Quote by Serotonite
What the title says. I feel as though my music is boring. When I'm performing it has been said that I come across as apologetic or paranoid. That is true, I feel like the audience are completely uninterested every time, and I feel when I'm playing my songs that they are...tiresome. I have been approached and complimented before, but it feels mostly like a consolation/pity than genuine.

ANYWAY, enough of me whining about my insecurities, I want to know if it is normal for a musician to be bored by their own music or if this just means that my music is bad?

Yes, I have a few songs that are considered "Hits" by others, and I've just fallen out of love with them personally, because I've done them so many times. I actually love my music, but I think I just played certain songs to death, and they sort of lost their personal appeal and sparkle for me.


Quote by J23L
Im studying a song and this progression happens: Bmin (B,D,F#), Dmaj (D,F#,A), C#dim (C#,E,G), F#min (F#,A,C#), C#dim(C#,E,G), Dmaj(D,F#,A)

I know that between the B minor and D major is an upward third. I can't seem to figure out the rest of the progression. Help?

Its a vi I viio iii viio I - if it's in D

B to D is a minor 3rd away

D to C# is a maj 7 up or a min 2nd down

C# to F# is a Perfect 4th

F# to C# is a Perfect 5th

C# to a D is a min 2nd away


Quote by fingrpikingood
I am completely self taught. I sort of discovered theory, and also taught it to myself from resources on the internet. I think the traditional method of organizing theory is actually very good. for most of it, even for myself specifically, I can't see any better way of organizing it, really. Although for myself and the style of music I play I did modify it slightly for myself.

I only learned about CAGED after I had discovered a similar method for myself, which I find is a bit more powerful. CAGED is sort of obvious though, to anyone that gets past cowboy chords. I mean, it has a name, but it's really just the fundamental nature of the guitar that all the chord shapes are consistent. It's probably only sort of new, because playing chord grips is kind of new to music. The classical method is more to play a set of notes as instructed, and less to stick to chord grips. But for improvisation it's too much brain work to do that, and for rhythm guitar, it doesn't make much sense.

The Joe Pass BB king comment, was to show an example of two renown guitarists that have two different approaches to guitar, and yield two different results, which were both very successful. That there isn't necessarily one single catch all method for everyone.

If I couldn't have discovered a way to make teaching myself guitar fun, I wouldn't be able to play the way I can today. But I also had to grind some stuff out, to farm some skills on my guitar skill tree, but I found fun ways to do it.

Well, I have heard your music and you know your stuff, and that neo soul jazz thing you have going, you do it well. No one's going to argue that however you got there was time well spent. Keep on keeping on!

I too was self taught, that's how I ultimately came to understand it. As you said, not everyone responds or needs the same thing.

I have always advocated what I teach as a way to just get it all done and make music, and I love saving people time, and watching as they go on and produce music, and play on bigger and bigger stages, literally and figuratively.

However as the saying goes...not all who wander, are lost.

Really appreciate you being here, and I always enjoy and respect your perspectives and input!


Quote by fingrpikingood
I think the traditional method is fine for some things, but I agree there are better ways for certain things. I would never teach nor want to learn the traditional way. There are lots of sorts of people, and lots of sorts of guitar out there, and I think a lot of different ways to go about teaching that are good.

Joe Pass and BB King are completely different guitarists, and they would teach differently as well.

For most people, I would say what matters most is to keep it fun while maximizing benefit from practice time, which is my philosophy, and they won't get very far, so it doesn't matter much beyond that. But different approaches to music or guitar, will yield different results, just like the same person would make different music if they trained on a piano or guitar. The geometry of the instrument and the way it is mentally parsed, matters.

Traditional methods are good for academia, or if you want to play in the philharmonic, or to write scores for movies or something. If you want to learn guitar as a hobby, or become a singer/songwriter sort of thing, then it's really not what you want imo. But that's pretty common, and it's been like that for a while. In general, pop musicians are not classically trained, or, maybe the band for the headliner is more frequently, but the songwriters generally are not, I find.

I get what you're trying to say.

How did you learn, if not by studying something that was not a deriviative of a Traditional Method?

BB King is not noted alongside the CAGED system of lead guitar. Today the CAGED system is a mainstream approach, just like the "box patterns". The CAGED system is associated with the name Joe Pass. I think you lost where I was going with the Joe Pass comment. CAGED has not been a art of our Mainstream consciousness as a thing for very long now, and it is an innovation to the way it was before. And it is EVERYWHERE now.

