, the, you know, that song in high school, the, the song in, you know, when you got your first job or you quit your first job or whatever it is.

We all have those times. We all have those moments in life. And the, when you put on those songs, in fact, I did that this morning. I was making breakfast today and I put on the song Coming Back to Life by Pink Floyd. For some reason, that song just hits the spot in me and all, you know the songs for all of us.

We have those, those moments and those songs where it just takes you to that place. It gives you this special feeling that nothing else can, and you’re in a special place away from everything else. I don’t know why, I don’t know why that happens. I don’t know how to explain it, but it exists and that’s my point.

And we all know when we hear something like that, that we, like, when you go to a concert of a band you like, you like it because you like how it makes you feel. You feel good when you’re listening to the songs. You feel good when you leave the concert. You feel good when you remember being at the concert with your friends, et cetera.

Right? So about language, music as a language music in general is, or sounds really is, is the language of sounds. It’s the language of emotional sounds. Okay. So like I said, humans already know what makes them feel good. When we put sounds into an organized fashion to create emotions, for some reason, we do that and we call it songs, and we like to listen to it because it makes us feel good.

So when you, if like, let’s say you’re, you’re, you’re at a symphony and you can imagine being at a symphony and there’s a conductor standing at the, at the at the front and maybe you tell the crowd, Hey the crowd can shout out any emotion that you wanna make the crowd feel. And the conductor will have the whole symphony play a particular chord, a particular thing, a particular combination of instruments that will evoke that emotion.

Do you know what I’m saying? Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah. So it’s, it is the, the analog, it is the, it’s a mirror of human emotion in sound. Mm-hmm. That’s what, that’s what music is. It’s organized, the organized version of that to, again, create positive emotions. But we can, we communicate through it. We communicate emotions through the sounds.

That’s why I call it a language, because I can tell I can have a guitar right now. I can play a slow song and tell you that I’m sad without using my mouth. You see what I mean? I can tell you that I’m happy and I’m celebrating because, you know, something just happened or I took some pill that, that I saw on the commercial and everybody’s celebrating or whatever, and, and it makes, it makes you feel good.

You know what I’m saying? It it, it gives you that, that’s it’s communication. That’s what it’s about, is communication. So when you learn what sounds, produce what emotions and how to produce those sounds, you can communicate in the language of music. And that’s what it’s all, that’s literally what it’s all about.

And all of us, every single human is pre-wired with disability. And that’s gonna take us to where we’re gonna go here in the future. But I wanna answer your second question first. 

Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s good. And it’s, it’s funny too. It’s interesting, I should say, not funny. It’s, it’s really interesting you talk about this idea of, you know, us just kind of innately understanding mm-hmm.

Emotion through sound and, and music. I’ll go a step further and say that we are the only species at least known at this point. I don’t, I don’t think we can study, you know, like an otter or something, as much as we wish. But we’re the only one out there that has that like memory function too right now.

Now, of course, certain animals do remember, like okay, I know if this thing’s red, stay away from it. Like they, they remember that kind of memory, but they don’t actually have like tangible like, Vision and feeling around like the nostalgia, I guess is a good way to say it. Mm-hmm. Right. That idea of nostalgia and being able to go back to a memory and relive it and feel mm-hmm.

Like what you felt in that moment. So there’s the other side too, which is, we’ll, remember that innately as well. Mostly because we associate those experiences with those memories and the nostalgia and the feeling. And I think that that is like one of the coolest things, not just in general, but like for musicians as well, because I agree.

The anthems are a real thing, man. I mm-hmm. 1:00 AM I 37 now and I’ve listened to Pride, the same 30 songs for 10 years just on loop. But yeah, it’s a wonderful thing. And I think for any musician that starts, I. And then they carry through to actually becoming what they feel is, is like truly a musician.

And going through the process, that’s the key, at least in my understanding and my feeling as a musician. Like that moment. Mm-hmm. The moment that you realize what you can say, so to speak mm-hmm. With the instrument, is the moment you start to go, I’m in. Like, I’m, I’m into this. It, it’s not like picking up the guitar and being like, I can tread like buckethead.

It’s more like, what, how did that make, you know, you feel, how did that make the listener feel? And it’s really amazing, really 

incredible. So a lot of people, you know, they have, they have trouble sounding mechanical when they play. And I always use to teach, especially in the school. We still teach it obviously now, but I always use to teach that it’s not what you play, it’s what you say.

And that’s where the music comes from. The music comes from inside you, but we’ll get there. Yeah. 

That’s good. I like that. I like that. That’s good. I mean, we’ve all heard a song that made us cry, like, that’s it. Right? Of course. That’s, and I think a lot of musicians have played a song that is like, oh man, why am I, why do I have tears in my eyes right now?

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It’s an amazing thing, like as a human being, like it’s pretty incredible that we can connect the two. Okay, so I mean, all of that, obviously we could talk for like eight hours plus on alone. But the real one that we want to transition to here for me is, is that traditional music education side.

So, mm-hmm. Already I’m feeling a major difference in the way you present music education and in your story and, and what you’re leading into with the previous conversation. But you know, you’ve taught what, a million people, so obviously you have proper insight on what you’re seeing in that traditional system.

