Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - May 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Prince Says Learn How to Play Real Guitar

... instead of Guitar Hero:

Windows of Attention

You never finish learning how to "do" music.

Which goes against all conventional thought.   Let me explain:

When my parents went to school, they had "math class".   They didn't change subjects every semester, and per grade they did not go from "Algebra I" to "Geometry I" or some such.  Because it was all considered "math".

In my continuing series of harangues about motivation, I'm going to suggest that in the effort to streamline "education", by compartmentalizing monolithic concepts ("math") into smaller ones ("Trigonometry II") people are unlearning the notion of both how to view undertaking learning a very large concept and the time/effort required to do so.

It's occurring to me that most new students arrive with preconceived notions of "how long this is going to take".  For adults today,  it seems that the expectation is based around "semester" long lengths of time.   Things that may have taken Eric Clapton years to work out, by hours of daily ardent study and practice, are expected to be "mastered" in a couple of months.

It doesn't work that way.  "Playing an instrument" is like math, or grammer, or physics.  It's as big of a subject as the medical field, astronomy, or anything you care to think of - Einstein credited playing and instrument to giving him insight into discovering the properties of E=MC^2.

Which is why learning to play music is FUN!

It can't be summed up in one book ala "Guitar for Dummies", or the experience of getting through all the levels of a video game, or buying a "Learn at Home" DVD.   It goes on and on and on and on and on.    It is not close-ended; it is the math of the number of notes in existence x every human's subjective opinion of how you arrange those notes.

Which is endless.   The pursuit of music appreciation requires more than a few seconds of concentration, more than a few minutes every day for a couple of months.    Which isn't to say that if that is all one can presently one can afford one shouldn't do it, but that the process of learning it should start "now",  and that because it's such a deep subject the reward of studying it is equally deep.