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Stan van de Kerkhof's website for Guitar Bass Strategy Motivation Lessons/links and VIP's.




FAQ English

Read my motivation-tips

  1. What is THE most important of all?
  2. What do I have to do each day to become a Top-player?
  3. How can I play most accurate?
  4. What is the BEST way to practice?
  5. Who are your biggest Enemies?
  6. How can I get rid of too much tension?
  7. What is the benefit of playing Paganini-pieces?
  8. What are arpeggio's and what are they good for?
  9. How do I write a song?
  10. Is my Pickhand important?
  11. How do I play a nice Solo?
  12. What is a Tennis-elbow?
  13. How do I hold the Pick?
  14. What is THE most important rule in music?
  15. How do I concentrate?
  16. What is necessary to become a good musician?
  17. What is my GOAL, What do I want?
  18. How do I become a PRO?
  19. Are my ears important?
  20. Do I need Scales?
  21. What are Cadences?
  22. Keeping a log....why?
  23. The Stopwatch!
  24. What IS practising?
  25. What are the Most Copied Artists & Bands in the Musicschool?
  26. What is the technique of Triggering?
  27. The BSD technique
  28. The RITMOS Technique

How can I play most accurate?

Place your fingertips as close to the frets as you can

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What is the BEST way to practice?

To start off with, on forehand you have to know WHAT you're going to practice (and why!!), so make a checklist. Play your weak parts 3 times as much, play every day ( see my Daily practice and 1-minute programs. Do not worry if it sounds bad, you are practicing things you cannot play yet, remember?. During playing don't THINK but feel & hear. Before starting make a deal with yourself, where you are going to pay attention to.

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Who are your biggest Enemies?

Number ONE is FEAR! Are you afraid of coming mistakes? (you didn't play them yet!) Number TWO: unwanted sounds from open strings etc...

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How can I get rid of too much tension?

Pay attention, try to feel from your left-fingertips through your arm, over your neck, down the right arm, to your fingertips and notice where you're having tension. (we make movement NOT tension). To get rid of tension, exaggerate it, hold on to it a couple of seconds, let loose and notice how you did that, practice this and think of it everyday, it'll go away!

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What is the benefit of playing Paganini-pieces?

You are going to be a fast learner,rememberer and thinker. Playing Paganini keeps you alert, and makes you want to play difficult techniques. BTW Paganini is the founder of todays heavy music. You'll find his techniques in many styles!


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What are arpeggio's and what are they good for?

An Arpeggio is a broken chord. (played string for string-upwards and/or downwards). Sometimes they appear in modern music, that's true, but most of all we can learn a lot from them. Whenever you do something wrong (tension, wrong position of hands etc..) it won't go, time to consider your faults!

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How do I write a song?

You start with an idea (CD-cover,Movie,Book etc...etc...) then write down the Keywords and see yourself as a moviedirector, make with these Keywords a Movie, all scenes are good, because they bring you to other ideas and keywords. Also buy yourself a Rhyming Dictionairy. Practice a couple of phrases EVERY day, you'll be an expert in ONE month! Articles from


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Is my Pickhand important?

Your Pickhand is THE most important one, the pickhand makes your sound. (soft, hard, melodic, aggresive etc...). In general you play with your ARM and NOT with your hand, keep your hand still. The rythm comes from the same movement as the HiHat-arm of the drummer.


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How do I play a nice Solo?

Ask yourself- HOW does it have to sound? This is the idea behind it, make it exciting, pull attension, make BIG differences! (high-low, hard-soft, short-long, fast-slow etc...)
Another thing: listen to the rest of the music, they will inspire you, place yourself in the same situation as the idea/story of the song, listen to the singer, he asks, you give the answer, try to speak the same language (with your instrument) like the singer (agressive, romantic etc.)


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What is a Tennis-elbow?

You'll get a Tennis Elbow as you strain the muscles attached to the bone of your elbow, they rip loose, bit by bit, and it hurts!!. Make no habit of pulling your wrist backwards (computers-mouses!!). Remember, a tennis elbow only cures after 9-12 months of TOTAL rest! (=NO playing!) and it will stay a soft spot all your life. So be Careful! Pain means STOP!.


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How do I hold the Pick?

Straight from every angle (to the strings). Hold it between 3 fingertips with a flat hand, resting on the upper strings to mute them, move with your ARM not with your hand itself, NO tension. Try to imitate a mandoline-tremolo, if that sounds OK you're doing well, practice this everyday!


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What is THE most important rule in music?

If it SOUNDS (!) good you're doing it well!


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How do I concentrate?

To concentrate is nothing more than asking yourself questions, not a lot people know that, What, Why, Where, When, Who, How etc... So: WHAT do I pay attention to, WHEN do I study, What do I want to learn, What are my weak spots etc.....


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What is necessary to become a good musician?

  1. Motivation: you must WANT to become a good musician.
  2. Organisation: Organise WHAT you want to play, WHEN are you going to study, HOW you deal with weak spots, WHAT kind of music do you want to play, WHICH style you're going to be good in, etc....


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What is my GOAL, What do I want?

