Learning it Right


Yesterday I had a late night guitar lesson with my long-time friend and now guitar instructor Tyler. I must preface, Tyler is absolutely amazing at not only guitar, but music in general.

Recently he has decided to get into teaching on the side and I have the great privilege of being one of his first students. For our first lesson I told him that I would like to learn how to play “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin.

Now I had learned this song in the past with a previous guitar teacher of mine, but it never really sounded that good. This was because my past teacher was simply taught me the basic notes, and not the nuances necessary to make it sound how Jimmy Page makes it so.

Tyler set me straight.

Time and time again I would play the lick to which I would get the same response, of either

“no that’s not quite it,”


“you’re rushing.”

By the end of the night, not only did I learn how to play it correctly, I have been so excited that I have not been able to put my guitar down. I even bought an extension cord so that I can place my amp on my balcony and play it for everyone outside to hear.

I am having too much fun with this.

But the real lesson here is that if you want to learn something, do it right. Don’t do it a half-assed way where I learned how to play some of the notes, but not in the correct rhythm that was necessary to make it sound just as it was written. If you can, find a great teacher and stick with him or her. Listen to what they say and you will be impressed with the results.

I have always been a huge fan of the teachers in my life as I have seen so many times again what they have done for me.

Having Tyler teach me last night was simply amazing and I am looking forward to many more lessons in the future. Hell, soon with the progress that he is helping me achieve I may be on a stage sometime.

And that would rock.


Keep Smiling,



What makes Art


Recently, I became an artist. And it was because I finally created a real piece of art. That begs the question, Nolan what is a “real piece of art?” To which I reply.

A real piece of art is a story.

To understand this, think about Modern Art. I know for some, and at least for myself included, for a long while I thought Modern Art was a bunch of bullshit.

And this was because I did not understand the story.

Jackson Pollock was the greatest example of this to me. I used to simply view his works as paint being thrown upon a canvas. To me this was no art. But this was because I  was ignorant of the story behind Pollock. The struggles in his life, the reasons that he did what he did, who he was.

When I learned about his past it all began to make sense to me. His works were not just random splotches of paint thrown upon a canvas. They were the manifestations of his emotions, his thoughts, himself being thrown upon the canvas.

That was what made it real art.

And this realization is what also made me realize that I too am an artist. I lack the technical brush strokes and the ability to masterfully replicate an image with a pen or pencil, but I do have my mind and my ability to put things together in order to reveal a deeper meaning.

I can make a story.

And I will continue to do so. My art will be just for me, my friends, those close to me, and to those whom I wish to say thank you.

Maybe my works will be worth money some day. But that’s not what it is about. My art is about the story.

And that is what will make it worth it to those that I give it to.


Keep Smiling,





Today I had an idea.

I thought,

“Wow this is a good idea, I am going to blog about it.”

Then I wrote about it.

And then I thought,

“Wow this is not a good blog post.”

So I scrapped it.

Then I got a new idea.

And then I thought,

“Wow this is a better idea, I’m going to write about it.”

Then I wrote about it.

And then I thought,

“Wow this is my post.”



Keep Smiling,


Been Busy, But Good Posts Coming Soon


I want to apologize to the blog for my lack of posting for this past week.

A good amount of things have happened and thus I have been extremely busy, and I simply have not gotten around to writing blog posts this week. But the good news is that if I am not writing blogs, it means things are happening in my life, and thus content for future blogs are being produced.

And now that I realize that, I will now redact my apology. Further, let us from now on call my blog absences unintended creative hiatuses.

(Don’t you just love the culture of embellishing everything these days? Yeah I’m looking at you everyone on LinkedIn)

Though I will also add, that when it comes to writing, I would argue I have to be in the mood. Some days I just feel fits of inspiration where it is so easy to write posts that are stimulating and topical. Some days it’s almost as if there is nothing for me to dig out of my brain.

I was tempted to write a few posts here and there, but I thought that I would rather dedicate some more time to them so that they could be the quality posts that I would really like to have on my blog. But I still felt that I owed my readership something at least so that you all know I am still around. Tonight I will still be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but tomorrow is shaping up to be a slow start to the morning so I will have time to work on a good post,

so look for that.


Keep Smiling,