That is really the point.

Learning can be fun, if it's not boring and tedious, unless you are into that kind of thing. Completely agree that there are many approaches to the guitar, just as there were prior to the CAGED system being a "thing" but not all approaches are of equal benefit. And not all approaches benefit the same people.


To be honest,

I have no idea. The music was abstract for me. I'm not sure what you are looking for here, but there's not enough there for me to know what you are looking for. I'm thinking most others have the same thing.

Also understand that listening to your entire setlist of music, is impractical and time consuming, and unless I were being compensated for a professional opinion and constructive criticism, I and most people would not give the time that it asks to answer your questions. That's a lot of work and giving a lot of time for no discernible purpose.

I could listen to one song, maybe...but an entire list of music. Not if I have no personally vested interests, or if I have no relationship. I'd do it for my friends here, like if Jerry K, Or JP asked me to listen to his stuff and comment I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I don't know you.


Your'e making me want to buy a Pedal Steel Guitar, and start learning it, and with my teaching schedule, I do not have the time for that....grrr (file this next to the Dobro and Mandolin on my bucket list)

Hurry someone make me rich, so I can retire early and play music more!


One thing you can do is, target chord tones on the strong beats.

So take C and D and E. Lets pretend that you knew music theory and you were seeing this progression. In this example, since you know theory, you're set.

You see C and D, and E in rapid succession. you know theory, and so you surmise quickly this is not a diatonic progression.

One approach is to look at C D and E as a IV V vi, in G, except the E is not minor in this, so over E you'd want to acknowledge the G# (since you know theory, in our little pretend exercise, you know E major is E G# B)

So you could play in a G Major scale, and target chord tones in each chord on the strong beats, and over E, you'd target the G#, and change your scale to accompany that one note. You aren't "switching scales" at all, you are changing a single note over one chord. and accenting chord tones of the strong beats.


Quote by jerrykramskoy

Can you imagine learning a new language, say French, that required you to lean a different language, say Polish, at the same time (or first) to explain French?

Or can you imagine wanting to cook a Thai meal; for some mates, but you're required to learn Thai language first to understand the recipe? You going to bother, especially if it's just a fun thing?

Worse, imagine us putting books in front of babies / young kids before they can speak, before they can recognise their world. What's the first thing these nippers respond to? Sound. Sure as hell isn't symbols.

Yet, what does "typical" music education do? The exact analogy of the above situations.

It is great you're stiudents are playing with understanding from early on. That's precisely my take also.

You've read my animated rant on YouTube, right, the one about how I hate Music Theory and the way it's been presented? It's 12 minutes, I published it a year ago. This is exactly why it's a rant. "The Traditional Way" which I have seethed with contempt for in my soul for, since I arrived here in The ironic thing is, that one person commenting on the channel did so by presenting a very thoroughly convoluted "simple" way of explaining theory...

I could not make that any more poetic, if I tried.

But I hate music theory and Traditional music approaches. My entire way of doing things, was recently described as a series of "Life Hacks" for guitar and music theory. Because that's how terrible the Traditional way is in my opinion. It needs to be life hacked.

It's harsh to put it that way, since at its root, that criticism is very unfair. Because to anyone who goes out there to learn, like the great sincere people that post here all the time, say they get on YouTube...or buy a book, or take a does not matter, all they will be doing is going through some distillation of the Tradtional way of learning. It may have some polish to it, but it's cut exactly from that same cloth. All roads lead to that only learn the same tired eons old way.

That is all that there is, and so for me to criticize that, the root, very unfair.

The chief reason it's unfair, is because for most , there are no (identifiable) alternatives to it. I put that in parenthesis, because I'm not saying alternative options don't exist.

They absolutely DO exist. If I can teach any person to name the notes of any chord instantly in less than 3 weeks, then that is an example of an alternative, if I do so without so much as a NOD in the direction of how the Traditional Music theory system does it...that's an alternative. And it's been in the link in my Signature the entire time I've been coming here.

But right now, I'm not mainstream. I absolutely want the way I do things, and my teaching system to BE mainstream....ultimately, and then we won't even be having conversations with these things. But I may never see that take place in my lifetime. Right now I have students from all over the world, representing (at last count) 38 countries, and though they are in the hundreds, (and more than a thousand since I first started teaching)...growth is slow as far as catching on in a global consciousness of others even being aware of the Academy even existing.

