Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

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

As Above, So Below…on the Guitar


One of the joys of my musical journey is to discover something musically and see that it also applies to all of life.

(Really guitar and “life”  are no different – since it’s our brains looking outward and seeing the contents of our own thought!)

I have been doing a lot of slow, deliberate practice on fingerstyle guitar pieces like “Thriller” and “Aqualeros do Brasil”  and “Fly Me To The Moon”  simply because I want the groove to be deeper and want the perfect sparkling and coordinated “mix” of melody, bass and accompaniment.

It never fails; once I put my mind on the role and job of my right hand thumb, I see that it has been pulled by the influence of the other right hand fingers, and is not as solid as I thought it was!

Once I slow my playing down (yes, my teachers were right about the benefits of slow practice)  and the thumb becomes the most important part of my focus, the whole piece of music falls right into line; perfect groove, perfect balance, and comfortable to play.

It made me ponder…when we set the basics in our life straight, and keep them on track, the small details always work out. On the contrary – if we seek to fix details without attention to the basics being right, we’re not really fixing anything…we’re just “busy”.

As above, so below.

Don’t believe me, check it for yourself!


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

3 thoughts on “As Above, So Below…on the Guitar

  1. Hi Adam. I love reading your blog. I constantly find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with your philosophy of music. It is something much deeper than just playing the right notes. It comes from the soul.

    Its great how you emphasise groove above virtually all else. I now find myself doing the same. Its just hard to grasp some of the concepts when you don’t have any formal education. I find myself mostly relying on my instincts, and feel. Which is good i suppose, but I am lacking some basic knowledge which holds me back. But its a journey and I’m in it for the long haul. I just recently bought the ‘whole enchilada’ from your website. I hope this will help to steer me in a good direction. Cant wait to get in to it.

    Just wanted to thank you very much for your contribution to music. You have really inspired me to move forward with my playing and education, as I have been experiencing a ‘plateau’ the last couple of years. Good on ya Raff, all the best.


    • Plateaus are a great sign Kieran! Hang there good and long, the “bursts” are only part of the growth process! Enjoy the Enchilada and keep in touch with questions.

      All the best


      • Thanks so much for the reply, Adam. I have plateaued for a while, and now i feel like I’m ready to push forward. Stumbling across you, your philosophy, and teaching via YouTube has really reinvigorated me to just play, and enjoy it. I will try not to bother you with questions, but thank you for letting me know that I can. I will only ask if I really have to. Can not wait to start groovin.

        Thanks Adam
        Have a good one


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