Music Lessons for Justin 3

I am less confused now.The exercises are as difficult and awkward as I imagined.For those of you who might know what I mean, the patterns are: ascending/ascending; descending/descending; ascending/descending; and descending/ascending.I am not so great at the last two because I have avoided them for years.

Also, as masterful as I might feel at times in regard to my guitar playing abilities, there are some other things that just kill me.The other weak spots in my playing that we are working to eliminate are: being able to play any scale or key in one position, I am fairly good at this already; and being able to change keys over a certain number of beats through all twelve keys.I am terrible at the second part.

I have a few students working on scales.I do not suggest working on scales until you can play a number of songs of varying difficulty, open chords, barre chords and have an actual reason for learning scales.‘My friend told me I should learn scales’ is not a good reason.‘I want to learn how to create solos’ or ‘I want to be able to create melodies’ are good reasons.

By the way, scales and chords consist of the same bits.Scales are just played as single notes, and chords are played in clumps.This is why it is important to learn both eventually.

Now I just need to practice every day.We all know how difficult this is to achieve.

-Justin

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2 thoughts on “Music Lessons for Justin 3”

  1. Justin,
    I always hated working on scales, because they seemed rather pointless to me when I was younger and naive. My Berklee student/teacher tried to get me to hammer on them weekly. I resisted. When I asked him to teach me solos, and I began having trouble with both concept and speed, he reminded me of why he was trying to teach me to read and play scales proficiently. In retrospect, I equate this with wanting to build a new home, but having little concept about building a foundation, framing, roofing, etc. Music is like building with blocks. It seems tedious, but all of a sudden it all starts fitting together, starts making sense, and then your begin surprising yourself about what your true capabilities are. Bottom line – you have to build the foundation before you can start painting.

  2. Carl,

    Good points, this is why I wait until students want to learn scales. Even though I am given poor reasons for learning scales, students usually remain interested after I explain better reasons for learning them.

    Justin

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