And when I say traditional, I mean like, I just got a guitar. What is the first thing in my brain that I have been drilled into the brain on that tells me like, you go do this thing if you bought a guitar, and it’s usually like, go buy a book or go to a teacher at a studio to learn one by Metallica.

Mm-hmm. Or something. Mm-hmm. Right. So yeah, let’s, let’s dive in. Let’s get dirty here. Traditional music, education, you know, spill your heart. Let me know, 

man, there’s so much to talk about. But, you know, knowing that we’re gonna be talking about where do I think all of this is going? I’m gonna frame this in how I think it will make the most sense.

So the first thing I wanna mention, actually, before I talk about what I consider to be traditional music education, is that the idea of a medium, a learning medium. So you mentioned the idea of the, the very beginning of YouTube earlier, and I wanna point out that YouTube didn’t change anything necessarily for being able to learn.

Guitar or learn instruments and whatnot. Sure there’s more acc there’s easier access to videos. There’s more videos there, there’s more accessible information. But the reason I say it doesn’t change anything is because the same method or the same approach, or the same approaches that were being taught before, YouTube are still being taught.

Now. They’re just on YouTube. What I mean is sense the way that books present information, the way that you sit down with a teacher, a private teacher, you know, maybe you go to a guitar store even at, at a college, right? And they sit down with you and the private teachers will usually just ask you what kind of song you wanna learn.

And eventually you get tired of that and you, you go do something else. But let’s say if you go to a college, a college is a business. Let’s, let’s be blunt about it. A college is a business. They have to have, they have to generate revenue from students. And in order to do that, they have to have something to teach that’s worth you going to school for four years to, you know, learn this degree and, and all that kind of stuff.

So of course they’re gonna have to fill it with stuff. That kind of makes it, you know, it may not be necessary for you actually playing the instrument. And I always say as well that nobody cares how much you know about the thing. They wanna see you play the darn thing, you know what I mean? They don’t care.

Like, they don’t care what’s in there. They don’t wanna hear you talk about it. So I mean, unless you’re just, there are definitely groups of music nerds that like to talk about theory, but that’s, that’s its own hobby, you know, on it own. It’s called composers. It’s called composers. Sure. Yeah, exactly.

No. But really the, you know, after literally seeing hundreds of thousands of guitar players, you see the same patterns. You see why people are struggling. You see why why do people get stuck at certain points? What’s the cause of that? And that’s really over the years, that’s something that I’ve really dug deep into.

And, and I’ve always been curious about why is that? Because I got stuck myself. Why am I stuck? Why do I feel. Where I’m at. Why can’t I find the answers? Why are there billions of videos on YouTube? But I just can’t figure out how to move forward. Why is them? Seems like it’d be so easy, right? But up, again, going back to the medium thing, what generally happens is that in a book, for example, or in a course or in a music school or in a private lessons, the same general things happen all the time.

That the teachers usually go too fast for, you know, whoever they’re teaching. What I mean is they give way too much information at one time. The other thing is they just give information. They don’t actually teach something. The other thing is what they try to teach is quote guitar. So it’s just like reading out of a textbook that it’s like, it’s almo almost like they’re trying to cover the things that they need to cover on the subject of guitar, for example.

Well, you need to learn, okay, you need to learn your chords and you need to learn this, this kind of chord. Then you need to learn this scale. Then you need to learn this thing. Then you need to learn that thing. Okay, next we’re gonna learn this thing and. The whole time the student is like, dude, what are you talking about?

I have, I’m overwhelmed. I’m frustrated. I, I’m still stuck on the first thing that you didn’t explain that I don’t even know what’s going on. I can’t do it. I sound like crap. I’m missing notes. I’m muting strings. It sounds mechanical. What is the deal? Why can’t I do this? And if we, you know, again, diving into, now you’re, now we’re, we are ripping the cover off, right?

We’re diving deep into it. So if you look up studies there’s one fin, there’s one study by Fender, I think they did it in 2020, where they found that they were looking for obviously ways to try to sell more guitars. Of course, they’re looking for that, but they found that 90%, nine out of 10 new beginning guitar players quit within the first 12 months.

Nine out of 10. That means only 10% of the people, one person out of 10 continues to play after 12 months. And that’s ridiculous. Why is that? If you go back to what I said earlier about all humans having the innate ability to hear what sounds, make them feel good, everybody listens to music. Who name one person who doesn’t listen to music?

Do you know anybody? Nah, 

nah. Not one man. No. Other than, other than, you know it’s, you know, potential girlfriends that you don’t want to date. You know, that’s, well, 

that’s a different story. That’s a different story. But they hear, they hear music. Right. Or they at least turn on the radio when they get in the car.

Hopefully. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But no, it’s true. Yeah, I mean, ever, and it’s the funny thing too about this just to help in, in everybody understanding like this, it’s happening before we even are aware it’s happening too, right? It’s like as you’re a child and it’s like you can’t even really form thoughts for your own or even speak at this point.

Your parents are listening to stuff in the background. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. I remember being a kid and my mother obsessed with George Michael would just listen forever to George Michael cassettes cause. I’m old cassettes all day. And you know, before that I’d, you know, beta, but, you know, we’ll, we’ll just go with those cassettes.

