Wisdom From the Late Robert Newton
Sadly, we lost a tremendous force in Columbia, SC yesterday with the passing of guitar teacher Robert Newton. Enough cannot be said about his character and legacy. In the spirit of celebrating Robert’s life, I am going to list some things I learned from Rob, followed by quotes.
1. Lemonade: “There are no mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity for genius. When you get a lemon, you gotta squeeze it and make lemonade.”
2. Persistence: “Give me two years of your life to dedicate to music, and you’ll never look back.” (I gave 5, and I’m still not looking back!)
3. Esteem: “Forget the naysayers! You can do anything you want to do! They are just jealous that they aren’t doing it!”
4. Being the Best: “You have to separate yourself from the herd. It’s the hard work that the other cats won’t do that will separate you. You wanna run on your own, or with the herd?”
5. Creativity: “Good players play off of scales. Great players play off of licks.”
6. Practice: “There should be NO ONE practicing less than two hours per day…and if you are don’t tell me about it!”
7. Muscle: “You have to create muscle in your playing…not as to flex, but rather to play more relaxed at slower tempos.”
8. Vision: “Always see it before you play it! Constantly be practicing in your mind.”
9. Friends: “Gather all of your “friends”(all that we have learned this far), and bring them together for the purpose of this tune. You’ll be amazed at what can happen with they collide with the power of numbers.”
10. Tell a Story: “When you solo, tell a story. Don’t come out running, but start slow with a ‘hello’ and build yourself up to a climatic point. Then, gently bring it down…just like a story… Here listen to my story…”
What a great story it was to have such an awesome man, guitarist, mentor, guru, and teacher on this planet. Rest well my friend.