This seems weird, but one of the best ways to learn guitar is to spend some time playing along to the songs you’re going to be working on. When I first began playing a guitar, I would go up and down the floor trying to find a piece of music that would be interesting to me. I knew it would be great to find something that was a bit more “intellectual.” In fact, I had a rule that I would always go to a school with a pretty good music department — which is probably why The Beatles weren’t in my music class for high high school — but I did end up getting good grades in music, but I never quite got to the point where I could make a good song out of it.
What would you say are the keys to your musical development?
I think the first thing you need a musician for is to be able to play. So from that point on, you’ve got to learn how to play and what to do with your hands in order to really feel like your music is unique. Like, I’m not going to learn how to play a melody by practicing it with just my fingers. That doesn’t sound very musical to me. Even if it’s just the two notes, I want to get some of my fingers in some sort of shape because I really want to feel like I’m creating some kind of sound, or a sound that I’m playing through my fingers. So if I’m playing chord changes or something like that, I really have to be able to feel that I’m creating a new chord or creating a new sound.
So you need to build up your instrument in some way. For me, if I don’t know what I want to do to my instrument, I’m never going to develop it. It’s just not really going to come to me unless I build some kind of thing up.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given when learning guitar?
If you ask me “What is the best piece of advice that’s ever come out of my mouth, or any of your other experiences,” the most common answer I’ve received is “Study the songs.” But that’s kind of an extreme response to everything. It’s not one of my favourite types of advice. That’s a very personal thing to say and I think it’s a very common answer that I get from people I do work with who say that stuff.
What do you want to say to people who might be interested
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