The only place people learn about it, is through some tired Tom Hess anti-post that Google search seemed to take a liking to from like 2011, or through a personal interaction with me here. That's it. I don't market or advertise. I hate Google, and have never played their games. I'm as subversive as you can be. If you're not in this forum, you don't know that I or what I do even exist.

I've long since accepted that what I teach, might likely be lost I die, but I have a hope that if that happens, at least some of the students that I've taught, will pass it on by teaching (and not by making freely available...because the process is a learners journey, its like saying, you cant get fit by simply reading a book about fitness) others, and maybe, slowly that will ultimately trickle down into the collective consciousness, like Joe Pass and the popularity of todays CAGED system. But I'm no Joe Pass.

Really appreciate your points Jerry. That language thing is spot on. Spot on. I'm really excited to see your emuso. Who knows, maybe one day what you do and what I do might find a collaborative common ground.

I know Xiaoxi has something very fresh going with his teaching approach, and you have your program, and I have my entire Curricula...who knows, maybe these three things may be like three people meeting in a garage together in the mid 70's and what one day became Apple or Microsoft, while the rest of the world was asleep...

And IBM was the only game in town saying "oh we are big and tall, and we know everything, and you do it like this...."

A guy can dream...


Quote by DudE132
I am open to any and all options but I do have one set back. I play acoustic guitar but due to shoulder issues (Which I'm working to fix) I can't practice for hours a day to master the instrument. This is one thing that limits me as I can't take the time to learn/play songs which is something that would expose me to many new sounds.

One of the main struggles I face with creating my music is that I am limited to what I know. The sounds that I am familiar with are the ones I constantly go back to when trying to create music because they are really all I know. I've never learned songs, scales, chords, etc. My knowledge is limited to what I discover when messing around with my guitar or experimenting in Guitar Pro.

It's kind of like I'm trying to write a book without knowing the entire alphabet. The sounds I know make up only a small portion of what exists. I need to discover and experience more to complete my music in the same way one would need to learn the alphabet to truly complete their book without leaving any holes in it. There are a lot of holes in my music that need to be filled in but I just can't figure out what to do next. It doesn't help that I have OCD which latches itself onto my music. I'm not satisfied unless it's perfect which is why I think I'd be much better off with music theory as opposed to without.

And thanks to all of the replies. I'm paying close attention to all of them and appreciate the help. I'll definitely be saving all of this info.

Well, then, good news for you.

It doesn't take hours a day to learn the fretboard. Mastery of an instrument is a lifelong journey. And others will let you know, when you reach that point.

As far as your shoulder issues, I don't know what, if any effect that may have....but it's a good idea to be able to play your instrument without damaging yourself or discomfort.

You're points are very well stated and in my opinion spot on, when you wrote:

It's kind of like I'm trying to write a book without knowing the entire alphabet. The sounds I know make up only a small portion of what exists. I need to discover and experience more to complete my music in the same way one would need to learn the alphabet to truly complete their book without leaving any holes in it. There are a lot of holes in my music that need to be filled in but I just can't figure out what to do next. It doesn't help that I have OCD which latches itself onto my music. I'm not satisfied unless it's perfect which is why I think I'd be much better off with music theory as opposed to without.

I 1000% agree with you there. So now that you have reached this level of clarity, the next thing then is for you to decide what you are going to do about it.

I'm not sure if you have identified an array of options that you have found, that might address this or not. Or are you just asking for us to help identify the ones we may know of, that might address these areas of growth you are seeking?

Many people are so adept to analyze their shortcomings with surgical precision. The problem is crystal clear perfect.

But then once that's done and we are all looking at the same page, nodding our heads "Uh huh...yep,, thats it...." then the most remarkable thing happens...

They do nothing. They experience paralysis by analysis. Their number one roadblock is they, at the core of it, will not move. They will not take action.

Where do you see yourself in this process?


First of all kudos, on extending your musical horizons. You might look into Robben Ford, and even a Jazz legend like Kenny Burrell.

But as for scales, and chords, in and of themselves. That's not really how you'd go about it. I don't think scales, chords and the like get you there - songs, yes...but a lot of songs.

If you have insight, that's far better. With insight you can get an entire education in a single song.

I think when you understand where something comes from, then the scales, chords and such sort of make "sense" and when something makes "sense", then you can make it a part of your own writing.

