Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy


A New Social Media Technique For Musicians Called “ECKMA”

Currently, musicians are becoming more and more aware that they need to use social media for their online PR and presence. Sites like Facebook, blogs, and Youtube are critical for musicians.

In fact, social media has helped me build my career and I am very thankful for these new outlets. It’s the new way musicians do business.

I’d like to introduce a technique of mine which I call “ECKMA” . This is a “secret” forgotten technique which will help you reduce your time spent on social media and increase your time spent playing music and practicing.

(Read on to find out what “ECKMA” stands for….)

If you spend a lot of time on the computer, on Facebook, on blogs, the most important thing – your music – can suffer. IMHO, coming up with new music and keeping my chops up is critical.

If you get burnt out on the computer, are feeling overwhelmed, and unsure of how to attack the music industry, then this is for you.

How do you find more time to focus on your craft? It’s easy – say “ECKMA”, which stands for….

“Everybody Can Kiss My A–“

That’s right!

Now there is a wisdom in this, despite the humorous twist. It’s about your “core talent”. Focusing on what you and only you can do is something you need to spend time on every day.

Mediocre musicians with great Facebook techniques and email lists do not interest me, or anyone. A flash in the pan and news of the day does not amount to a substantial musician who creates timeless songs.

If you don’t take a stance to work on your craft daily, all the social media in the world means little. You and only you can put the balance in your life.

You have to do

– your own pushups
– your own songwriting
– your own practicing
– your own inner spritual work

…as well as your marketing. But don’t forget about your craft.

And this means TURNING OFF the computer, the iPhone, the TV and giving yourself the essential gift of silence, time and the joy of creation. Everyday you should unplug for a chunk of time.

So, when I close my laptop and shut the cell phone and leave my apartment and take ONLY a guitar with me, I say “everybody can kiss my a–“. Then I have the focus and silence to practice. I unplug. Yay!

That’s to give myself the fundamental, essential gift of time, silence and solitude…which is an integral part of being human.

Bassist John Clayton says that after all the noise, buzz, news, and PR it comes down to 2 words…”the music”.

Good Luck!

– Adam


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Jackson Five Solo Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements Lesson DVD with Tablature – Adam Rafferty

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For more info about this exciting DVD visit


Crescent Ridge Publishing Announces a Very Special DVD Release.

“How To Play the Music of the Jackson Five – Arrangements for Fingerstyle Solo Guitrar” taught by Adam Rafferty is now available and shipping worldwide!

Learn four classic tunes sung by Michael Jackson and the Jackson FIve “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “ABC” and “Never Can Say Goodbye”. A booklet with complete notation and tablature is included with the DVD.

Here’s What You’ll Get:

* 110 + minute DVD with performances and in depth lessons for the JACKSON FIVE Classics “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “ABC” and “Never Can Say Goodbye”
* Move by move, note for note explanations of the arrangements
* Split Screen Views of Right and Left Hand for easy understanding
* A 30 page booklet with complete tablature and notation * Easy to undserstand explantions of Independant Basslines, Guitar Percussion Techniques and more
* Easily learn at YOUR own pace in YOUR own home when YOU want to!

To find out more about this exciting DVD visit

To receive Free Tablature and News Updates Via Adam’s “Guitar Mastery Newsletter”

This DVD is fully licensed and sync rights have been purchased from EMI publishing.

– The Crescent Ridge Publishing Team


How to Be A Visionary and Avoid Kryptonite

Last week I had a fine get-together with some college friends, some of whom I have not seen in what feels like 20 years. To my surprise and delight, one of my music professors came on through and we got to hang.

What a delight it was…to be able to show him some of my accomplishments and thank him for his support in my formative years. His style was that of an older guy who saw seeds of talent and knew that students would flourish, given encouragement.

Rather than force his way on them, he was a listener who was constantly amazed at what the young “cats” would come up with. Now he’s amazed at the changes in the music business over the last 25 years and following it closely. He learns from as well as teaches his students.

The point is this – I saw that while he let me do my thing and kick my own butt, he supported my vision. That’s not a small thing. In fact, that is huge. Thank you, Jim.

Here’s How to Be a Visionary, in a Nutshell

Imagine what you want to be do or have, and have the guts, the balls, the whatever you call ’em – to have that clear vision in your mind’s eye – in spite of what is presently around you.

You see, your present surroundings and circumstances are the result of the past, but your future is the result of your vision NOW. This can be tricky to maybe pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and will require 1) a defined, not foggy, vision of what you want, and 2) repeated practice in having that vision. You may have to get away from some present circumstances to strengthen your vision.

How to Avoid Kryptonite

One of my best friends is in a very unsupportive relationship. The minute he has a vision, a dream – it gets shot down by his “significant other”…and this is the worst poison anyone can have in their lives.

Basically this person in his life is creating the future out of what she sees presently – but my buddy wants a future to come out of his “vision”. That’s 2 VERY different approaches, kids!