Like, that was just, it’s not my choice for music. It’s not what I listen to now, obviously, but like, it, it just, it’s one of those things that’s always happening, right? So mm-hmm. That’s why I, I completely agree with yeah, your conversation as well. Like, it’s, it’s year after year after year, you’re developing your brain and you’re not even realizing it’s in there.

Mm-hmm. So, pretty cool. Yeah. 

So, okay, so it’s in there, right? It’s already in there. You already know what songs you like. You, you e nobody has to tell you what songs you like. Nobody has to teach you that. You just, you listen to some something that you don’t like. Ah, I don’t like that. Change this, change the station, change the album, change the artist, whatever it is.

You already know that, right? So if we think about nine out of 10 people quitting playing music, in fact there’s another a Gallup poll that said 82% of adults period wish they could play the musical instrument. 82%. That’s insane. That is literally like over 5 billion people on the planet. Mm-hmm. So why is it so hard?

Wh this is the question that’s been driving me for years. Why is it so hard for nine out of 10 people to play the guitar? Why is it so hard for nine out of 10 people for 82% of the people not to play an instrument, are not to be able to pick it up and actually do something with it and keep pro progressing, right.

If we already have it inside of us? Why is that? So, I don’t, I’ll, I could keep going all day, but I wanna make sure I’m on track and answering your questions. Yeah. Yeah. 

No, it’s, it’s a good thought man. Again, it’s, I, I don’t know any of these. I could go on for like a 24 hour episode as well because it’s, again, it’s just saying, I, I was on the other side of it and also I, I taught I taught for years as well.

And it’s funny, even as a teacher, even as a guitar teacher, I think so many of us just stick to that status quo as well. Right? It’s like we’re, we almost never try to think outside of that as well. Just because, just like somebody who’s starting to play guitar, we then go into it, we master it, and we’re like, okay, what did they tell me to teach other people to play guitar now?

And like we just fall right into it. Mm-hmm. And you know, it’s one of the key reasons that I went into college initially for classical guitar, and I had to make a change. I had to change to composition. And there was one key reason, and it was because I didn’t want to pay money to play other people’s music.

For four years. And that’s it. Like, I didn’t, I wasn’t interested. That wasn’t teaching me what I wanted to know, which was like, how do I like write, how do I be creative? How do I, that’s all I want. I don’t want to, exactly. And I love, I love Villalobos. I love all of these guys, right? But I love Bach, but man, I’m not gonna play, I’m not gonna pay you X amount of money so that I could play their music for five years.

Mm-hmm. And then get outta school and go, I have no idea how to do it. I don’t know how, like I could play the notes that they told me to play, but, you know, at the end of the day, if you want me to write a song like for your wedding, no clue. No clue. I, I have a degree. There you go. So like, I am on that side, and you know this about me of when people ask me anymore, like, should I go?

Mm-hmm. Some people, sure, some people require that kind of structure to thrive and they can grow from that. But I’d say that’s a very minimal. Amount of people compared to the mass amount of people wanting to do things. You know, it’s the idea of, yeah, you wanna play guitar, but what do you want to do?

Mm-hmm. With the guitar? Like, that’s really the thing that you need to be focused on. You don’t need to be focused on, like, it’s the guitar. I just wanna play guitar. No. What do you wanna do? Do you wanna write, do you wanna express yourself? Do you want to be in a band? You wanna be ripping leads so that you’re impressing your friends and you’re making, you know, people smile and ha like, those are the things that I, I feel like we don’t focus on enough as teachers.

We focus on the exact thing. My first teacher was teaching me one from Metallica, and then I left. Then I came back and he was like, let’s learn Harvester of sorrow. And I’m like, this is a Metallica fan. This guy really only knows Metallica music. That’s it. It’s, it’s true. So anyway, all that to say, I.

I hear you as somebody that has been through the system as well, you know I definitely hear you on that. It’s, 

yeah, and it’s crazy. And that points to the idea of what I say all the time is that most people, most teachers, most books, most courses, most whatever, teach guitar, almost nobody teaches people, almost nobody teaches the person and the person already has the music inside them.

And you already you already alluded to, you know, I talked about how we’ve seen the patterns that guitar players go through, like hundreds of thousands of guitar players, they all go through the same patterns, right? I know everybody’s different, but everybody goes through the same challenges. And when we, they go through the challenges that we already talked about, what everybody wants at the end of the day is to express themselves.

Is to express that inside them. Right. In fact, the, the, the, the because of the way that the music education system has been and is now, it’s changing now fortunately, but. And we’ll talk about that. But because of that, that brings to mind a quote. In fact, I have two quotes in mind. So one is from Benjamin Israeli that most people go to their graves with their music still locked up inside them.

And nine out of 10 people, nine out of 10 guitar players are doing that right now. And I don’t know about you, but for some reason that just really bothers me because I see behind how humans work, and I see behind that we have musical ability and I see that it’s already in there and you just have to know how to get it out.

And that’s what we’re gonna talk about in a minute. And I’m, you know, I’m really excited to talk about that, the, how do we get to the point where we can actually flip that upside down, where nine out of 10 people are playing music and actually what if, well, I’ll get, I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but the other quote, the other quote I was gonna say, which will lead us into that is the Einstein quote.