That's one way, and probably the best way.

The other is understand the idioms of the style by learning enough examples of the style. Jazz itself....what makes Jazz and Blues combined is fairly subjective. But learning what the chord grips and changes are actually doing functionally, is of great value. So for example the chromatic 6th chord walk up...what's it doing? Its a trajectory towards the Dominant.

The best way is by understanding it, not just imitating it. Because imitation will only breed imitative iterations. But if you understand it, you can use the tool itself, with nuance, and not just graft in the same moves, to where it doesn't sound like you, it sounds like them.


I don't believe either are all that great by themselves, it's better if those are used along with something else.

I think learning a song understanding the big picture right from the start ,is the most effective. Seeing how things connect, and understanding the inter-relationships, knowing where things can only be so there's no hunting for an answer.

I think if you learn the Tetris theme, then it's just the Tetris theme. It doesnt give you insight into music. You can't connect the Tetris theme to anything but that....but if you have insight, you see the origin of the Tetris theme, and now when you learn it, you see the big picture, and instead of vast amounts of energy expended for one thing, you have energy for that thing and insight for everything else beyond.

The way you go about it, its a lot of work and it's a Tetris theme. Its abstract. Its good for that, and that alone.

You are the perfect example of what I was talking about earlier when I said that I see people lose so much time, and yet understand so little about what they are doing, as the reward for that.


Quote by jerrykramskoy
Sean ... I agree one million percent. And that's a lot to do with why so many folk give up ... it is criminal. Not everyone wants to be a pro-musician doing sessions or playing in an orchestra etc ... so they don't need the same training ... they just want to have some fun, be that jamming, or experimenting.

So, whoever came up with "Every Good Boy Deserves Fun" would have done well to consider what that actually means!!

Exactly my friend. And, you know I do this for a living, and that's always been one of the most gratifying aspects, is I'm taking someone that's supposed to not ever know this stuff, and in relatively short time, they are making music, writing music, understanding music. And the concept itself, doesn't matter. It could be a V 6/4 cadence, it could be a secondary dominant usage in a song where they'd have otherwise, just been stuck with very routine I V ii IV, in could be a decision to use an Aug 6....or whatever it is...they have the tools that allow them to understand and make music that compared to their peers in terms of depth, knowledge, is far more interesting. They aren't just taking a random riff...repeating it 4 times, and then doing the same riff over the IV...and so on ad nauseum.

Their contemporaries don't know what to make of that. You know, I had a few of my students sit in on a group jam at an open mic recently, and someone not connected to the Academy was playing their "Original" meaning none of these guys ever heard the song or played with the person before. It's just live, and in the moment. And 4 seconds into the song they are shading this guy with creative fills, matching his changes, playing with maturity, so at the end of the song, people start asking " long have you guys been together?"

The poor songwriter is as surprised as everyone else is, and says "I don't know these guys....I've never played with them before". So these things, these tools allowed my students to get on stage and not only play together, but then to play alongside someone else on their original material, and play so convincingly well, that people think they've been playing together as a band for a while, by the time the song's done.

And talk about having STREET CRED...people talk about things like that. A guys musical reputation will quickly rise, as long as they are grounded and humble, and not offputting and arrogant.

My point is, that when you can do things like that, you're no longer being inhibited by "what you don't know". You know, and you understand what you are playing. You see songs as It's a "I iii ii" in G....not, "Okay first it's a G then Bm then Am" Oh it goes from C to D...then later to Em at the bridge. When you are doing that, then you pretty much have the rest of your life to do things on the fly, no longer is being "blocked" by what you don't know in play here.

You might be blocked by something else, like if you don't actually practice you instrument (technique), or keep your chops up, yeah that may take work. But, if you are having that much fun playing anything you like, chances are, it doesn't even feel like "work" anymore, so playing with others keeps your chops up, and spurs on that musical creativity.

I have seen more people not do something, because inside they know their understanding extends to almost nothing, but their abilities are more to the point of functional via imitation, as long as it's in monochrome....change keys, throw anything non diatonic at them, or remotely advanced, and it's just complete musical paralysis. That's sad to me, but because the process of "learning" is made so damn difficult and boring, it equates to musical torture. And it doesn't have to be. You no doubt seen my rant on musical theory on my YT - I've been passionate on this point since my arrival here in 2009.

