RNA 2: Element Oriented Instruction - Introduction

Summary - A method of acquiring cumulative knowledge of a musical instrument based on an integrated hierarchy of physical and conceptual building blocks.

Overview - Many aspiring musicians are underwhelmed, overstimulated and discouraged by many of the instructional mindsets available.  For various reasons many attempt to engage musical concepts and skills inappropriately with regards to context and precedent knowledge or skill. 

In short, not only do they try to run before they can walk, some have yet to master crawling or even to fully understand the purpose and nature of any movement - or where they want to go in the first place.  The result is frustration, ineffective use of time, and in many cases never achieving their potential on the instrument.  There are great instructors in the reso world that offer very insightful and effective teaching.  My goal is not to discount their technique.  My aim is a more abstract and fundamental basis for thought and action that will enable all who subscribe to benefit even more from such great instructors.  In effect, I intend to provide an additional toolkit and accompanying mindset for traditional instructors to use so that their pupils absorb and integrate knowledge rapidly and in context, instead of only retaining a fraction in usable form while the rest is either discarded in ignorance or neutered to memorized action void of the necessary contextual and theoretical underpinning.

Approaching music with this mindset may be futile, but this is how it works in my brain, and I've seen it work in a few of my students.  This is as much about guiding people to think as it is teaching them music.  This is teaching them to fish.  I firmly believe that outside of the exceptional cases of severe mental or extreme* physical disabilities, individuals who develop critical listening skills and who adhere to a strict hierarchy of knowledge and skills can be accomplished, fulfilled and successful musicians.  I think every individual is capable of more than they realize. With focus and mental discipline the human mind is capable of immense achievement.

This is a work-in-progress that will likely see many updates changes, and revisions.  I'm sure there are errors and areas that need clarification.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions, comment, highlight issues, offer corrections, add insight etc.  My goal is for this to evolve into a thorough and comprehensive approach at learning the resophonic guitar in particular, although much of the concepts are suitible for learning any instrument.  Feedback is not only welcomed but encouraged.



1. Thinking Elementally

2. Learn To Listen To Learn

3. Thought And Action

4. Practical Application

5. Examining Elements

Subscribe to access full article »

User login