I can’t remember exactly what he said, but something like, everybody is a genius. And if a fish is, you know, judged by his its ability to climb a tree, It will live its whole life thinking. It’s stupid. Mm-hmm. Right. So we’re, it’s, it’s almost like, not everybody’s a fish, obviously, but I’m saying the music education system is trying to get you to do something that you’re not made to do, that you’re not, it’s not natural to come out of the womb.

In fact, they say you know, some people say like, guitar players have natural talent, or musicians have natural talent or whatever. And sure, some people have more ability or they have a headstart than other people just because of what they’re thinking about or what they’re pH physiology might be. But anybody can do it.

But my point, my point is oh, about babies. So like, people say who they were born with natural talent, or they were a born guitar player or whatever. Well, I’ve never seen a guitar player. I’ve never seen a baby come outta the womb and start playing guitar. Have you? It’d be cool. It would be cool. But I’ve never seen it.

I’ve never heard of it. I’ve never seen it on social media. I’ve never seen anywhere like that. So the point is your every single guitar player who’s ever existed had to develop their ability to move their fingers and play strings and hold this awkward thing, right? Yeah. And every single guitar player in history had to, had to somehow understand internally, at least whether they learn music theory on paper externally, and we’ll get to that.

Or they learn some internal communication system with themselves like, oh, when I do this, it makes that sound When I do this, it makes the other sound even if it’s just that they had to learn how to do it. Yeah. So if they have to learn how to do it well then that mean it must be learnable. Right. Yeah, true.

So, 

yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, again, it’s, I totally agree. Totally agree. And you, you mentioned one thing, the natural talent thing. You know, it’s, it’s funny, I, I think as, as potential musicians just in general, we’re also wired to just do that comparison thing, right? Mm-hmm. It’s just us for everything.

It’s not even having to do with music, right? We’re always comparing ourselves to the other people and what they’re doing and what that looks like. And I think if more of us just kinda like, focused on us, And stopped caring about like, you know, inve Stein, right? Or something that really allows us to start to be like, okay, I’m actually doing something with this.

I’m proud of myself. This is working. I think that’s another big issue. But anyway, we could talk for years about it. So I, I kind of would like to transition a bit and kinda keep the same thought. But transition a little bit. This is all stuff that, you know, has been happening for years and I’m really interested in talking about the now.

Mm-hmm. Kind of what you’re seeing with this whole idea of music education and, and what’s happening with more people trying to be musical and, and be creative with, with music, and solving that nine out of 10 problem. So let’s talk about the, the crazy advancements you’re seeing in, in technology, let alone processes and education and ways of learning in the, now that you’re seeing being taken advantage and people are starting to use, but by the majority of people aren’t aware sure.

Of what’s going on with it. So walk me through what you’re seeing as kind of that thought leader mm-hmm. In the music education space, in the now with all the tech and changes we’re 

seeing. Yeah, so, so there’s two things. One is medium and one is what’s actually happening in innovation. So what I’ve noticed over the years is in the music education space, there’s really not that much innovation.

At least there’s nobody really taking charge you know, until now of changing the, the idea of what it means. And how do people, humans actually learn music? How did, how do we learn to become musical? Because the, the way we’ve done it so far, and I’ll talk about this in a moment, I wanna answer your question first, but the way we’ve done it so far, I think it’s gonna look in the same way that you know, when cars were invented, we look at the horse and buggy and we think, oh, that’s such a dumb idea.

That’s so stupid. I think when I’m, when we say, when we talk about what we’re about to talk about, I think it’s gonna be the same way now like, oh, I, I have a guitar or a trumpet or something and I’m, I’m have to study theory. That’s so stupid to play music, but we’ll get there. So now about the medium and about innovation.

So I just mentioned innovation that’s. Something that’s not really been present to a large degree in the music education space. And I’ll talk in just a second about how that’s changing and how we are working to change that actually. Specifically breakthrough guitar, some of the things that have already introduced it.

But in the music education space in general, if you go to most schools, most things are the same way they’ve always been, right? You go to school, you learn from the books. They’re old. You learn from the old books. Why? Cuz the old books are, this is a good one. Why, why leave this one? It’s from 1939, let’s continue to learn the same old stuff.

It’s exact, it’s never gonna change. And you, you know, you go through the same boring process and all that kind of stuff. The, the private teachers, most of the private teachers out there still suck. Most of the books out there are still confusing. Most of it’s the same, right? The YouTube videos are the same.

Here’s 5,000 chords. You have to know. No, you don’t, you don’t have to know 5,000 chords. You, you just need, you know how, you need to know how it works. That’s what you need to know. So, That’s mostly the same. And, you know, over the last few years, breakthrough Guitar has introduced, and I’m starting to see this in, in the market in general.

And that the, the whole music education space, at least online, is starting to shift. The thinking is starting to shift away from the old way and opening up to the idea that, hey, maybe there’s actually an easier way to do this. Maybe if I try this thing, maybe it doesn’t have to be this other way that everybody else says it is.

Maybe I don’t have to practice 15 hours a day in five lifetimes and play 7,000 scales and learn all the books and learn all the theory. Maybe I don’t have to do that. Maybe I can just pick it up and express myself. In fact, ever heard of anybody like Eric Clapton, Stevie Rayon, Jimmy Hendrix, Gary Moore? I could go on and on and on and on and on.

