To begin, as guitarists, we focus on 3 primary skills [these are the vitals – the essential center path]…
- Figuring out melodies by ear → connecting the guitar to voice.
- This also helps us tune our guitar, as well as understanding what we hear and what we play. Playing scales and using them to create melodies also advances us farther into playing what we hear/sing. Melody is the ‘mind’ element. Here’s our session block in Base on this.
- Strumming and changing chords → connecting the guitar to body.
- Strumming is the ‘heart’ element. It is the engine. Strumming a song all the way through is what ‘officially’ makes us intermediate players. Once we can do this, we learn the songs we want to learn, and start writing songs [progressions]. And, this skill also expands into harmonizing melodies.
- Reading music → connects us to history.
- We can build a diverse repertoire using our powers of interpretation. Reading also includes interpreting chord/scale symbols into sound, but written notation is the bigger goal. Everyone can read. It proves true, decade after decade. All reading sessions on the path.
Following skills 1 & 2, our guitar worlds open up. If these steps are skipped, the guitar is still an alien object. And, even as advanced players, these core skills are continually happening. We begin these things immediately if we don’t have them. Base functional.
For reading, it isn’t absolutely mandatory to play, but let’s make it so, just to add depth to our practice. It’s simply awesome, any way you look at it.
Boring? Want to be a maximized musicianer? This is all a process. When we get it happening [our process], wider connections are made. Struggle along the way is a positive sign; however, the type of struggle will evolve over time. If we are struggling with base level things after months, or a year, our process is not working.
Let’s do things right from the start, including focusing on what broadens our musical worlds.