It sucks. People really want to learn. But most of us don't want it to feel akin to mental headache and musical torture, with the payoff of a growth rate that's so slow, we have to measure it in chunks of years to see if there's been any progress. I like seeing progress measured in days, rather than months and years.

Thanks so much for your thoughts man - I am sure that in your eMuso, that's also at the heart of what makes what you do so important and worth doing.


Quote by guygroomes85
How should i work music theory into my practice routine.

I do atleast an hr a day if not 2 hrs overall practice routine, and also pick up my axe and noodle or play songs im learning or songs i made atleast another 2 hrs. I own a couple theory books like justin practical music theory. Mainly their filled with excersizes for learning notes on the neck. Im down for the discipline, just wondering where to fit it in and how long i should be doing it. My other question is does practicing things even for a short time a day say 10 mins actually improve your skill with that.

Im learning a rhythm with alot of skipped beats and its been 2 weeks and im a tiny bit better, dont seem to be making any progress.

In my opinion must teaching approaches are slow and tedious. I would expect a lot of wasted time while moving very slowly. I hate that about whats out there. I believe most methods are pretty woeful. So, the progress that you are indicating, seems to be standard from what I've observed.

I've always advocated learning things quickly and then spend the rest of your life, just playing, and the whole mystery of what to do, and how things work is done.

So you are young, or even older and have most of your life left, and now you just play. Things aren't mysteries anymore. They might still take "work", but its no mystery. That to me is of core importance.


Quote by RonaldPoe
Is this Jazz walking bassline formula correct "root (1st beat), diatonic note (2nd beat), chromatic note (3rd beat), chromatic note (4th beat)." If not how would I approach Jazz basslines and improv?



Quote by DudE132
I am at the point where my musical creativity is being greatly handicapped by my lack of musical knowledge. I have no knowledge of music theory and I just feel as if my creative potential has been sapped up at this point.

I've written dozens of short pieces that I absolutely love but I've hit a roadblock where I just can't comprehend where to take all of those pieces and complete them into full songs. I feel like what I've created is my songwriting at it's maximum potential and I can't go any further to complete my songs. I feel like I've peaked with what my knowledge and experience is capable of producing and I'm wondering if music theory will help me expand my skills further.

I'm not good with song structure, knowing what notes go together, how to transition one part of a song to another, how to transcribe music from my mind to my instrument, etc.

Would music theory be the key to help me out of this place I'm in? If so where should I start? Should I just learn anything and everything related to music theory? Just I start with lessons? Thanks

Based upon what you have shared, personally I think you'd be a very good candidate for learning music theory. I would propose that knowledge definitely opens more intelligent options.

So, really my other question would be, what do you bring to the table? Can you enlist a music teacher? Can you buy books? Invest in online resources? How much time do you have to commit to the process, and work at it?

I think that an approach with a good structure which builds progressively and is not over complicated, or mind numbingly boring is your best bet.


Quote by sosxradar
I think I should train my ear more than reading the tab!

All these advice really inspire me.

Maybe time is the only answer to everything.

What options are available to you, to continue learning? Can you get lessons? Books? What kind of things could you do, and would you do to get better, and learn more?


Quote by Vlasco
If it's just some guy shouting it out for the joke of it, I usually point at em in a friendly way and give a quick sort of nod and chunkle showing that I heard them and got the joke. If someone actually wants me to play Freebird, I'll do it.

Hey Vlasco! Forget Freebird....

I wanna hear you "cHUNkLE"!


Thing is, if you look at what Stairway is doing, simplistically... I think that you can make a case that its not really a whole lot except for counterpoint lines travelling in opposite directions (CONTRARY MOTION). That should be understood as the genesis of this. The chord names names are incidental. Its a repeating motif with a chromatic descending bass line and melodically ascending melody line. I can't say that anyone has an exclusive claim to using an idea like this.

It's very possible to have arrived at this independently, in my opinion.


Quote by ryane24
I've been playing for about 12 yeara. I would say it was probably as early as the first year or two that I learned how to find and name the notes but it wasn't until 3 or so years ago that I decided I wanted to do more than just learn covers. This is when I started really trying to learn the fretboad. But I admit that kind of stuff is kind of boring so I usually end up getting bored and spending the rest of my practice time working on technique and stuff. So it's not like I've been trying hours a day to memorize the fretboard.

12 years is a nice chunk of life. I think I was about 10 years into it, when I started feeling those growing pains, that wanted to be more than someone playing covers.