Never, never heard, right? Never heard of him, right? Never heard of him. No. Guess what? Have to look him up. Guess what? They never studied theory. So what are they doing? How do they know how to do it? There’s some way to do it, right? So, Going back to the market today in the, in the, the music education space today, I actually have a friend who used to be a jazz trumpet instructor, and he’s really well connected in the university space.

And he university in the, in the United States, connected in the university system on the level where they’re deciding what the university should learn, what the students should learn, and that actually trickles down into the high school system, the middle, middle school system, et cetera. And he said one of the big challenges that they’re having today, which this plays right into the whole mind shift that I was talking about, the shift away from the old way to the new way, is they call it relevance.

And what they mean is, well, how much of this stuff that we’re teaching really is relevant? Because the people who are coming out of the schools can’t really play that well. Like, like, just like you said, you went to school and you are gonna be able to express yourself, improvise, write songs, et cetera. And I’m not saying everybody wants to be a songwriter.

Some people do, but everybody wants to express themselves. That’s what we’re trying to get to. That’s the root of what we’re trying to get to. So if that isn’t happening with the tra traditional music school, university education system, now that’s starting to change a little bit. They’re starting to question it more.

And again, they call it rel relevance. So in the, excuse me, outside of the traditional, you know college education system, let’s say online courses, online books, you know, Amazon books, YouTube videos, all that kind of stuff breakthrough Guitar has introduced a handful of concepts that. I have kind of turned the idea of what it takes to be able to, let’s say for example, improvise across the neck, you know, play across the fret board to actually understand how it all connects together.

Breakthrough guitar has introduced several ideas that kind of turn that on its head and show that it’s really possible that, you know, like you mentioned before you said that, you know, somebody said this is like the magic key, right? And somebody else said, it’s like the guitar version of the Rosetta Stone, and they’re not.

People say that all the time. This isn’t just some random phrases that, you know, you randomly found. We, we get messages like that literally on a weekly basis where somebody is saying something like that, right? So why would they be saying that if it wasn’t different? Why would they be saying that if they didn’t get results really, really fast when they’ve been trying for so many years and they thought that it had to take so long.

So there’s something to that, right? There’s something to, well, why is it different? Why does it work? And where can we go from here? So that’s what I would say about, that’s kind of the current state of things where we are now and. You know, with the advent recently, within the last year-ish of, so of how far AI has progressed.

Apple just recently announced their VR headset, I think, you know, at literally hours ago. And things are changing fast. So yeah, that’s where things are now, but yeah, 

yeah, yeah. Let’s, let’s talk about that, Leanna. Let’s just chat on it. I was, of course, I’m somebody that has like my, my meta headset over there as well, my Oculus.

So I, I really get into that, that VR space as well. Mm-hmm. But the one thing that’s very different about, what are they calling it? The Vision Pro, right? Mm-hmm. Isn’t that it? The one thing that nobody has nailed. Right. Is that augmented reality side? Now, I remember going back, like back in the day to Dreamforce, you know, Salesforce dot com’s, big thing.

And going back to there and wearing the Google glasses. The goo, was it Google Glass or glasses? Google Glass. Yeah. Glass, Google Glass. It was terrible. It was so hard to be able to like actually see it, and like, I feel like I’d, I’d look like a complete idiot trying to make it work. On the sales floor, I was just like, looks great.

Take it off. Just but just that distance, right? That was probably 15 years, 10 years, maybe right around there, right? Mm-hmm. The, the progression of that into the Oculus and all the other ones over the years, of course, as well. They’re still progressing. But then Apple announces their Vision Pro, and their main goal with Vision Pro was how do we start to just build the virtual reality inside reality?

Mm-hmm. So that it is a part of our every day of our life. And when you actually look this up, and we’ll make sure we link any articles to it in, in the actual notes here for the show, but when you look at what they’re doing and what they’re able to do, it’s almost like out of nowhere we go from the Oculus, which feels like the Nintendo, we mm-hmm.

Sometimes to like, oh my gosh, that’s like the next potential big shift. The j mm-hmm. Like the new iPhone potentially just came out like the first iPhone, I should say. Sure. Just came out and just annihilated potentially other cell phone companies and, and what people see as a cell phone. So when I see things like that, The question then comes of how do musicians and music education educators, I should say how do they take advantage of that?

So what, you know, with those small advancements happening now mm-hmm. You obviously start to assume and think you know, what’s coming potentially and where it’s headed. So what do you think things like that, let alone like the next two years, three years, four years, five years mm-hmm. What are those changes that you kind of see coming together and, and those predictions for learning to express yourself through 

music?

Yeah, so there’s two things. One is tiny and one is huge. The first thing is I mentioned the idea of a different medium before. So with the advent, you know, of ai, there’s a lot of AI music creation tools and things like that out, out there nowadays. We had midi MIDI beforehand where, you know, you can.

Press the buttons and it will play it for you. Now you can go to a website and auto generate some music or generate a song or something like that. Right. Great. A lot of people would say that’s an advancement. Maybe that’s an advancement. If your, if your, your goal is to put out a lot of songs and try to make money by streaming them or something like that.

