Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

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

How To Create Info Products from the Heart (and a Guitar DVD Update..)


I recently read an article by a buddy of mine named Rob Cubbon.  He describes the state of mind & spirit he was in while creating a few of his e-books in his post “My Rules of Product Creation.

While creating his first one, he was stressed and it felt like rolling a rock uphill.  In contrast, the second one just “happened”  by itself.  Oddly – the second one which was infused with joy and ease is also preferred by his readers and sells better.

I’ve had the same thing happen when I record CDs under stress, so I know full well what he was describing.

I was starting to feel a similar process regarding the upcoming Guitar Instructional DVD which I plan to shoot later this summer.

The (Scrapped) Original DVD Plan…

A few weeks ago I started preparing my lessons for a “funk and r&b grooves for fingerstyle acoustic guitar” dvd.  It’s a perfectly good, focused idea…people who want that “style” would be intrigued.

I had come up with very interesting lessons, but…as I got deeper in, it just felt “off.”

It felt like I was forcing a high school paper that had to be finished.  There was no joy in it. My shoulders were getting tighter by the minute.

The “gut” started telling me “no fun.”

It was becoming an “I should do this”  type of assignment rather than “I love this.”

I kept asking myself….

  • Would it really make students happy?
  • For people who don’t improvise and are looking to learn songs, what good is a “rhythmic concept?”
  • Why would people need this?
  • How is this better than my Stevie Wonder DVD where they actually learn “Superstition?”
  • If you asked me in 30 seconds to tell you what this DVD was about….I couldn’t. Not a good sign!

I was plagued by these questions.

The Gut Check and the Shift

It’s always important to do a gut check.

First I had to go back and ask myself “What is my goal?”

Is the goal to simply “create a product”  or is it something more?

I got clear…my goal is to get “students hearts pounding with the enjoyment and love of  playing guitar!”

The New Idea

That’s when I thought…I know they’ll love playing “Jill’s Song” which is a ballad…

My gut and soul said “Yes!”  even though this was way off from a funk and groove idea…

And then, I thought…”am I willing to scrap the first DVD idea?”

Oh boy, I had invested hours in a particular direction, but I knew I had to have the courage to start over – if that’s what was needed.

When I thought “I’m going to teach 4 songs  and give the students joyful music to play” my body literally felt warm and relaxed. It’s crazy how the body knows the truth.

So…the next DVD will be titled something along the lines of “How To Play the Fingerstyle Guitar Favorites of Adam Rafferty Vol 1.”

  • Jills Song
  • Harlem
  • Rolling With the Ashes
  • The Hippie Dance
  • Some nifty FREE bonuses TBA…

The Feeling of YES…

What I want to convey to you is that I found my way to a feeling of “YES” in contrast to what I was feeling before.

  • Yes! Lots of good stuff in here…a ballad, harmonics, a dropped D tuning piece, some blues, some funk and some good ol’ county boy thumb picking a la Chet Atkins & Merle Travis.
  • Yes! It’s a nice, fun healthy mix of guitar styles, and it’s all not too hard to play.
  • Yes! This will be fun for them to learn and play.

In Conclusion

It’s always good to to the gut check when creating, working, and interacting with others.

Of course certain things require discipline and follow through, and may not always feel “fun.”  However, the body and gut are the ultimate “radar”  which should be used in conjunction with the mind.

PS – I will finish the instruction on funk & grooves, so if that did sound cool to you, don’t worry it’s not in the trash.  It’s a little more like a “college course”  which will be appropriate as a “technique and musicianship”  type lesson rather than a guitar lesson.


Author: Adam Rafferty

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

14 thoughts on “How To Create Info Products from the Heart (and a Guitar DVD Update..)

  1. Dear Adam, your guitar playing serves as an inspiration and your writing helps me to focus on what´s important. Any DVD you make would sell, but I would be happier buying it knowing that you made it with a good feeling for yourself. And Jill´s Song is a beautiful piece, the ending is logical yet stunning!

    • Oh man, thank you. You bring up a good point…

      “Any DVD you make would sell”

      The point is – AFTER you get the DVD, does it “LIGHT YOU UP!!!!” or do you just say “it’s alright.”

      I’m not looking only to the 40 yard line of selling you a DVD. I’m looking for the touchdown…giving inspiration.

      This is the crux of all the current “online marketing” jabber and a point that a guy like Seth Godin always brings up. There’s marketing for marketing’s sake, and there’s marketing because you actually want to make a difference!!!!

      Stay tuned, DVD should be ready in Fall 2013 if all goes according to plan….

  2. Great post Adam — thanks for reminding us that it’s important to establish goals that tie into our life’s purpose; that’s the best way to keep energy, efforts and projects aligned with the soul. As you point out, “… the body knows the truth.” And the work will be better as well. Please keep these posts coming, they’re extremely valuable – best, TD.

