Running Man

Why Running First Thing in the Morning Increases My Productivity for the Dayfeatured

It’s amazing how much more productive I get from a morning workout. Running is my passion, and pumps me up for an active, fresh and productive day ahead. It helps to keep my body fit for all the energy I need for the day. And it makes for a better night’s sleep, since I don’t have any pent up energy when I hit the sack a the end of the day. But running also offers a few more benefits that most people don’t realize.

I No Longer Need That Cup of Coffee

Running makes you feel just as alert throughout the day as someone who drinks coffee. I’d actually argue it does a better job than coffee! The endorphins released by running early in the morning keep you alert throughout the day. While coffee drinkers tend to be zombies early morning, then crash sometime midday, I can keep up my energy throughout the entire day. This is essential for me as a musician. I need to quickly pick up information and think freely during creative sessions. Running has been documented to increase energy throughout the day, so it’s a habit that I will never give up as long for my health and my creative outlets.

I Look Way More Confident

After exercising, I don’t know if it’s the testosterone pumping, but I always feel more manly than ever. Instead of slumping my shoulders I’m puffing out my chest. And I just walk and feel like nothing can touch me. And this makes sense. Generally, a healthier body leads to positive mental and psychological changes. All the little things seem to add up, and I carry myself in a way that I like the most after I’ve been running in the morning.

I’m More Creative Than Usual

As a guitarist and song writer, I have to struggle with writers block every now and then. But running has helped me so much in this area. Whenever I’m trying to brain storm some creative lyrics, it’s just so much easier with an alert mind. I bet how I get excellent ideas and notes while running. I’m sure it also helps that I like to listen to a lot of music during my runs. I feel like I’m subconsciously absorbing a lot of lyrics and chord progressions during my morning runs. So when I finally sit down for a creative session, all the music I’ve heard from my runs comes back out into something original and amazing.

I’m Encouraged to Eat and to Cook More Healthy Foods

Running has its benefits. But you can’t run well unless you eat the right foods. Food is fuel for your body, and early on, I found that running after eating pizzas and drinking beer throughout the week was terrible. I started eating fruits, lean chickens, and actually trying to eat things like vegetables. This has made running not just a physical exercise, but like a lifestyle change. Running overall has encouraged me to tackle both the exercise and diet side of my fitness because you can’t really exercise without the proper nutrition.
30 Jun 2014
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Young Man Playing Guitar

The Fastest Way to Get Good at the Acoustic Guitarfeatured

We all want to be THAT guy for something. The “buff” guy. The “smart” guy. The “techie” guy. And for me. I always wanted to be the “guitar” guy. So when I was a kid I got started early with the guitar. The key to learning and getting good at acoustic guitar is to practice as much as possible. There’s no way around it. You have to practice. Whether you go to music school or just play at home, ample time and practice is key. Dedicating yourself to the guitar isn’t just about the time though. You have to learn from the right sources and using the proper techniques. Here are a few steps of the fastest way to get good at the acoustic guitar.

Learn from the Best Online Tutorials

The best part of the internet these days is how freely good information is spread. Whether you’re on YouTube, or a guitarists blog, you can a lot of amazing tutorials online. By researching and cherry picking the best tutorials, you can pick up the basics faster than ever. Most websites also have blogs and chat rooms where like minded musicians discuss what they’ve learned. This is a great opportunity for beginners. Surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people is one of the best ways to excel at a hobby. By getting in touch with other musicians on such forums, the time period of learning the instrument becomes shorter and convenient.

Learn the Most Common Power Chords

When it comes to music, there are a few chords that are commonly played in almost every song. If you just learn a few chords, you can exponentially increase the number of songs that you can play. Take a quick look at the most common chord progressions and learn a few chords at a time. Once you’ve learned the first few, master as many songs as you can using just those chords. Once you find the need to learn some new chords for another song, then learn a couple more! It’s all about learning the miminum amount possible, to play just the songs that you want to play.