You have to let music sound GOOD! (whichever instrument), this is THE most important, not only play the right notes.......So, listen to the loudspeakers and not to the sound from YOUR instrument alone.


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How do I become a PRO?

Eh......well...THAT isn't easy. First: you have to be very good in your profession (instrument). Second: you have to have a very good skill in communicating with others. Third: you have to think commercial. Fourth: you have to be willing to work yourself a &%$#&%$# everyday. Read the music-magazines/papers get in touch with musicians etc.
You are NOT going to be famous in your garage, go out and play!, be heard anytime, anywhere, apply for bands on tiny notes in supermarkets, ask the proffesionals, they KNOW how to earn a living in music. Do it....Do it today, do NOT wait, Do it EVERY day, Stick to it and you WILL succeed!


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Are my ears important?

If you're BLIND, will you become a fighterpilot?


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Do I need Scales?

In our daily lives we are using our alphabeth, to read, write etc. We are doing that with 26 letters and 10 digits, we can do almost anything with that, consider what happens if you don't know the alphabeth, well it is possible but a 100 times harder. In music we have also an alphabeth, our scales/modes, you can play without them but it is a 100 times harder. If you don't have to worry about the notes, ONE thing remains: making MUSIC!

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What are Cadences?

And the end of musical phrases you will usually find a Cadence. A cadence is a musical comma or fullstop. There are four cadence-types

  1. Perfect (V-I/I-V-I/IV-V-I/I-IV-V-I) and Plagal (I-IV-I/I-IV-I/V-I-IV-I/I-V-I-IV-I) these are the musical full-stops
  2. Interrupted (I-V/IV-V) and Imperfect (V-other chord) these are the musical commas. Here you may replace the chords by their substitudes (laying 2 steps upwards or downwards in the scale)
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Keeping a log....why?

It seems that after 3 days most people forget about 80% what has been said, or what has been learned, this is a pity, maybe you forgot one of the best ideas in your whole life!! Keeping a logbook solves this problem. Write down the KEYWORDS of all your ideas etc read it back so every now and then and you'll be amazed what new ideas will come up, which you write down again in your logbook

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The Stopwatch!

The biggest obstacle on your way to the most famous (bass)guitarist of the world is TIME MANAGEMENT. What does that mean?. Everybody knows he has to practice, which is done very well, mostly in the beginning, but after a while you start skipping a day (I'll do that tomorrow, no time today etc). The secret is: study every day, use Momentum. Don't do too much today, otherwise you'll be in trouble tomorrow (time!). Here is where the stopwatch comes in handy. Put the thing on 15 minutes and STUDY (be smart, only useful things you need) until the alarms goes off, then you'll know that you:

  1. Improved
  2. Did your duty
  3. Used momentum
  4. Made a step towards your goals
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What IS practising?

  1. Practising=making it better
  2. Making it better=before you start, think what are you going to make better
  3. During practising, pay attention if you are making it better!
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What are the Most Copied Artists & Bands in the Musicschool?

You can find a list Here

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What is the Technique of Triggering?

Whenever you are performing, you have to put (=trigger) yourself in a peak-state. What I mean is, if you're playing blues p.ex., you have to THINK blues.....HOW do we do that? It's actually simple....let's stick to the blues for this moment...
Let's say you want to play like B.B.King. Have you ever seen him perform, on video, live or something? Imagine yourself BEING there, on stage, standing right next to him. SEE him standing there, HEAR him play, SEE the audience, HEAR the band, FEEL the warmth, SEE the spotlights, etc... so in short, PLACE yourself there! MOVE like him, STAND like him, DANCE like him, BREATH like him, SWEAT like him, everything you can imagine about him. Now don't THINK, just PLAY like him.
Triggering is one of the most useful techniques during playing music. Try to do this ALWAYS and you will become better and better, in fact you will become an expert in this and then one day, you'll be triggering YOURSELF!!

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The BSD technique

A very clever way which improves your playing is using the BSD-technique. BSD stands for Brief-Study-Debrief.

  • Brief yourself:
    • Make an agreement with yourself What you're going to study and pay attention to.
  • Study
    • During studying, do not think!, just percieve and observe, which means: hear the result and feel wether you are doing something wrong (or right).
  • Debrief yourself:
    • Confer with yourself what went wrong and what improved and take notice. (usuable for the next BSD)
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The RITMOS technique

To remember solos, pieces, playing-techniques etc....I always use the RITMOS-technique. RITMOS stands for: Repetition Is The Mother Of Skill
This consists of a Time-scheme as follows:

  • Learn the solo, piece, technique (whatever)
  • Repeat within 2 hours
  • Repeat after 4 hours
  • Repeat after 8 hours
  • Repeat after 16 hours
  • Repeat after 1 day
  • Repeat after 2 days
  • Repeat after 3 days
  • Repeat 2 times a week
  • Repeat at least once a week
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What is THE most important of all?

Hands do not play the guitar -the brain does!
Studying=making better=asking yourself questions (where do I have to focus on, if I do this, does that make it better or worse? etc.)
Speed=less tension on the muscles-that's all...

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Stan van de Kerkhof Lingestraat 8 Helmond The Netherlands (+31) 0492-556984