Saturday, 5 October 2013

Confession #37 - Play Something, Play Anything!

When I was a teenager, I had, as many teenagers do, a rather myopic view of music, .  I loved new wave, and everything else sucked! 

Fortunately, I outgrew that phase quickly and discovered and enjoyed blues, jazz, rock, reggae, punk, industrial, etc.  And as my 20's turned into my 30's, I came to appreciate the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson (an amazing but overlooked guitar player, in my view), Dwight Yoakam, and Patsy Cline, to name a few.

Maybe you got into the guitar because you loved Jimi Hendrix and wanted to learn to play the Purple Haze, but that doesn't mean you have to limit yourself to just playing Hendrix tunes or rock and roll tunes.

I think there is plenty to be gained from learning to play songs from a variety of musical genres.  My guitar teacher suggested that I learn to play Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Learning to play a song in 5/4 time was a big challenge, but in the process of learning Take Five I was forming connections in my brain that made it easier to to deal with other songs in unusual time signatures.  Learning to play some blues tunes will develop plenty of skills that you can transfer to rock and roll playing.

Hal Leonard has a book of arrangements of children's songs.  The arrangements take the melodies (many of which you'll know well from your own childhood) and then throw in some harmony notes here and there.  These are great finger development exercises for your left hand, and if you take some time to study how and where the harmony notes have been added, you'll learn how to do add harmony notes to your own melodies.

Ultimately, learning to play songs from different genres will make you a better guitar player, so don't be afraid to try!

Guitar books from Sheet Music Plus

100 Songs for Kids 100 Songs for Kids
"(Easy Guitar with Notes & Tab). By Various. For Guitar. Hal Leonard Easy Guitar. Children's. Difficulty: easy-medium. Guitar tablature single. Easy guitar notation, guitar tablature, chord names, lyrics and guitar chord diagrams. 128 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"

Hal Leonard Guitar Method - Blues Guitar Hal Leonard Guitar Method - Blues Guitar
"For Guitar. Hal Leonard Guitar Method. Blues and Play Along. Difficulty: medium. Instructional book (includes guitar tablature) and accompaniment CD. Introductory text, instructional text, standard guitar notation, guitar tablature and guitar chord diagrams. 47 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"

Hal Leonard Country Guitar Method Hal Leonard Country Guitar Method
"For Guitar. Hal Leonard Guitar Method. Learn to play Rhythm and Lead Country Guitar with Step-by-Step Lessons and 23 Great Country Songs. Method and Country. Instructional book and accompaniment CD. Guitar tablature, standard notation and guitar chord diagrams. 48 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"

Hal Leonard Rockabilly Guitar Method Hal Leonard Rockabilly Guitar Method
For Guitar. Guitar Method. Softcover with CD. Guitar tablature. 64 pages. Published by Hal Leonard

Next Week's Confession - Look Where You Want to Go! 

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