But remember, the goal of, of us humans who are drawn to music is to express ourselves. Mm-hmm. If we’re just clicking a bunch of buttons on a screen and getting it to play music, well, we, it turns us into monkeys. It doesn’t turn us into musicians. Right. It doesn’t allow us to express ourselves. Even the, the ads, I mean, I see a lot of ads for like chord packs, I think they call it, like, where you just click some buttons and it plays chords on a piano.

Well, that might sound cool. You can make some songs with that and you can make some probably really cool songs with that. Right. But you as a human are not expressing your music. You are not expressing yourself. And that’s the key. And that’s actually the key that’s gonna unlock the door to what I consider to be a new musical renaissance.

So when I say renaissance, that’s why I said this is huge, like beyond huge. So for example railroads, how big were railroads when they first when you first were able to transport something all the way across the country, electricity, how big was electricity? Right? Bitcoin took the money out of the hands of being centrally planned and put it into aka you know, the people’s hands if you wanna say that.

But it doesn’t have a central authority. It’s a completely different new thing that didn’t exist before that allows us new possibility, right? So with the advent of things like ar, vr and even some to some degree phone apps, but it’s gonna be AR and VR are gonna be the big drivers of this. We now have a possibility.

To allow humans to express themselves. To allow us to express ourselves and become musical and speak the language in music without having to learn an instrument and without having to learn music theory. So think about these two big problems. I’m gonna take you all the way back, and this is something I’ve been thinking about for years.

Remember I said that the, the idea that nine out of 10 people quit really, really gets to me. And it’s, it’s something that I’ve always tried to dig deeper and find out why is that? What’s the problem? How can we solve this problem? So if we go way, way back to, let’s say, cave mandates as early as I could find the first musical instrument, there’s the people disagree on the dates, but the earliest date that I could find was 61,000 years ago.

They found a flute from 61,000 years ago from a, the crow magnin area in Slovenia. I think it was around that area. And, okay, a flute, we know what a flute does, right? Mm-hmm. But that suggests that humans were playing music. 61,000 years ago. Mm-hmm. They still had it. Right. And even before they had the technology to make flutes or even think about how, well, how do I, you know, make a, a, a, what we call a musical instrument.

They were probably singing, they were probably banging on, on stuff. They were probably ha you know, hearing the birds and, and mimicking the rhythm patterns and things like that mm-hmm. That they heard in nature. Right. So my point is, music is already inside of us. It’s been inside of us ever since we can, you know, as far back as we can go, it’s, it’s always been there.

I don’t know why, but it’s there. And we can clearly see, you can see a baby Bobby in their head along to, you know, to a song if they don’t know how to talk. Right. They, they get it. They inherently understand on an emotional level the music that the sound that they’re feeling. So if we advance a little further Technology changed.

So, you know, there was different, different ages. Like there’s the Bronze Age, different metal ages, the Iron Age, et cetera. And then we had, you know, the wheel and different technologies that allowed us to build better tools. But since the beginning of that flute, 61,000 years ago, or maybe I’m sure there were other instruments before that.

Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed. We’re still doing it the caveman way. Mm-hmm. We have, we have a physical object that we’re, like, in this case, a guitar or a metal thing, like a trumpet or a saxophone or something. We have this physical object that we made in order to try to get the music that’s in here and in here.

Somehow through this contraption and out into the world, guess what? That’s really damn hard to do. That’s why 90% of people quit because it’s not your, your fingers weren’t born. Being able to press down guitar strings and move around on a fretboard is completely unnatural. Right. This, this kind of alludes to the idea that I was talking about, that we’re gonna look back after this Renaissance happens.

It’s gonna happen in the next few years. It’s gonna happen within this decade. It’s my prediction probably 25, 20 25, 20 26, 20 27. We’re looking around that timeframe. But we’re gonna look back on this and, and we’re still gonna love guitars. We’re still gonna love trumpets. We’re still gonna love all the instruments, right.

Because it, it still makes us feel good. It has a special place in our hearts. Mm-hmm. But when it comes to humans learning music, we’re gonna be like, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever even thought of. That’s so stupid. That’s like trying to run to the grocery store when you can just get in your car and drive there.

Why would you do that? Right. So the other thing is this, the other thing is this music excuse me. Musical instruments is one of the biggest impediments all the way back from the caveman days for people to play music unless you sing. And actually, as a quick side note, singing is the only instrument.

When you play the guitar, you’re singing through the guitar. When you play the trumpet, you’re singing through the trumpet, right? That’s the, there, there is, there is only one instrument and it’s your voice. It’s your internal voice. Okay. So when we look back and we think about how dumb it was to try to play a guitar or a saxophone or a piano or something like that, yes, it sounds great.

Yes, there’s been a zillion great songs and great hits that we’re always gonna love. But when it comes to learning the language, it’s a really dumb approach. It’s really hard and it, it keeps most people outside, kinda like peasants. If we’re in the mid medieval days, it keeps most people, 90% of people are peasants outside of the castle walls, right.

When only 10% of the people who, who are lucky enough to actually learn how to play the guitar, learn how to play the trumpet or whatever it is. Mm-hmm. And you know, en enjoying that when we should all be enjoying that. So the second thing is music. What we consider music theory. So people believe in general that you have to read music.