    • Thanks Dog! All goals have to be in alignment with purpose….when we are out of that alignment we just feel bad and “off.” Actually the feelings are to serve a “guide” to know whether we are in alignment, rather than be the final goal 🙂

  3. Adam, I’m really honored you mentioned me in such a great article. And I would think enjoyment is so central to what you do as music is such an emotional thing to do – compared to what I do!

    I’ve watched a lot of your videos and I love you do justice to Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Tom Jobim, Bill Withers, etc., whereas I just strum around (with a plectrum) and sing (badly). 🙂 I thought you were reminding me of Adrian Legg who I used to listen to ages ago but actually you’re really different guitarists. Anyway, I’m still loving your stuff and that’s the main thing.

    I love your accent on personal development, spirituality and being happy as well. I’m trying to enthuse all this into my work as well – with varying results!

    • Thanks Rob. Actually the covers are cool, but I am HAVING to write more…which is good, for all angles – publishing, teaching and youtube copyright issues…. Other peoples tunes become very hard to make my own info products! 🙂

      Rob when you get a chance can you redirect me to your MAMP setup article…I got a new machine and need to reinstall, etc! Talk soon!

  4. Hi Adam,

    I’ve read your comment on Rob’s post “My Rules of Product Creation” and I thought I’d follow you here. I wasn’t thinking of reading your post but you got me hooked reading it to the end.

    First off, also play guitar but not as good as you. I play because I love to sing. However, my husband is the musician. He can play his guitar very well and do a good lead guitar in any song just by hearing it.

    Also, he sells guitar as well. His biggest entities on eBay are: Martin, Guild, Taylor…just to mention a few that I can remember. In fact, he got me a lady guitar by Guild and I love the way it plays on this one. I can also hook this on amplifier if I want to. It’s really great to play this guitar, I love the way it sounds.

    I love that video of you playing the guitar. I love finger style instead of strumming. I believe you can make a great DVD tutorials on his one with all the songs you love.

    I can pluck my guitar in some of the songs. Like Valentine by Kina Grannis, for instance. I love her style. And most of the songs I like are ballad, folk songs, maybe rock too like the Beatles, but most of the ones I play are just peppy & happy songs. A little rock & contemporary.

    Anyway good luck on making your new product. Have a nice day!


    • Angela, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the good wishes. I have 3 DVDS where I teach cover songs and they are quite popular, so this is a bit of a maiden voyage to stray from that format….please stay in touch and regards to your husband!


  5. Hi Adam,

    Read your comment on Rob’s post – My Rules of Product Creation. and I thought I’d follow you here. Your post got me hooked reading it to the end.

    Keep the good work, man..

  6. (This message was cross-posted on Facebook).

    I was so looking forward to your Funk Video and now that it’s delayed, I fell disappointment. I didn’t want another set of cover songs (even though that might be great, too). I like your funky acoustic style and want to know how to do it.

    What I’m looking for:

    I want a video that gives me the tools to make funky arrangements for myself. I currently play backing of some songs with (limited) bass and would like to know how to do it better. The kind of songs that I’m playing are JB songs (“I Got You”, “Cold Sweat”, “Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag”), Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and a song I wrote called “Inspired By Ray”.

    The video would show me:

    * basic grooves, anticipation notes
    * funk progressions (beyond i-IV)
    * mapping a groove to a song
    * how to develop and intersperse harmonies with the groove
    * what kind of positions work, using open strings
    * building up the song
    * percussive techniques, ghost notes
    * leaving space or greater impact
    * how to develop horn lines

    The style of Hot Licks videos would be ideal. I particularly like Danny Gatton’s “Strictly Rhythm Guitar” and Joe Dalton’s “Country Jazz Guitar”: they both have lots of ideas to work with and examples of playing (Gatton’s video is especially good).

    I have a lot of hope for this project. In the meantime, I just got the Stevie Wonder video (after pushing it off forever) so I have what to work on.

    I really like the arrangements you’ve done so far, they’ve been an inspiration! I hope that this project gets off the ground again in the near future.

    – Yossie

  7. Yossie,

    Thank you for this response. It actually gives me hope in the project which I will finish…but maybe as a PDF with online videos, membership thing…not sure yet.

    You are one of the fewer players who is looking for tools rather than songs.

    Due to the expense of shooting a DVD I have to aim at a bigger group of people right now – and the audience is a huge consideration.

    People like learning from video, and I have a shoot already lined up. I’d like to do high quality shoots in addition to the garage style youtube things!

    This funk info (I already wrote about 90 pages) is made up of exercises, listening assignments and playing homework to help you sharpen your tools. I promise to finish it!


    This is the big problem. I can’t teach songs in print or on video without licensing…so I’d need to write some more cool tunes in this style…

    Please keep posting on my wall, it’s all good and will help me understand what you and other people want. I am sure responses will be varied.

    All the best


  8. very expressive, speaks volumes…love it

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