Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

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


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As I Began to Love Myself: Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

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How to Do Outrageous Musical Marketing

I’d like to give you something to think about based on my real life results in terms of getting gigs, magazine coverage, and excellent word-of-mouth promo.

There is zero BS here. Enjoy and please comment!

Concept 1: MUSICIANS HAVE TO MARKET THEMSELVES. THAT MEANS YOU (and me too).

You and I are running businesses, we are not only artists.

A hard pill for many of us musicians to swallow is that we all need to market ourselves.

If this makes you shiver, feel un-artistic, or think I am a fraud – WAKE UP! Any business, no matter what their product or service is, has to market themselves.

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A Personal Transparent Update & 2014 plans

Hey Gang!

I have been a little off the internet radar lately, and I must apologize for a lag in posts, emails, youtube videos and all that good stuff.

It has been a VERY busy time for me actually. I will quickly get you up to speed, and I promise to post & blog from the road over the next few months.

Here is the God’s honest transparent news update that I’d give you if you were drinking a coffee with me right now.

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An Amazing and Creepy Coincidence

This is too weird. Enjoy…

When I attended the High School for the Humanities in NYC I was in the graduating class of 1986.

At the time I was a 17 year old aspiring classical guitarist, practicing hard for my first year of college in the conservatory.

A few of my high school teachers were “guitar aficionados” and one in particular, “Mr. S”, encouraged me very much. I’ll never forget when he said “You’ll be the Pepe Romero of the year 2000!” This was incomprehensible to me.

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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.

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7 Tips for Making a Great Fingertsyle Guitar Recording (and…it’s not about the equipment!)

I just had the pleasure of spending some time in my home studio recording a few solo tunes.

During the past few days I have experienced the range of emotions from elation to frustration, mainly with my own guitar playing.

I’d like to share some insights with you. The following applies to do-it-yourself home recordings as well as sessions where you go to a pro studio.

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How a Digital Diet Can Make You a Happier Person

HI Gang!

For those of you who are tech junkies, I’d like to tell of my journey on “the other side.”

The following negative experience had a very profoundly positive effect on my music and concentration.

On March 7, 2013 I was robbed while on tour. My backpack with my laptop and many other personal items was suddenly gone.

2 hours before a concert I had to freeze bank accounts, close credit cards and change passwords to 15 websites in a flash, because like an idiot I had no master password on the machine.  The stress was terrible!

Yet…the strangest thing happened about 10 days after the theft.

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10 Tips for Healthy Guitar Practicing

I’m gonna give you some straight talk about practicing guitar and taking good care of your body and hands.

This is especially relevant today since so many people are self taught from videos and don’t have a real life teacher for feedback.

The “He / She Never Stops Practicing” Myth – Debunked!

One of the favorite “myths” that fans and students hold in mind is that “great musicians practice 24 hours a day, to the exclusion of everything else and that’s why they are so good!”

People always ask me how “many hours a day I practice”  and I see that they are living exactly this fantasy of “wow you are a dedicated artist who practices all the time!”

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The Day I Got My Butt Kicked in Harlem

He showed up for his first music lesson with the master, with his saxophone case in hand.

As they chatted for the first time, he told the teacher “I think I am one of the best sax players in town.”

The teacher answered “It would be nice if someone else thought that as well.”

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That’s a true story that one of my teachers, Mike Longo told me.  It just goes to show, that when we are in our own little world, we think we’re pretty good.

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Commitment vs Flirtation

Hi Gang!  I am back in NYC for a short breather between tours…

On the road recently someone came up to me and said “man, I worked on your version of Superstition for like 5 months and still couldn’t get it perfect.”

My reply was “only 5 months?”

I explained to him that he needs to dive in with a full ongoing commitment and not watch the clock or calendar.

Like this:

I’m gonna play this arrangement no matter how long it takes to learn and practice.  If I can play one note, then I can play two.  I’ll play those 2 until they sound good, then I’ll add note 3.

I’ll do a little every day and it will surely build.  I’ll sand the edges, work on the groove, listen hard, and allow improvements to reveal themselves with time.

I’ll be mindful that my hands feel good and my whole body feels the groove as I play. One day it will sound good.

I’ve been “hammering”  at all my guitar arrangements for the past 6 years – and there’s no end in sight.

The real issue is not about guitar….it’s about “commitment” vs “flirtation”.

I can feel in me when I “flirt”  with something vs when I totally “commit.”

Things like playing chess, fooling around with electric bass or drums – and even figuring out other guitarists riffs – these are fun things that add richness to my life – but it’s flirtation.

Playing slow scales, practicing my arrangements (and now learning easy Bach Preludes on the piano) and 30 minutes a day of meditation  are “commitments”.

Because they are “commitments” I can relax and breathe as I do the work.

I don’t try to practice everything in a day.  I am mindful of relaxation in my hands, neck, shoulders and I don’t “overdo”.  The fact that I plan to spend the rest of my life on this stuff helps me chill out!

(Please note – I am not saying you have to be a pro and spend hours a day.  You can be a hobby player and commit to practicing a piece of music in the way that I am saying.)

Only after a good long period of time do results show.  There’s a sweetness to knowing and feeling that I’ve (you’ve) accomplished just a little something by coming back to it again and again.

The moral of the story is….hobbies are ok, flirtation with stuff is fun and ok – but committing is also ok too.

The opposite of immediate gratification is one of the sweetest satisfactions in life!  Don’t miss out.

Know where you stand – and if there something you early really want, put it in your focus and never look away!  The “out projecting” of your vision will in fact, create the “thing”  or experience in real life.