And when we say reading music, that means like staff lines and notes on a sheet of paper, or you have to study music theory somehow. Somehow, when you do that, that’s gonna make you musical. But that is not true. That’s not true. Mm-hmm. At all. We have countless examples of amazing pros, a me amazing legendary guitar players who never studied theory.

In fact, Stevie Ray Vaughn said he took a music theory class and flunked every he flunked the whole year except for one six week period. That’s what he said. Mm-hmm. And in fact, Eric Clapton’s autobiography said he, he said he can’t read music. Right? So how are they able to do it? How are they able to express themselves and play all this amazing sounding music without knowing all that stuff?

Well, the answer is, it doesn’t matter. And the proof is that you don’t have to do all that stuff in order to sound musical. It’s already inside you. You already know what feels good to you. So you already know what notes you wanna play and what notes you don’t wanna play. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. You just have to have an interface.

That allows you to do that. And that leads me to AR and vr. So because we are gonna have, we are gonna have visual interfaces and, and other ways of creating sounds and interpreting those sounds or, or how we, let’s say how we move our, our fingers or how we move our hands or whatever it is to create a particular sound.

We’re gonna be able to start learning the language of the music. For example, wi what movement or what color or what, whatever produces the sound that I want. That what mm-hmm. What thing produces the emotion that I want. And when you start to learn that and learn how to do that, well guess what? You are musical and you can express yourself through music.

You can communicate, have conversations, a k a jam with other musicians. And what’s gonna be amazing is that with your, your, let’s say, your. You know, Google Glass or with your your VR headset, not 

Google 

Glass. Hopefully not. They might make a comeback. They probably will, but, but with your, you know, VR headset or your glasses or whatever it is, even contact lenses.

They already have contact lenses with ar cap AR capability, right? Mm-hmm. So we’re gonna be able to sit here, you’re gonna be able to sit around a, a room with any, any people anybody anywhere, even at a concert and play your own music that only you are hearing or that only other people are hearing.

And you don’t, you’re not gonna have a physical instrument. You don’t have to have that. Mm-hmm. You don’t have to study music theory. You don’t need to know anything like that. So it’s because of this, this is why I call, that’s, that’s why I say it’s, it’s a new musical renaissance because we’re gonna live, we’re gonna go through this period where because of this new technology, the majority of humans are now gonna be able to be musical.

So now we’re only 10%, we’re only 10% of people are musical. Then it’s gonna be 90%, 95%, 98% of people that are musical. Right. Yeah. And it’s my prediction that over the coming decades, music itself is gonna start to become a native language, just like English, just like Spanish, just like Mandarin, German, et cetera.

That’s amazing. Yeah. I mean, that’s, it’s a lot. It’s to unpack. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I, I think there’s so many things that I want to chat on on that, but I’ll just pick on a, a couple you know, the idea of the physical instrument, mm-hmm. There’s, there’s a guest that we’ve had on the podcast wrote him and I think one of his one of my favorite videos that Rodeem has ever done was this idea of teaching yourself something that’s not natural guitar, right?

Mm-hmm. The, the comparison was if he goes to pick up a bottle of water, it’s not like you have to think, okay, this muscle, this tendon, this muscle, this tendon, this muscle, this tendon, place it here, grab, contract it, bring it up, and then drink. It’s just, it’s innate. It’s just natural. You don’t think about that.

It’s just a natural movement. He’s like, but guitar, you do, you, you’ve gotta think about finger, one tip of the finger, all right, let’s put it there. Right. It’s, it’s not, it’s not normal. It’s not a natural. And again, I think that, you know, just because obviously this is part of the podcast conversation, I think that instruments will always be there, at least for a long time, and mm-hmm.

They’ll evolve of course, as well. And I think that there’s a lot to be said about the idea of something like Apple. Being able to blend reality with the, the virtual reality. So we have augmented reality. So the idea maybe of, of having instruments and things that recognize instruments, you know?

Mm-hmm. All of that stuff. But I think at the end of the day, it should be the opposite of what we’ve always done, and that’s kind of what we’re leading to, right? Mm-hmm. Which is we’ve always led with an instrument. Mm-hmm. That’s, that’s the problem. Like, we lead with an instrument rather than being like, let me see if this music thing is something I like.

Yeah. Before I like dedicate my entire physicality to this thing for a year. And then realize like, ah, I don’t like it. You know, it’s, it’s this idea of. The music being the center and not just being like an afterthought for you to get good at the thing. Mm-hmm. It’s, it’s amazing. And there are already apps that exist out there.

They’re not doing it beautifully. But the amount of time, the short amount of time that has been given to people to develop things in virtual reality even, or, or further than that, and what they’ve done with it, you just think about that times not only the length of five years, but also then compounded with the amount of technology changing and improving that’s going to happen in those five years.

Mm-hmm. What’s possible, I mean, I sat down like three months ago and I just was surrounded by a bunch of drums and a bunch of keyboards and things that I touched to produce sounds in vr and wrote a horrible song. But, you know, just that ability, like when I was 13, 14, You know, how much fun that would’ve been, and like, how much easier I would’ve felt.

