Skip to content
Close

Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Help me focus my learning / practice


(@cthulboohoo)
New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hi, new here. New at guitar too. Not a new musician - I've played drums for something like sixteen years and minored in jazz theory and performance in college. I recently picked up guitar, so I could actually put some of that neat theory I learned to use, but also to learn to be an awesome pop / rock / indie / folk / funk player.

I do have a teacher, and he is helping me focus on particular areas, but the problem is that I really want to learn a much wider set of skills than just the stuff we have time to go over in lessons.

With my teacher, I'm working on learning the notes on the fretboard, sight reading, jazz chords and theory, and finger training exercises. I imagine that we will continue to focus on jazz work, which is fine, because my end goal is to be a functioning jazz player.

However, there is a lot of stuff I need to learn in order to play the music I love, which is definitely not limited to jazz.

- I want to be an awesome rock, pop, and funk rhythm guitarist. However, jazz doesn't really focus on strumming patterns or power chords. And the chords for "Autumn Leaves" probably won't appear in "Billie Jean," "She Said She Said," or "Call Me Maybe." What's the best way to practice / learn rhythm guitar for pop / rock / funk type stuff?

- I want to focus on ear training, playing by ear, and transcribing. This means hearing chord progressions, intervals, etc., but I'm terrible at this. How do I start this?

- I want to get the necessary skill to play with people as soon as possible, not in a jazz setting, but in an indie rock / garage band setting. What are the most important skills to develop, and how do I develop them?

- I want to learn both acoustic and electric. To that end, I have both an acoustic and electric guitar. Should I start with one and worry about the other later, or is it okay to do both at once?

- Am I far too ambitious? It's hard not to be, because I have this huge theory and music background, that's making learning from square one both amazing because of the many paths I can take and frustrating because of how many more paths I want to take.

Sorry about the wall of text.
TL/DR: Just answer the bullet pointed questions.

Read my blog, in which I track my guitar learning and muse about other musical things.


Quote
(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

- I want to be an awesome rock, pop, and funk rhythm guitarist. However, jazz doesn't really focus on strumming patterns or power chords. And the chords for "Autumn Leaves" probably won't appear in "Billie Jean," "She Said She Said," or "Call Me Maybe." What's the best way to practice / learn rhythm guitar for pop / rock / funk type stuff?

By doing it. Pick out some tunes you like in each genre and start playing along. With your percussion background you shouldn't have much of a problem transcribing the timing - start listening for the little details, like when chords are muted or accented.
- I want to focus on ear training, playing by ear, and transcribing. This means hearing chord progressions, intervals, etc., but I'm terrible at this. How do I start this?

Start with easy intervals: octaves first, then perfect fifths. Learn to sight sing if you can. Use ear training software or websites (a good one is [url]http:/www.good-ear.com[/url]). Try to transcribe tunes, then play back what you've written. For hearing chord progressions, start by focusing on function - is it happy or sad? Tense or stable? Then use your theory knowledge to try to guess what it leads into, and try it out on the guitar.
- I want to get the necessary skill to play with people as soon as possible, not in a jazz setting, but in an indie rock / garage band setting. What are the most important skills to develop, and how do I develop them?

The ability to make friends. Grab your acoustic guitar and take it outside. Play in a park, on a beach, or by a college. You'll meet other musicians. Maybe they'll ask you to jam with them. If they don't, you suggest it.
- I want to learn both acoustic and electric. To that end, I have both an acoustic and electric guitar. Should I start with one and worry about the other later, or is it okay to do both at once?

Perfectly OK to work on both at once. Techniques are virtually identical, although some are easier on one or the other.
- Am I far too ambitious? It's hard not to be, because I have this huge theory and music background, that's making learning from square one both amazing because of the many paths I can take and frustrating because of how many more paths I want to take.

Yeah, but so what. You only achieve high goals if you set them first.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


ReplyQuote