Have you ever felt like you've been stuck in the same place, not really progressing, and thinking, "Why on earth am I not improving??!!".
If that is you, then don't worry. Because i've been there too and can hopefully give you some good advice on how to crawl out of the cave you've been living in for years.
Unfortunately, it takes effort... But here goes...
Well, this is a no brainer really.. Because you want to get better right? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this post.
Another reason why, is this... look at the musicians who influence you to play. How do you think they got better? By sitting around, playing a G major scale and hoping for the best? NOPE, they got out there, they played with other people, they researched new techniques, and studied other musicians.
When it comes to WHAT you need to do, it is a tough one to address, because there are literally so many things you can do. The best way that I can suggest, would be to beg, borrow, or BUY (not steal!), books of Music Theory and how to apply it to what you are playing.
A lot of people get turned off by the term 'Music Theory'. But take my advice (or don't), but Music Theory WILL IMPROVE YOUR PLAYING. It's not geeky, or nerdy. But Clapton, Mayer, Gilmour, Hendrix, they all knew and had at least a basic knowledge of Musical Theory and how to apply it. It literally is the key to unlocking a musical part of yourself, that you probably never even knew that you had,
It's due to having this attitude, that I was able to self teach myself everything I know about Theory, and managed to pass my ABRSM Music Theory Grade 3 exam. I have hopes to get to Grade 5, and complete my Guitar grades.
Some great books that I've used to further my knowledge, and progression in music are:
- Guitar Theory for Dummies by Desi Serna
- Music Theory for Dummies by Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer
- ABRSM Music Theory in Practice Book Series by Eric Taylor
Stop procrastinating (if you're not familiar with this term, it means; stop sitting around and just do it!).
Seriously though, we all know the old saying 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. This is true. It took time. Do you think Mayer could have just rocked up and played the stuff he does with the Grateful Dead 15 years ago? Probably not. But through what he has learned over those 15 years, he can, and now, does. And does it very well.
The bottom line, is get out there, buy a book (one of the ones above are good), and get to work. If you don't know scales, learn scales. If you don't know chords, or how to build them. Learn how to build them.
I've just written a book on basic music theory and the Nashville Number System. In the book I explain how to apply knowledge of the basics, and how to build chords. This is a good place to start.
You can get my book here.
Let me know what you guys think of the book, and also your thoughts on how you've progressed, by using the contact form on the home page.
That's all for now!
Thanks folks, and happy practicing!