Mm-hmm. Music was when I turned 18, 19 and went to college. And like, I would’ve already been expressing myself and going to my teachers at that point and being like, no, no, no, no, no. Like, I know what works for me is, is this form of expression. I’ve already been playing this for years. Mm-hmm. It really shifts that, that thought process which is just amazing and, and insane.

So yeah, that was my rant. So there’s, there’s my rant on the topic, but it’s really interesting and obviously we’re here to cover it and be part of that conversation you and I, and kind of move forward with it and, and be here to point out all of this craziness. Again, we’ll put out everything about the Vision Pro in the show just because I’m a total nerd for it already.

And it’s just gonna cost me like literally a liver. I’m gonna have to literally just go to Apple and be like, remove it. Just take it. Okay. I, I know I can’t give you an arm. I play guitar leg, maybe. Maybe we’ll try that. It’s gonna cost me a leg in a liver. That’s what it is. It’s good. But yeah, it’s, it’s amazing stuff, man.

So before we kind of conclude, I always ask guests, and since you’re my guest today, I’ll ask you after this whole conversation you know, summary really, you know, your summary and conclusion on the conversation we’ve had, the direction music is turning, the direction technology is turning. Anything that you wanna leave people with that, that one amazing golden nugget.

What are you thinking, 

In terms of a summary? You know, I would just say that. Things have been the way they’ve been for a really long time. And when I say really long time, going back to the flute that I was talking about, the caveman flute, you know, the hot 61,000 years ago, at least, probably a lot, lot longer than that could be even, you know, millions of years ago, right?

So we are just at the turning point. We’re at the, the brink. We’re right at the edge of this new explosion of musical ability. And you know, I think that number one, if you’ve been wanting to play music or if you already do play music and you don’t feel like you’re, you are where you’re, you’re at with it, yet I would start getting really excited about this because it’s gonna unlock so many doors.

It’s gonna unlock music for you forever. Like, and it’s gonna do that for, in my opinion, for humanity moving forward. Humanity will be musical species moving forward after this event happens. So yeah, I think that’s probably how I would sum it up. That’s good. 

Yeah. And I would say just from my feeling of what you’ve presented as well for any of the people that are looking to be a part of that, of that transition and that, that impact to music education one of my favorite lines that one of my mentors used to always say was like, don’t think about going from Uber to Lyft.

Right. Not like that thing. Think about going from taxi to Uber. Right. That’s like, that’s the change and that’s the beauty of this technology is that it can be done easily. Inexpensively and we can make major shifts. Mm-hmm. Not just mm-hmm. Going from this thing to a slightly better version of it, but like, going from this thing and being like, something I never even considered that is a million times better.

Mm-hmm. Let’s build that, let’s do that. Let’s, let’s try that. And it allows us, the technology allows us to do that now easily now, like not five years from now. Mm-hmm. Like, we’re able to do that stuff now we’re doing it. But again, I think about like how old I am. Right. And just. Man, it’s, I wish every day, and I’m proud to be alive and happy to be alive now to experience this stuff.

But like everybody else listening, even if you’re my age or older, but especially if you’re younger, like, take advantage a hundred percent because ma’am, I would’ve been like years light, years beyond what, what I was or what I am now if, if this stuff was available to me mm-hmm. And what’s coming was available to me.

So it’s just really amazing. So you and I will just continue our best to deliver the info, go through all of the new advancements, and really be a part of this change because I’m, I love it and I’m right there with you and it’s one of the reasons we get along so well. I want to see people look at music not as a hard thing to overcome mm-hmm.

And achieve. I want them to look at music as a form of expression. As an outlet as well. Like, I think for me, being from like you and I broken homes and like negative situations in life and being able to look at music the way we did and make something with it, right? And make something of it. Like, more people should be granted that ability and access and, and be able to do that stuff.

And I’m 

excited. Yeah. And that’s why they call it the universal language. So just imagine you’ve seen, you’ve seen videos of like entire concert concerts where an entire football field, you know, entire stadium is singing together, right? Mm-hmm. Imagine what happens if an entire country is singing together.

Yeah. If everybody in the entire city is seeing it together. If live, live broadcast, the entire, all the major cities in the entire world are singing together, imagine what that’s gonna feel like. 

Yeah, I think it’s called Soccer’s Gonna Happen, soccer Games. I think it’s called Soccer. That’s called the World Cup.

Yeah. Yeah, 

it’s called the World Cup. Got it, got it. Well, we can skip that one then. Solved. It’s 

a good point. It’s a good point. But yeah, John, thank you for being here. As I, I mentioned in the beginning, everybody make sure that if you’re watching on YouTube, you subscribe, you make sure you, you click to get the alerts and if you’re listening on the podcast channels, make sure you follow as well.

And also on the YouTube stuff, comment, well, we’re gonna be in there obviously answering those and, and interacting with you and pulling a lot of those into the episodes as we have been. So make sure you do that as well. And yeah, John, thanks for being here, my friend. I appreciate you. 

No, it’s been great.

We can keep going forever, man. I 

know, and, and we will, you know, that’s, that’s why we’ve got, you know, weekly podcast, everybody subscribe, do the thing. And we will talk to you all later. Thank you for listening. Thanks for watching as well, and we will see you next time on the Future of Music Podcast.

See ya.


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