Before being a solo guitarist, I was the guy playing every restaurant in NYC and teaching twinkle twinkle to 8 year olds. I am in no way putting that down, because it’s noble and many people all over the world do that! Hiowever, I wanted more than that…I wanted touring, I wanted my talents to shine, and want to make a couple o’ bucks too! 🙂

To have more fulfillment for myself, it all had to start with a dream, a vision. (See my blog on upward & downward causation)

Looking back from the vantage point of now finally being on an upward swing of success (and enjoying the hell out of life) I tell you this – in comparing my professor who was encouraging, and my friend’s wife who shoots his ideas down….

Stay away from the negative people like Superman avoids Kryptonite. One bad word can weaken you…it’s the worst poison there is.

Statements like

1) “Well you’re still gonna have to pay the bills…”
2) “Well you still are going to have to be realistic…”
3) “You’ll never make money doing that…”
4) “You are not ______ enough to do that…”
5) “You are (race, sex, religion, age) and no one will ever pick you….”

Anything like this serves the person saying it, so that they can justify THEIR lack of strength in being a visionary. It has nothing to do with you, and simply serves them.

I heard and dealt with all of this too…and the only cure is keeping one’s own vision clear.

If you need support in your vision and don’t have a supportive person in your life – you have me now. I’ll support your dream and help you.

Leave a comment or email me, and know that Adam believes in you. That’s the coolest gift I can give!


What, So What, Now What?


My teacher Mike Longo had a great axiom so that one could keep a fire under their own butt, accomplish more and be accountable to oneself.

He had many first time students who would walk in and for their first lesson recite their musical accomplishments to impress him. “Ho hum….”

He’s seen it all, and knew that he’d have to break down their ego if they were to learn. A little humility would actually impress him a lot more than a running list of “I did this, I did that” from someone he’s never met.

So here is the 3 question list:

1. What?
What is it that you have done, accomplished, etc.

2. So What?
Meaning “Ok, now we got that out of the way and it’s over. Other people have accomplished stuff too.”

3. Now What?
“That was then, and it’s over. Present moment is NOW. You’re accountable. What are you doing now?”

How many times have we seen people who have accomplished something and are “stuck” in looking in a “rear view mirror” and identifying with even a 10 or 20 year old accomplishment?

I hold my feet to the same fire. I have just released the Jackson Five Guitar DVD and I am thinking “what, so what, now what?”

Honestly, I’m excited with the “now what?” Will it be more touring, more recording, more practicing guitar, devoting more time to relationships, exercise? More meditation and self discovery?

What will my next years focus be?

The point is, I am not happy to talk about what I have done and beat it to death while life slips by. I am eager to get to work again and get some dirt under my fingernails with the next project. Grrrrrrr…..

So I leave you with this question….no matter what you have accomplished in life, however great…”now what?”


We are Living in an Exciting Era for Fingerstyle Guitar. Where’s it Going Next?

(At the end of this post, I’d very much like YOU to tell me and the readers where you think fingerstyle guitar could possibly be heading next….)

This is a really exciting time in the fingerstyle guitar scene, and I feel blessed to be playing guitar at this time in history. We’re all going through this very cool time together – and it is time for you to get involved…

In case you didn’t know this – back in the 1950’s classical guitar wasn’t an option in conservatories, in fact guitar was not even considered a “real” instrument. Yet, Andres Segovia stepped up to the plate when everyone thought guitar wasn’t a real instrument and said “here’s some Bach…now deal with this!”

In the 80’s classical guitar became accepted in the major music conservatories. Wow. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is.

In the 60’s Wes Montgomery came along and put mainstream jazz onto a guitar with a level of touch, taste and groove that he influenced a whole generation of guitarists and still does. Chet Atkins put songs on the guitar with his signature “boom chick” sound and practically defined fingerstyle guitar as we know it. Not to mention, Chet played on countless old rock & roll albums.

Today, Tommy Emmanuel has brought the “ultimate Michael Jordan” experience to the guitar. Every time he plays, it’s beyond a slam dunk. Chops and energy meet invention, harmonics and beauty. He has inspired me and thousands of young guitar players.

I find this evolution fascinating…of course there are many many more players who have pushed the guitar into new territories, too numerous to list here. And there are tons of new guys working hard at the craft! Andy McKee has taken the tapping – percussive approach and evolved it.

One of my goals is to “play the groove and counterpoint” that a whole funk band might play. Funky guitar in a band setting is one thing, but funky guitar with 2 or 3 independent moving basslines is a challenge. I guess that’s why I have gravitated towards Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5.

(In case you are interested in playing my Jackson 5 arrangements – the new instructional DVD with tab booklet will be available for purchase the second week of August, stay tuned! This launch is a major event that I’d like you to be part of…so stay tuned…)

If you think about it, playing the music of the J5 is a New York City kid’s version of just what Chet or Tommy is doing. The common denominator? We’re all playing songs and making people happy – only I am playing with the grooves I heard here in New York in the 70’s and 80’s, not a Nashville boom chick groove.

I really look forward to YOUR contribution and encourage you to dig deeply into your musicality. Please practice hard, post your videos to youtube and let me know what you are up to.

Where do you think fingerstyle guitar is heading next? Leave a comment here…I am very curious as to what you have to say about this topic.

Until next time…