Sound Check 

Once in a while I get to gig and the acoustics of a room are mind blowing. Who would of thought, in the middle of nowhere on a mountain top would I find the most amazing room to play  in. Needless to say, my sound check was heavenly. With no one audience in sight  I had the space to myself for at least an hour, and played my A off!

Playing through the pain 

Interesting NYTimes read on "Playing Through The Pain" by Robert Dubrow. Most musicians. whether you realize or not (myself included,) have performed with minor or major pains caused from heavy practicing and performing at some point in their career. Myself, I'm more of the suffer in silence type, so no one around me would ever know. However, there are solutions to help prevent it from occurring  and heal quickly once that door has opened. With long stretches of rehearsals, performing, recording, and as a guitarist that jumps different styles (different styles equals different techniques), my hand health is always at the front of my mind. Solutions: use good technique while playing, take breaks, hand stretches and exercise regularly, take care of your body, eat a healthy diet, and really listen to your body. It's important to not ignore that very first sign that somethings not quite right. That is the moment I've learned to stop everything and back off of playing and do something, walking, running, stretching, massage, ...that is the moment (for me at least) I am able to prevent anything serious from occurring. If you ignore your body when it's trying to tell you something, you're be in a world of pain.  
Something else this article brought to light...musicians don't talk about this. We hide it from others until absolutely necessary to admit. We stay poised on the outside even though we know something is off. I know because I've done this many times and honestly this is the first time I've admitted to having issues in the past. So, if any musician has an issue that just isn't open to charing with your peers, feel free to contact me. 

NYTimes Article: Playing Through The Pain

Fingerstlye Guitar Lessons Part 1 

Many times with both classical and fingerstyle guitar students I spend time with strength training their "weakest finger" on their right hand (left hand for the lefties)...the ring finger, also called the "a" finger.  I personally call it the retarded finger, it's perfectly capable, but just needs extra development to be as strong as the other fingers. Without extra attention and some type of finger strengthening study, a weak "a" finger can lead to timing issues while playing a piece oreven hand fatigue in the midst of playing. I wrote this little Etude to address the issue with the right hand for some of my beginner and intermediate students and also create a guide finger and movement challenge for the left hand.  Enjoy! Johnna  Click Here To Download PDF

Pandora Listeners 

Well it took a bit longer than expected, but nevertheless I am officially on Pandora.
Please like, follow, listen, and support. More listeners equals more tracks by yours truly added to their playlist.
All in all, this is a good thing, and will help build momentum for my next recording. (Wink, Wink)

Practice Tip 

Here's a thought to keep yourself in check while practicing your instrument. Record yourself for a 30-45
minute stretch. What kind of practice techniques do you have? Do you practice with a specific goal in mind
and work through each phrase with mental focus? or do you noodle around  without every clearly grasping
the music in front of you? Are you relying on muscle memory? or something more substantial? Is what you're
doing giving you the results you want? If not, maybe it's time for a change in your approach.

"The right kind of practice is not a matter of hours. Practice should 
represent the utmost concentration of brain. It is better to play with 
concentration for two hours than to practice eight without. I should say 
that four hours would be a good maximum practice time—I never ask 
more of my pupils—and that during each minute of the time the brain be 
as active as the fingers.” 
~Leopold Auer

Mental Benefits of Playing Music 

For those of you, like me, that are fascinated with how the brain works here is an interested link.
“Neuroscientists have proven that playing a musical instruments engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory and motor areas.”

Decemeber 2015 

And now for the exhausting last stretch into the new year...three more performances to go and two more weeks of classes to teach.
What  a great year of accomplishments and life changes. SoloMe's airplay reached throughout the US, Canada, and now Denmark.
I've had the honor of getting signed to a great acting agent. My student recitals have all been is always exciting to witness
the talent and dedication of their artistry. 
As for the New Year, a new recording project is underway with vocals and a collection of very talented musicians. I'll keep you posted.
Free Christmas guitar sheet music.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Hot is Hot! 

Heat index 106, temp 93..whatever that means. Hot is hot! Stevie Wonder song for the Wedding Party and now for the Bride's entrance. Why someone would get married outside in July in the South is beyond me. Nevertheless, despite the obstacles at hand, musicians push forward. Dress cloths drenched, an annoying bug trying it's best to land in my eye, sweat dripping down my back, and the fact that humid hands make it twice as difficult to play on a nylon string guitar. Again, musicians (all professional artists) push forward no matter what the circumstances. It's a mental game, a test of strength, and a feeling of confidence in knowing that all of your training will carry you through this moment (plus visualizing myself in a swimming pool four hours from this moment is helpful)....Piece of cake.