I think that's why most people never memorize it. If they do its conseuential to something else they've done, and they get it via osmosis of that thing. For example sightreading scales and moving through the circle of 5ths, something that had no benefit to me until I started studying Jazz with Jimmy Bruno. Then all the temporary tonications, or keychanges, made that skill set a must have and I used those like crazy.

I laugh at the big headed shredders (not shredders that are humble and accomplished...but the one trick pony kind that think they are superior all of a sudden...the arrogant ones) - because usually they play in one key. Don't need circle of 5ths in one key. I'll put the jam track on for Satin Doll ( 4 key changes in the first verse) and say "have at it, play your caged and pentatonics to that fella...I'm listening"

*sound of trainwreck*

Many people learn like captain posted. Contextually. My approach really focuses upon being able to learn it quickly, use it in real time and be done with it once and for all. Because like you said...the way it is out there, it's boring and takes ages. I'd prefer to be done with it and have it used in real time, and move on.


It really helps hearing this. It paints a guy that really is working hard and wants to do well.

The thing that I think is hurting you, from listening to this, is your timing. This is not a knock against you. It is nt something that you can actually help, right now.

But I didn't hear that you have a sense for rhythm or time. It's not BAD...but it's the first thing I hear that's holding you back.

You may say "I can play rhythm guitar, that's easy" But that's not what I'm saying at all.

You "imitate what you hear and try to play it". That's different from understanding rhythm and playing. I think you would do well with a study and commitment to slowly learning to play to musical rhythms over a 2 month period. Even if you can't fully do them all, you will be far more CONSCIOUS of rhythmic pulse and feel.

This is not up for argument by the way. If you don't feel like it applies to you, I'm good with that. You have to be convinced of this before any progress can be made.

You have desire and drive, and that has taken you this far. I really think that learning to become rhythm "aware" and not simply try to imitate rhythm will serve you well towards your playing goals. Right now, you are solely in imitation mode, with the help of tabs. That doesn't really get you too far, when it comes to feeding the soul, and I think you are discovering that.

As far as how to study rhythm, the hardest part is discipline. Having a teacher would help greatly to help keep you structured and accountable.

But if not, you can try and do it on your own. It can be everything from starting with a small sight reading guitar guide, or Berklee Modern Method for Guitar...anything that gets you there.


Quote by TomInReno
Now THAT's a level of passive aggression I can get behind! Stealing this.

If no one tips, you get the Atonal Jazz Version.

Guest starring Mr. John Cage, who enters at 4'33.


Quote by ryane24
4th fret, took me about 4 seconds. I happen to know that the 5th fret on the B string is E. Something I did somewhere along the line caused me to memorize that note on the 7th B string, but again I was probably playing a power chord on the 7 string or something like that. I mean I know the fretboard to some extent its just very incomplete. Like I said I could probably play every A on the fretboard in less than ten seconds but putting it all together is whats difficult. If you asked me the same thing with the D, G, or A string I would most likely have to step through the frets to find where the note is. And with the B string I just happened to know where E was, I don't know the rest of the string as well.

I feel you.

That's the problem with traditional means to understand and memorize the fretboard. Takes ages.

How long have you been trying to learn the fretboard?


Hey Mark, welcome to the forum!

To the OP:

I'm going to tell you what I have figured out after 20 years teaching now...there's probably very little you can do to make sure that he stays with it.

He's 10.

He either will or won't, but it won't be your fault.

Unless he has parents that will stay on him and MAKE him practice to the point of some initial breakthroughs and payoffs, the only way that he will want to continue and put anything into it, is if he wants to.


I prefer Van Epps Chording.


They didn't start out that way. They came up through the ranks of playing things that were likely simple. What is different about them, is they stuck with it and got better. They probably didnt need anyone to tell them to practice, they just played and played. They learned the songs of their heroes to a high level of proficiency, and all of these things helped them ultimately find their own musical voice.

But at one time, they were just like us, the difference is what drives them from inside are actions, not talk. They put the time into it, they didn't sit around saying "I wanna be this". They went out and did it. I firmly believe that it comes from the inside.

Not everyone has that to the same degree.


It sounds like you are seeing glimpses of your "ideal self". The main difference then becomes what you do to get closer to realizing that "ideal" self. When we teach one of our goals is to unlock the bridge between what you hear in your head and what you can play, and make it so that ultimately you are closer to being able to express yourself in that way.