Practice Makes Perfect

This is the hardest step of all. But hopefully, following the above steps makes this easier. There’s no escaping that getting good at the guitar takes a lot of practice. But if you found the right tutorials, your practice sessions are much more efficient. And if you only know the chords you need to know, you’ll be playing only the songs you love. Learning how to play an acoustic guitar also depends on how much time you are ready to invest on it. Practicing three days a week might not be enough if you really want to learn how to play the instrument like a professional. Keep your schedule open for five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes of practice sessions. Focus on all essentials, such as intonation, sound and pitch along with strum hand and fret hand coordination techniques. This should get you to the level you want to be at fast!
30 Jun 2014
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x_men_days_of_future_past_banner-wide

The 3 Superhero Movies I Can’t Wait to Watchfeatured

This has been a crazy year for movies. We’ve seen some box office hits like Interstellar, The Raid 2 and the Dawn of the Planet of Apes. But I’m a sucker for superhero flicks. And I want to see more guys in capes and masks slugging it out and saving the day. What’s awesome is 2014 has a ton of cool superhero movies that either just came out. Or about to be released. The following three movies are some that I can’t wait to watch. Two of the movies have been released and I’m still waiting for the perfect time to get a group of friends for a movie night. But the last one is coming up, and I can’t wait to watch it when it comes out.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Who doesn’t want to see this one? A superhero movie with a squirrel as a main character! The expected date of release for Guardians of the Galaxy is August 1st, 2014. Starring Benicio Del Tro, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, DjimonHounsou, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana and Michael Rooker, it has an amazing crew with polished acting skills. Directed by James Gunn, who is popular for his entertainment and action movies, this one is definitely going to be a great superhero movie that I am thrilled to watch. It is considered as the riskiest project that has been shot at the Marvel Studios to date. I mean, can a squirrel and a tree really be a mainstream hit?

X-Men: Days of Future Past

I’ve loved the X-Men since the 90′s cartoons. So it’s always awesome to see them on the big screen. After the raving success of it’s first part, X-Men: First Class, Bryan Singer has directed the second part X-Men: Days of Future Past which is also a part of the trilogy of the original X-Men comic. Although it was released on May 23rd, 2014, I still have yet to sit down and watch it. The cast consists of Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage and Michael Fassbender. The time travel story of this sequel arranges a follow up movie which is already in the making with an expected date of release in 2016.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Good ol’ Steve Rogers has always been one of my favorite DC characters. He’s honest, sincere, hardworking, and the definition of a hero. Released on the April 4th, 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the third best superhero movie that I am anxiously waiting to watch this year. Directed by the marvellous duo, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, it is a movie that does not only have amazing graphics and excellent storyline, but its music composition is also one of my favorites. The lead actors in this movie include Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, CobieSmulders, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Sebastian Stan. The action sequences of this movie, visuals and characters are well knit together. It’s a cast filled with A-List actors, and I can’t wait to watch it.
30 Jun 2014
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I Love Working From Home Making Video Tutorials

Probably one of the things I enjoy most about my music career is making video tutorials for guitars. I’ve been playing both acoustic and bass guitars for many years and I think I’ve developed sufficient expertise to be able to make video tutorials which are worthwhile for the student. I’ve had a lot of feedback from people who have seen my tutorials thanking me for the effort I have put into them and telling me about how much they have learned about playing the guitar. And of course I find this extremely rewarding.

I make my video tutorials at home

I make all of my video tutorials at home. I love working from home, I can work quietly and without interruption in my own time. I’ve got my own studio set up at home and I have all of the equipment that I need to make video tutorials. I spent quite a bit of money buying the equipment but I’m thoroughly pleased with the result. As well as buying the equipment I also had to learn how to use it, because if I work from home I have no one there but myself, and so I have to work everything. Fortunately I’m reasonably technical and so I managed, by reading the manuals, to pick up enough of the technical stuff so that I could work the video as well as all of the editing equipment properly. Making an instructional video tutorial about playing the guitar is not an easy thing. It takes quite a lot of planning. The first thing I need do is work out exactly what aspects of playing the guitar I will teach. Once I’ve worked out which aspects I want to teach I then need to work out how to demonstrate those as best as possible in a short video. I try to keep my videos to a maximum of 15 minutes, because I think students would start to zone out after that length of time. I pack quite a lot into my 15 minute videos. When I’m shooting the video I need to concentrate. Because I work at home it is free of interruptions, and so I can concentrate. I also have soundproofing in my video studio and so none of the noise from the outside of the house gets in. I know it’s possible to rent video studios and rental of the equipment that I decided that I would prefer to spend the money and buy my own equipment and learn how to use it because it would be so much better to be able to work from home when I wanted to work rather than when I rented the studio. Of course I also do my writing for my music blog at home. I prefer making video tutorials to writing but I still like writing about music, and I can work at home quietly perfecting my writing. Over time I’m hoping my music blog will become very popular. I’m selling my tutorials directly from my blog and the more people I can get to visit my blog the more tutorials I can sell. It will be interesting to see whether I can turn this into a full-time business. If so I think it’s the perfect home business for me.
25 Jul 2014
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