What Is The Most Important Music or Guitar Thing To Learn?
- Notes in Chords
Of all the things you could be practicing or working on, ear training is by far the absolute most important thing to work on.
Here’s a really bold claim I strongly believe in:
If for the next 365 days you never picked up your guitar, BUT you do ear training every day, a year from now when you pick up your guitar again, you would be a much better musician and guitarist than you are today.
You might need a couple of days or so to get your dexterity back, or to get your song memorization back in shape: but overall you would be a better guitarist and musician.
Your much stronger ear would make it possible for you to learn songs much more quickly, to learn new scales and chords much more quickly, and to understand music theory on a much deeper level.
Here are the links to the ear training pages
Unison, b2, 2
b2, 2, b3
b2, 2, b3, 3
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5, b6
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5, b6, 6
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5, b6, 6, b7
b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7
All intervals: b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, tritone, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7, 8
If you can, practice 3 sessions of 3 minutes a day = 9-minute daily drill.
Following is one of THE best drills to develop your time feel.
Notes In Chords
I’m never going to forget my dad’s answer when I asked him what the most important thing was that I should learn first and foremost.
I was sixteen and had barely been playing guitar for a couple of weeks when I asked him that question. My father is a really good musician. He started learning accordion with a reputable teacher when he was six years old. I was excited about the great advice I was sure dad was going to give me. At the very least, I was hoping or expecting to get some cool, fun pointers or tricks to propel me forward and keep me motivated at the start of my guitar journey.
Dad’s response, “Kid, it’s absolutely imperative that you memorize all the notes in all the chords!”
I was dumbfounded! Here I was at the beginning of my guitar journey, and the best, most exciting advice dad could come up with was to memorize the notes in all chords.
At the time that advice seemed beyond silly. I felt pretty sure there had to be quite a number of things that were much more fun and more useful, that I could learn first: chords, rhythms, songs, and so much more. As I became a better musician, however, I understood why dad was adamant I should learn this first. He knew how many major benefits one gets as a result of knowing the notes in chords.
For one, you make better-informed note choices in your guitar solos. Knowing which notes to outline, greatly improves the quality of your guitar solos. Solos become more melodic and connect better to the harmony when you hit more chord tones.
You also spend much less time figuring out chords to songs or to songs you’re writing. When a melody line that you are trying to figure out the chords for starts on a C and ends on an E, that greatly narrows down the number of chord choices that will work well with that melody line. You are more than likely going to want a C or Am chord there.
Other possible, but slightly less likely options, are Fmaj7, Dm9, or any chord that has a C and an E note.
Here are the notes in all major and minor triads
Music is ALL about intervals.
A melody is formed by notes following one another at different intervals.
A chord is x number of notes spaced at different intervals, played simultaneously.
When you understand and know intervals really well, you are a major step forward in understanding melody and harmony on a much deeper level.
I’ve written a ton of blogs about intervals.
When you visit and study all the pages that I linked to on the following blog about intervals, you’ll make huge steps forward in your interval knowledge.
The Study of Musical Intervals
Hit me up anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.
These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.
That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.
If you want to see amazing results and progress in your guitar playing, buy your first lesson here and get started ASAP.
You’ll impress your friends and loved ones in no time with your guitar playing!
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