Learning to play guitar (or any musical instrument for that matter) requires dedication – lots of it. Luckily, contrary to what some may believe, the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.
If done right, the time you spend practising will be fun, not a chore you have to fulfil in order to achieve your goals.
Like many other guitar players, I have spent hours of frustration studying the “wrong” things or rather, the right things in the wrong order.
At one point, I was studying tons of scales in various positions which, though I found it useful at a later stage, wasn’t what I really needed back then. I was learning all those scales but didn’t have a clue on how to use them when it mattered.
I was spending so much time practising, yet when I tried to play along with other musicians, no ideas would come up. It was so frustrating that at a point I was considering giving up.
Thankfully, instead of giving up, I learnt more. I took lessons on the other pieces of the puzzle, until things started to make sense.
And when I started making sense out of what I was doing, practise started getting fun. I wasn’t just learning various concepts and techniques for the sake of learning new things – I was understanding the meaning behind them and, above all, how to use them.
We live in an age where most of the information we need is at the tip of our fingers. It’s an amazing time to live in but information isn’t that useful unless it is organised and correctly applied.
When I was in my beginner/early intermediate stages of playing, the Internet came along. All of a sudden there was all this wealth of information flooding in, most of the time literally thrown at us for free!
I remembering downloading the tab of the solo of one of my favourite songs, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath from one of the prominent guitar tab sites on the Internet back then.
After hours of struggling unsuccessfully with the first few bars I gave up. It was very disappointing and my motivation level took a blow.
Looking back, the reasons why I failed miserably in learning the solo, are pretty obvious:
- The solo was far beyond my playing capabilities back then
- I didn’t yet know how to learn to play a solo. For instance, I was trying to learn large chunks of the solo rather than zoom in and master a motif (a short melodic idea, just a few notes long) at a time
- The tab was inaccurate!
Despite having all the information available I had no one to show me what the right information was, how to apply it and in what order.
I want to help you to avoid these mistakes so that your musical journey is quicker and more enjoyable.