How To Learn Music & Musical Instruments Faster w/ Josh Turknett

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“Rid yourself of the notion that there are ‘musical' people and ‘non-musical' people. We are all musical.”
— Josh Turknett

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Welcome to this week's episode. Today we are going to explore a topic that really we haven't explored enough, and that is learning about music. We all know that music is so good for our brains, and we know that there are so many benefits to learning a musical instrument besides looking cool at parties. But how do we do it? And more importantly, how can we do it faster and more effectively?

Well today we are joined by Josh Turknett. He is the author of The Migraine Miracle. We talk a little bit about that, but more importantly, he's a neurologist and he's the author medical editor for The Journal of Evolution and Health. And, on top of all that, he's a musician and instrumentalist.

He's the founder of Brainjo, which is a system of musical instruction that really incorporates the Science of Learning and Neuroplasticity. And he's just all around a pretty interesting guy.

In this episode, we talk about learning, we talk about migraines a little bit, and then we go into and kind of geek out on the learning behind music. Can anyone learn how to play music? How can you accelerate your learning of music?  How does it influence your brain? How does it change your brain? It does take us a little while to warm up and really get into the super nitty gritty of it, but I think it is going to inspire you and I think you're definitely going to learn a lot. I certainly got an incredible idea for how I could dramatically improve my memorization of new musical pieces…. And it was this common sense thing that I never thought of.

Hope you guys enjoy it!

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Josh Turknett, and how did he get into the work he does today?
  • How can “ancestral health” prevent or stop migraines?
  • Why did Josh Turknett gravitate towards music, and how does he apply his neurological background towards it?
  • Which embarrassing failure caused Josh Turknett to change the way he learned?
  • How can you actually learn music & hack the process to do it faster?
  • What is “musical fluency” and how can you achieve it? Do you need a teacher?
  • What is “automaticity” and how can you achieve it faster?
  • Why do most people fail at learning to read music?
  • How can you turn your non-music brain into a musical one?
  • The many ways that learning musical instruments actually improves the function of your brain
  • One very powerful tip for improving memorization of songs and various types of music
  • How should you get started if you want to get into music? Which instruments are best for beginners?
  • Will Josh Turknett provide other courses to learn music besides banjo?
  • Are there any other mental hacks that Josh Turknett does?
  • A discussion of the roles of sleep & learning and how they relate

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Josh Turknett:

“That's kind of the fundamental problem of our health care system nowadays: almost all of what we see nowadays are these diseases of diet and lifestyle.”
“The way we eat, the way we live… it's no longer in line with what our bodies are expecting.”
“Knowing what we should be doing is really very different from getting people to actually do it.”
“I've been a learning junkie most of my life. I've always enjoyed the process of acquiring a new skill.”
“Incorporating the science of how the brain changes can really… accelerate the process. A LOT.”
“One of the things that consistently found is that the mass of fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain is bigger in musicians.”
“It tends to make all of cognition improve… creativity, problem solving… complex thinking…”
“All of the theory of music is laid out on the piano.”



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
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  5. Leonia
    at — Reply

    Maybe oarts of the things he has to share are right, maybe not. If I look at him which impact his nurturing and living style has on himself I see a very old looking man! He is year 1973!! That is not old and he looks definitly much older!! If I would not know his birthyear I would guess that he is in his mid-60ies!! A bit concering for someone who claims his lifestyle is suitable for a long life, isn’t it?

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