Quote by ryane24
I've been trying to memorize the fretboard for years now and I don't know why its so difficult for me. I've memorized both e strings pretty easily because that's where the root note of all the scales and stuff I play usually starts. I've also memorized all the A's on the fretboard from improving in A minor all the time. But since I've branched out to other modes and scales it seems like its made it more difficult if anything. I know my root shapes but...I still feel like there is too much thinking involved when I'm trying to figure out what a note is. Shouldn't it be automatic?

Do you know the names of every note on the neck?

If I said find Eb on the second string, how fast does it take you? Try it.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend modes at all for you at this point. I'd have to learn more about where you are at to get a better feel about what might be your next best step.


Quote by AlanHB
Great work Sean. I'll totally steal that idea if I ever go back to the covers scene (not likely in the foreseeable future, love originals too much).

You know where to send the Royalty Check

Miss talking to you brother!


Quote by processedhappiness
is it possible to learn the solo for stairway to heaven in 2 weeks?

It depends. As a beginner? Playing up to speed, note for note? I'd say no.

When I teach it, the most challenging parts that I have to get across, is the actual placement of the phrasing. It's anything but easy. Many parts are played ahead of the beat. Try instilling that to a beginner! I manage to do it using several proprietary tools, but it took a while.

As an experienced player, that simply never learned the can be done very quickly.

On average I teach the whole song to a first timer, to where they can play accurately, including nuances, to about 85% of the speed, and gradually get better, in about 4 weeks.


Quote by TomInReno
Well, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

You obviously have a routine for when this happens to you, so that answers my initial question.

All good. Kudos, and welcome to MT!


Quote by TomInReno
Oh, please stop being so damned sanctimonious. I'm not being arrogant and I'm not talking about someone who legitimately requests a song - I'm talking about the asshole in the crowd that yells it out because they think it's funny to yell Freebird at a band. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

As I read this topic, you asked a question.

You don't have to like my answer, and I could do without the accusation.

You came across initially as quite arrogant, and then wheeling on me and accusing me of being sanctimonious only moved the sticks forward.

Truth is, you asked, I answered.

My comments were specifically in regards to your saying that you "used to heckle the guy mercilessly" which didn't paint a complimentary picture of you or respecting the audience. You might be a nice guy, and all, but the words I read didn't paint that picture.

But to tell the truth, I haven't had that person in the crowd that does that to be a "jerk". I get that it could be a bit rude, when you have your set list already planned, and rehearsed, and it's like a guys trying to change that, but I don't think they realize that.

Even if they thought they were being funny, I'd be funny back. To me a Freebird catcall means they are having a good time. I haven't had anyone heckling me. I have had people yell requests all the time - a drunk woman screamed out to play a Bob Dylan song, and then tipped me $40.00 when I worked out a 10 second version of Lay Lady Lay.

People do things all the time. Some are quite drunk when they do so, but I've learned to always show respect for the audience.

If I start getting heckled, then I feel like it's something I did that made them lose interest. I've had my share of drunks grabbing at the mic, asking to air guitar with me on stage, you name it - I just maintain control of the situation while not putting the guy in a bad light. If they become a problem, the security can manage that.

Now what I do when I do play Freebird, on request is I say "I don't know it"

...Play the opening to Sweet Home Alabama, get the cheers...

....Stop abruptly and play the Intro to Freebird....

...Say, "oh wait, I don't know bad"

... Play the opening to Gimme Three Steps

... Stop...say "Oh wait, was it Freebird you wanted?" Play and sing the first verse to "Oh no I can't..."

....Play The Opening to Saturday Night Special....

....Revert to another section of Freebird

...."Oh wait I don't know that one..."

...Play "On The Hunt" Intro (Gets the true die hard fans)

Works em into a frenzy of cheers, catcalls, laughing...and then in the end I do a scat singing of the solo in a terrible falsetto till I cant breathe from laughing so hard with the cheering audience.

"All right guys I'm broke the guitar more!"

Standing ovation.


Quote by AmadeoQuattro

What I was trying to say is I don't understand how he does what he does, and how he creates all of those harmonic minor and diminished arpeggios, or the actual modes and scales he uses. I know a few patterns such as phrygian and so forth but I don't really understand what is happening like he does, so I'd like to increase my knowledge to be better like that. It's hard to explain but I became frustrated that I wasn't progressing and getting a better understanding of these things.

