What Can We Learn About Guitar From PATRICK KANE?

What Can PATRICK KANE Teach Us About GUITAR?

Tommaso Zillio

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You may have seen my recent video on what we can learn about guitar from Connor McDavid, and I got some good responses on that video so I’ve done a new lesson, this time about Patrick Kane.

Patrick Kane was known as one of the best ‘stickhandlers’ in the NHL for some time (or so I’m told…), and I want to try to dig into how handling the puck so well can be a great source of inspiration for guitar players.

Most importantly, great stickhandling requires something called fine motor control; very slight, controlled, nuanced motions of the hands.

Sounds familiar? Probably because guitar players require the exact same thing.

Fine motor control on this level requires complete relaxation of the hands to achieve, and the lesson that we want to take from Patrick Kane is this:

If he can maintain enough relaxation to achieve this level of fine motor control while playing hockey of all games, shouldn’t guitar players be able to do it no problem?

And the answer to that, dear reader, is yes! As guitar players, we often tense up due to feeling pressure, a much different kind of pressure than hockey players feel, but it’s still pressure all the same.

So in today’s video, the topic of conversation is going to be managing and dealing with pressure, so that we can maintain fine motor control even in the hardest situations, just like Patrick Kane. I’ll be going through a few steps that you can do right now to start getting better at dealing with pressure.

If you want to try it out, check out the video below:

It still amazes me how many parallels there are between sports and guitar playing.

And of course, let’s not forget our previous video on the guitar secrets that we can learn from Connor McDavid:

Now, I have good news and bad news.

Bad news: all the fine motor control in the world will not help you unless you know exactly WHAT you want to play.

Good news: I got you covered on what you want to play and how to make sure that you can express yourself on the guitar. I recommend you start with this free eBook on how to express yourself with the pentatonic scale

Video transcription

Hello internet so nice to see you. You guys liked a lot the video about Connor McDavid. So hey, why don’t we do another video where we learn a lot of interesting guitar lessons from hockey player.

So today I’m gonna talk about Patrick Kane, Patrick Kane during his prime, was known as one of the best stick handler in the league, or simply as the best hands in the league.

Now, of course, you can dispute that. But then again, I’m getting all my information about hockey from talking with my friends, okay, and remember that just recently, I knew next to nothing about hockey, heck, I’m an Italian transplanted in Canada, I didn’t even know you could drive on ice go figure about playing on ice.

Anyway, the interesting thing when I look at Patrick Kane is that even when there are people trying to hit him or strip the puck away, he remains completely relaxed in order to have the required motor control to move the puck like he does.

And this relaxation, this absolute flagman is, in my opinion, his best weapon. And as guitar players, we can learn a lot about that because as guitar player, what we do when we are performing, we tense up, okay, it’s true of all performing arts. But somehow I see this is more true of guitar player, we just feel like we have all the eyes on us. And then we have so much tension in our hands and in our body and becomes very hard to perform.

So here it is, even under pressure of performing, or even just when practicing, complete relaxation is what allows for the most precise motor control and the best technique. No matter what type of pressure is being applied to you. In an ideal world, you will remain always completely relaxed and calm.

Now we are lucky because musicians, arguably, have much less pressure on them than athletes, after all it is much harder to get hurt by playing guitar. And only very rarely somebody will took off their gloves to punch you in the face. So hey, we are lucky.

I mean, think about it. If you have any doubt that somebody can take off their gloves and punch you in the face, then that’s the wrong gig. Don’t take that gig.

Okay. Anyway, what can we do to keep this absolute flagman and relaxation when we play? Because I mean, guys, I get it, hey, I’m a kind of a nervous person too. Can you hear how fast I talk? So what can we do to learn to be relaxed to stay relaxed and phlegmatic even under pressure of performance? Well the whole thing as usual start in our practice.

So for instance, when you practice, what do you do normally? You play part of a song, then you make a mistake. And what do you do you restart and play the song from the beginning? No, no, my friend, don’t do that. Here’s what you should do.

Instead, when you practice a song, play the whole song without stopping no re-do’s, no take-backsies, no stops played beginning to end, okay, you make a mistake, you keep going, you make another mistake, you keep going. It’s a train wreck, you keep going. And again, I’m not talking on stage, I’m talking in your practice when you are alone, okay, you just get used that whatever happens, you keep going and finish the song.

It may sound strange, but just doing these even just a few times in your practice will give you the safety that you know you can finish the song, no matter what happens, you break a string, you keep going you make a mistake, you keep going, you go out of time, you’ll find the time and you keep going. And the paradox of it is that the more mistakes you make, the better it is because you learn to recover.

Okay, so here’s the thing, first thing, when you practice something, make sure to practice it from beginning to end. I’m not saying this all the time. Sometimes you want to practice the technical detail and in this case, you repeat a short thing great, but whenever you’re practicing a song, make sure you play the whole thing.

Okay, now that will be level number one. Haha, you know, there was only one level no there’s level number two, the second level is do exactly the same, but record yourself doing it. And then listen back to the record.

You can record yourself simply by putting your phone on a table and use the memo recording application or you can put a camera on you, a camera is great because it also helps you see what you look like when you play the song. It’s great actually, I mean the first time you do it, it could be quite painful, not saying no. But it really gives you immediate and objective feedback on what you’re doing.

Level number three, because hey, we are going to increase the pressure because the more pressure you put yourself when you practice the better it is when you perform or like the marine says the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.

Okay, so level number three will be play the song, the whole song from beginning to end while recording yourself and keep your eyes closed or optionally, put that 300 watt Light bulb in front of your face. I mean, that’s realistic when you are on stage, you have all the lights on you and they hit you straight in the eye because the audience has to see you. So you are not going to be able most of the time to actually look at your fretboard. So close your eyes to simulate stage realities. Okay?

I mean, if you want to go the extra mile, you can simulate stage condition by pointing very strong light into your eyes, then raise the heat to around 37 Celsius. That’s 100 Fahrenheit for you guys that will keep insisting using the wrong unit system. Then put a fog horn close to your ears and turn it on. Okay to simulate what you actually hear on stage, then turn your amp off because you’re not going to be able to hear yourself that will be a realistic stage simulation.

I’m not saying you have to go up to those length. But if you can perform your song Under those conditions, I can tell you you are nearly unshakable. The only thing you’re missing is level number four.

Level number four. Everything as before practice all these staying completely relaxed, while a 230 pound NHL defenseman tries to body check you. Or hey, if you cannot get that maybe you can try with somebody trying to nerf gun you while you practice.

Anyway, you have your exercise, you have your practice routine. Stop watching YouTube videos. I mean, come on guys. You’ve seen hockey footage just for the past what, 10 minutes. Turn off YouTube. Get your guitar start practicing and until next time, enjoy.


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