How to Learn and Retain Music Faster and Have a Deeper Understanding of What You Know



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Maybe I'll write the next one on ear training, and on ways to make it more interesting than sitting at a piano every day for a couple hours (my method for a year, but I'm weird). Just to play devil's advocate, while rock musicians have a bad reputation for not being good with theory and ear training and jazz and classical musicians do, jazz and classical musicians have a bad reputation for being the least entertaining performers. Kind of like they're "too cool" to perform. The best ones have it all, but they're rare.



This is the area where I never cease to be astonished: why does it seem guitarists have such a hard time with music theory and ear training? I mean, HEARING is EVERYTHING, yet it seems like most guitarists would rather be skinned alive with a dull razor and doused in rubbing alcohol than check books out from their local library or spend a few dollars on a good ear training course. I mean, even the mags like Guitar World hardly ever mention music theory or ear training, let alone offer very many (if any) courses in it. It's like rock guitar is just "too cool" to get educated! I don't get it. I just DON'T get it. You commit your LIFE to an instrument, but you're too "cool" or whatever to be serious about your craft. No WONDER so many classical and jazz players refuse to take the other genres seriously! While THEY'RE sweating it out with theory, the rock guys are getting stoned! Oh well!


Your first sentence is a pretty sweeping and exaggerated generalization. Any serious rock guitarist tries to learn as much about theory as they can, myself included. While there are certainly a lot of rock guitarists who don't care about theory, I know more who study theory than try to avoid it. But even if they don't, why should rock guitarists care about some stuck up jazzer staring down their noses at them? I'm 43 years old and first sat down to learn chords in the late 70s, and got my first lessons from a classical player. I went through my shred phase during the 80s and my jazz phase during the 90s, but I'd still prefer hearing Jimmy Page or Slash over the any of the thousands of jazz/fusion heads that guitar colleges have churned out over the years. Don't get me wrong, I love jazz, fusion, flamenco, country etc. But at the end of the day, it's all about having fun playing your instrument, not getting the Julliard and Eastman crowds' approval. If they don't like it, then screw them.

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