Insights Into THE ADVANCING GUITARIST by Mick Goodrick, Part 3.Wearily I open my prayer book,Sepia photograph of sage on amber page,Flaming raven Sanskrit, strange syllables,Intone, chant, repeat.Number vows with beads:Every resolution is inspiration petrified.First Things First: Homework! (Robert Fripp Sets The AGENDA.)"Your ability to play music on the guitar depends to a large extenton how well you know the instrument. Most guitarists have never hada chance to learn the instrument in an intelligent, logical andcomplete manner." (TAG: AGCT, pg. 9.) Begin to acquire thisunderstanding of the guitar by conducting a survey of theinstrument's historical development, from its evolution as vihuelaand lute during Medieval and Renaissance times to its refinement inthe Baroque era and perfection in the 19th Century. Believe it ornot, having this knowledge will give you psychological mastery overthe guitar at the outset since you'll come to understand theinstrument's limitations in terms of design, construction, andmusical range, and, also, as a result of knowing what a guitar ismade to do and why, its advantages over its cousin, the piano.Knowing how a guitar is built will add volumes to your understandingof the instrument. (Take my word for it, and consult Ralph Denyer'sTHE GUITAR HANDBOOK and Chapman's THE COMPLETE GUITARIST for anintense historical discussion of the guitar's evolution.)Our AGENDA."We begin the possible and gradually move towards the impossible.This implies knowing where we are, knowing where we are going (thatis, being clear of our aim), knowing what we have to do to get there,and knowing what resources we may draw upon.*"Do one small thing superbly, then move to the next. In arelatively short time, all of these small things will become the bodyof our playing.*"Find a teacher, or instructor. This will save time. A good playeris self-taught, with the help of a teacher. The real value of aqualified instructor is a personal and direct connection to a schoolor tradition.*"Our practice may usefully be divided into four:1. Calisthenics. This is the efficiency and sense of grace withineffortless physical movement.2. Fingerboard knowledge.3. Musical knowledge and repertoire.4. Play. Abandon personal judgement and have fun.*"Learn to trust the inexpressible benevolence of the creativeimpulse." -Robert Fripp, 1992. (From the Foreword of the GUITARHANDBOOK.)The sage whose words are ambiguous you call great.Those who advocate discipline you shun.With one, you treat words the way you want.With the other, you resent having no quarter.