Makerviews exists to share the stories of and advice from a variety of talented makers, designers, and artists.
Miniviews series - No. 73 with David Potsiadlo
You’ve landed on the seventy-third installment of the Maker Miniviews (mini, two question interviews) series. Learn more about these maker interviews and view a list of all Miniviews.
David Potsiadlo is a maker through and through - this interview focuses on his guitar teaching initiative known as Song Notes. For the past seven years, David has been sharing videos on YouTube that teach other guitar players how to play a variety of different songs, scales and riffs, and learn more about guitar and music theory.
As a content creator, he seems to have really found his stride in recent years. Now, with each free video lesson, he includes in-depth PDF guitar chord charts for his paid supporters. Each release is like a mini course for guitar players to learn from - amazing! I consider David a friend, deeply admire his work, and am stoked to be highlighting him on Makerviews!
Check out this interview with David Potsiadlo!
I'm a Maker Because...
David Potsiadlo interview
What inspires you to keep making things?
"When it comes to my Song Notes project, inspiration is fortunately never a problem -- because there's no end to the amazing music that fuels the guitar lessons I make. Whether it's a classic song or something new from an up-and-coming artist, when a song has its hooks in me it's like there's a mighty wind at my back, pushing me forward.
I feel humbled and honored to share my lessons for each song I learn -- even if there's just one person out there who will find it helpful. I honestly believe music is special, and sharing it is something that's truly an ongoing joy for me."
What one piece of advice would you give to other makers?
"Man, you just gotta start! If you have any itch to make stuff, take that first step -- and see things through. The final products likely won't feel "good enough" at first, but don't give up. Keep moving forward. In the grand scheme of things, you'll zig and you'll zag -- but my experience with guitar-related projects over the past 20 years suggests most things you learn & practice & experiment with will pay off later, often in unexpected ways.
Beyond that, keep things lean if you can, as to not overburden yourself too early. If things get tricky, it's never a bad thing to ask yourself 'what would this look like if it were simple?' This will help you boil things down to their essence, which is vital when you're in that phase of figuring things out. Given time and consistent effort, the cream will rise to the top."
"If you have any itch to make stuff, take that first step -- and see things through..." — David Potsiadlo
David shared a bit more when we connected for this interview. As a musician myself, I understand this hooked “zone” that he references below, and can personally relate to everything he shares.
When it comes to music, and specifically learning to play songs on guitar – for me, it’s a very personal, intimate, and sacred pursuit. Despite my best efforts, I can’t really control the songs that grab me & get stuck in my head. In addition to the high-quality video lessons & PDFs I create – I also take pride in following the thread of great songs that hook me as each months go by, to see where they lead me. It’s my hope that my Song Notes project not only teaches others along the way, but also tells the story of the songs & artists that’ve been the signposts in my life’s journey.
As mentioned, David and I connected a number of years ago, and have stayed in touch on the tech work/web development front and the content creation side of things. I’m a big fan of his guitar tutorials and admire his consistency with everything.
Here’s some recent stats reflecting his years of hard work being more than validated (he’s now beyond 5,000 patrons):
His consistency has grown a subscriber base pushing 300K on YT!— Scott Mathson (@scottmathson) December 22, 2020
And he monetizes via Patreon: exclusive content, PDF guitar chord sheets, engaged community, + more. $3/mo x 4,500 patrons
Awesome example of a thriving creator economy at work!
Example Song Notes lesson: 🎸 Tennessee Whiskey • Solo acoustic guitar lesson w/ tabs (Chris Stapleton) - Lesson 331
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"I feel humbled and honored to share my lessons for each song I learn -- even if there's just one person out there who will..." - David Potsiadlo