I was inspired after reading an article by Dylan Madden.

He has a website called Calm and Collected. Check it out.

He writes about hustling and making money online and I began to think about what I could do to connect guitar and hustling. In essence, thats what great guitar players do.

They Hustle.

The following is my personal take on taking things to the next level:


The Way of the Hustler

You have your shit together, a solitary practice room, a practice record with your goals on it, you hustle every single day no days off,  and you practice like a mofo.

In other words, you nail these goals to the wall by taking action day in and day out.

Thats how you hustle. You work on what you need to be doing not always on what you want to be doing.

Now, when you take action, it doesn’t mean mindlessly playing the guitar and ALWAYS enjoying it. You have to have a little bit a’ grit to go through things that will make you grow as a player. You must do, the things you don’t want to do…in order to reach the next level.


Guitar player wants to get better at sweep picking but he or she does the same sweep at the same speed, with the same rhythm…all the time. Never uses inversions, never changes the rhythm, never uses other keys.

Its as simple as 1, 2, 3…to break out of this rut.

Simply test yourself:

  • At a higher speed
  • With different rhythm
  • Use inversions and extensions

Inversions are simply played from the next note of the arpeggio as the first note of your sweep idea.

Extensions are added tones to the arpeggio.For example in A minor you can play an Emb9 arpeggio when you move to the v chord.

So you would play Am then Emb9…or Am, Am7, Dm9, Em Emb9 as another example. The 7s and the 9s are extensions of the arpeggios you use.

The idea is to break out of the rut into something more challenging so that you GROW as a player versus staying stagnant.



Mindset is everything so you need to have your mind right. How do you get your mind right?

Well take a look at this blog here on Iron Age Guitar accessories for starters. It has 7 solid tips on getting your mind right with 2 more articles coming out for a total of 22 tips. Plus they got a whole bunch of cool guitar accessories like picks, knobs and glow in the dark killswitches.

Here’s another hustler making things happen that you can also get mindset tips from.

Check out Ed Latimore.

Yea you might think, “ok this self help shit doesnt work for guitar players, I just wanna shred.”

And while I’ve been there many times, Ive also realized that great guitar players have great attitudes and great minds.

Working on your mind is part of the hustle.

After mindset, you need material, material that challenges you and pushes you forward.

So where do you find this kind of material?

Well, it’s everywhere but it’s not always visible.

You have to go and search for it just like you go to work on your mind every day you got to go and search for challenging material to keep you sharp.

You can do this either through a teacher or you can do it through self discipline and do it on your own.

The next thing you’re going to need is a set of tools:



No, not regular tools… guitar playing tools.

A recorder is very handy.

I met a great singer the other day that said he had never heard himself singing on a recording. Hmmmm, someone hasn’t been hustling in the singing department.

Anyway, it could be your iPhone or any phone. I started recording on cassette tapes. Get used to recording as it has many benefits. Don’t worry about others hearing you either, there is a delete button.

Other tools include:

  • A pencil and a paper, sheet music or tablature paper.
  • A whole lot of attitude and enthusiasm.
  • Fearlessness

You gotta ask yourself questions on a daily basis such as: Are these strings making my journey miserable, or am I pushing right through obstacles.

Am I bending them to my will, or are they beating me every step of the way?

With your mind on backwards, the guitar will defeat you. With your mind on right, you will win at the guitar.

Hustle. Give it all you’ve got.

Don’t back down from challenges, they are the ones that will progress you to the next level.

Hustlers know this.

Hustlers write down ideas wherever they go. In a previous article I mentioned Beethoven (iron age article) and how he would go on walks after composing to clear his mind. Go check that article out.

But the cool thing is that he would get ideas along the way so he always carried a little notebook and jotted them down as they came.

That’s a Hustler. Beethoven was a Hustler.

Dmitri Shostakovich, in the defiance of a dictator, was a Hustler.

Hustling is the name of the game.

Mozart was a Hustler. Johann Sebastian Bach was a Hustler.

Joe Stump is a hustler.

George Bellas is a hustler.

John Petrucci, Vinnie Moore, Tony McAlpine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman are all Hustlers.

These guys put out music, some of them teach, and they do it all over again year after year.

Thats the way of the hustle. They were go getters from the get go. They went and got the inspiration, and the information they needed to accomplish what they set out to do.

What way or path are you on?

Are you Hustling?

Decide to Become a Hustler.

I used to hear that word all the time.


When I was a kid I played baseball, and I was always hearing the word (hustle).

“You gotta hustle Mike.” It finally kicked in.

Hustling is an all in, do whatever it takes mentality.

In baseball you gotta hustle to first base, you gotta hustle to second base, you gotta hustle until you win.

You also gotta hustle out onto the field and hustle back into the dugout. If you didn’t hustle, you got benched.

Being on the bench means you don’t get to play and it does something to your mind.

The guys on the bench have time to think and drift, and their minds wander. While the guys on the field play the game.

You want to be playing the game. You don’t want to be drifting and wandering.

Your mind is your weapon.

It’s also a battlefield, and you must win this battle daily. Hustlers know this and don’t let obstacles get in the way of their daily hustle.

Which leads me to..



Daily obstacles are emails, phone calls, non-go-getters and musicians that don’t take shit seriously. They can also be family members and friends who don’t believe in you or who don’t care about what you do.

Loneliness can be an obstacle.

Thats why you need to make friends online nowadays. Take some time to comment on others videos, to share them and let them know how you feel about it. Stop holding back, you never know what will come of a relationship.

My relationship with Dylan Madden from Calm and Collected happened because I was hustling and I saw that he too was hustling and I wanted to connect. So I hustled my way over to the computer and sent him an email.

It was as simple as that.

Sometimes hustling is very easy and simple.

The hard part is actually doing it.

Just like asking a girl out is very simple, (its just a question), hustling is simply taking action and then following through like you would if it were a date. If she says yes, are you not gonna follow through?

Of course you are. Its easy. Momentum kicks in and you feel like you can do anything.

Just don’t let it become hard by hesitation.

“When you hesitate, your worst fears come true.” – Bodi

The actions are simple. The decisions can be hard. Take the actions and make those decisions because the flip side of that is staying right where you are with no progress.

And… “Progress equals happiness.” – Tony Robbins



There’s a religious story that I’ve heard time and again since I was growing up.

It goes a little something like this.

There were men walking along a path and they came across a big boulder. There was no way around the boulder. There was no way above the boulder.

There was no way under or around it. The only way was to go through it.

So the men started pushing and pushing and pushing to no avail. There was no moving the boulder. Men stood there in bewilderment. They did not know what was going on but they kept pressing on.

Some decided to call it quits but a few of them stayed and one day the Boulder just rolled away.

Know what the hell that story was all about?

The ones that went home gave up on the hustle, and the ones who didn’t were now able to walk through what was once an obstacle, with pure ease.

But here’s the kicker…

…the whole time that they were pushing they were gaining strength.

The obstacle made those men stronger and they left that day with strength to carry-on.

But the carrying on was only carried on by those who stayed.

Obstacles are only if you see them as so.

In other words, obstacles are only if you see them as obstacles. If you see them as opportunities to become stronger it’s a different ball game altogether.

Obstacles are put in the way to make us stronger. That’s why they’re there.

That’s the only reason they’re there.

So that you learn to push through.

Because you’re going to have to sooner or later.

You’re going to have to push through.

You’re going to need that strength that the obstacle made you get.

Decide to become a Hustler.


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