Are You Still A Rookie Guitar Player?
In the beginning stages of learning guitar, it is exciting, new, and fun… and you know what, it should be. If something is not fun the first time you try it, you might try it again if you have to, but likely you will not participate by choice. You will lack confidence that it will benefit your life or situation and some way and you will not follow through. Totally understandable.
Some students come to guitar lessons with intensity and purpose. This makes the teacher’s job very enjoyable and easy. However there are some students that just want to learn some of their favorite songs. They want to learn that famous guitar riff they know from their favorite albums.
That’s all well and good, IN THE BEGINNING.
Now I’m going to dig my nails in. If you have been playing guitar for 3+ years, and they only thing you know on your instrument is your favorite songs or pieces of songs, you are a “rookie.” You produce music by putting your fingers in the right place. However, you are not yet a musician.
Before you shoot up your defenses and scream blasphemy at the screen let me explain because I am saying this from a good place.
First off, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with just learning your favorite songs and maintaining a steady repertoire. You can make beautiful music by mimicking other musicians your entire life. I am not bashing you are anyone you know that only knows how to copy other musicians because you know what,
THAT’S HOW ALMOST EVERYONE STARTS TO LEARN MUSIC.
To advance in anything in life requires a certain amount of expertise. To be a gardener, you must understand certain things about weather, soil condition, plant food, watering habits, and sunlight conditions for your plan. It’s very fun to just plant and pray but the results can be inconsistent and lackluster.
If you want to be an architect, a package of legos will do you good in the beginning, you know… when you’re a child dreaming of becoming an architect. Here’s the thing, if you execute something but don’t know what you are executing, you are a beginner.
That is not to say you must know EVERYTHING before you can call yourself a master. A master admits that they do not know everything. On the contrary, a master does not have to admit that they know a lot about a lot.
There are many elements to being a good musician and as a musician (notice I said musician, not guitarist). If you copy your favorite songs without learning the language of music or learning about what you are doing and WHY you are doing it you are an amateur guitar player.
Here is a list of things that you must know to break out of the rookie guitar player stage.
- Memorize the notes on your Low E and A string
- Know all the open chords, there’s about 10 in all.
- Master your barre chords on the 6th and 5th strings
- Be able to find the beat of a song, and keep it without losing it the whole song
- Understand the very basics of music theory such as finding the notes and chords in a major key.
“You would be amazed how many students come to me after taking YEARS of lessons with other teachers and still don’t have a clue about what they are doing.
Instead, they can move their fingers in a rehearsed way that ends up producing sound, but they are not yet making music” says Josh Beetler at http://www.tauntonguitarlessons.com “It’s an easy fix, but you have to do the work, and the music starts to speak for itself.”