Well as far as resources go I have money for books and internet for websites, and I probably could afford lessons but I think for now I'd prefer self study and taking up a teacher later down the road. I just never really clicked with any of my teachers so at the moment I can't really be bothered with them. But I do have a couple of friends to jam with so that is going to be exciting starting up again.

I understand better now! Just checking. And I agree, theory helps explain what someone's doing. I use it all the time in that regard!

It sounds like you have a clear course charted for you, now! Good luck on your journey. If I can ever be of help, let me know!

And by the way if you take any Minor 7th arpeggio, and substitute the b7 with a major 7, you'll have a harmonic minor sounding arp!

So an A Harmonic Minor-ish arp would be A C E G#

What it really is, is a Minor Major 7 arpeggio outline

To continue that, you could play the V7 of Am, and play E G# B and D for an E7 arpeggio.

Have fun, my friend! Sounds like you're all sorted!


Quote by TomInReno
Just thought I'd get some other frontpeople's perspective on how you handle this inevitable, predictable and obnoxious occurrence?

I've played ~400 shows over the last 6-8 years and if I had to guess, I'd say at about 25% of them, someone will indeed yell out Freebird. I can't wrap my head around the logic. Surely he (it's usually a he) knows it's not funny and it's just cliché.

I used to heckle the offender mercilessly, let him know that worn out jokes aren't funny and then move on. Within the last couple of years, taking a cue from one of my best buddies and a fantastic performer Stevie (RIP, bro), I've decided to play the situation to my advantage and advise him that "that's a $40 song." If he ponies up the dough for the jar, I'll make a run through the verses. That works a surprising number of times, especially towards the end of the night.

How have you all handled the tired old Freebird joke over the years?

I play Freebird.

Personally, I like to connect with my audience. I am not bigger than they are, and they are doing me an honor by supporting me musically when I play. I'm not arrogant and I like to have a good time. So I play it, (and do some insider secret stuff that I am not going to reveal) and I enjoy the cheers, whoops, and the tips of appreciation.

Beats being arrogant and forgetting where I come from.


Quote by AmadeoQuattro
As the title says, I'm thinking of getting back into guitar after a five year lay off. I played for a few years and became frustrated that I could never quite get a firm mental grasp on the musical theory required to be able to play like Michael Romeo and Yngwie. Just wanted to put it out there and ask if anyone knew great resources for music theory and how to start all over again? I learn how to play the major modes, pentatonic scale and some harmonic minor/melodic minor but couldn't progress beyond that. I had a couple teachers but they didn't really help too much. I figure I'll be much better off studying at my own pace by myself. Never got a good grasp of chords either, or how to make them.

I just need to overcome frustration with my own progress and get some good sources for proper musical theory, maybe someone could give me some advice on where to start and how to study the theoretical side of music. And of course I'll have to buy a new guitar as I sold my old one haha. I'm considering a cheap LTD that looks quite nice.

I'm not sure where you have picked up the connection that you need music theory to "play like"?

Don't get me wrong, I teach and am a big proponent of Music theory and understanding the guitar and all of that. But I don't make the connection that you are making.

Yngwie uses primarily one scale. Are you sure you are talking "theory" here or are you meaning "technique"?

What resources do you have available, that you bring to the table? Can you afford lessons?


Quote by ChrisFailla
Hey guys one of the things i'm working on at the moment is an online business specialising in guitar lessons. It will have to be world class and offer services and an education in guitar that you can find NOWHERE ELSE as the aim of this business is to radically improve the levels of thousands of guitarists throughout the world. So, all guitarists out there, when searching the web for a site specialising in guitar lessons, what kind of teaching products/services would you be hoping to find? In other words, what things would make you gravitate to a site offering an education in guitar playing over all those other sites?

This is a great idea. Have you defined and decided what it is that you have to offer that you've been been able to identify as things that no one else does? I think part of moving forward, is to have a reason, a sense of who you are and what you bring to the table, rather than become a "me too" website.

I'd say that I haven't seen many sites that actually go into the why's behind the music - they just teach you songs, licks and chords etc, but no context, harmonic analysis, breaking down musical idioms, etc.

Good luck with your ambitions!


Hey I love the Major 7th. It's pretty sweet in Brook Benton's Rainy Night in Georgia, and Cornell Dupree kills it on that guitar!


Why not build a following? Get it reviewed on indie podcasts, and find your audience that way as well, let people hear what youre selling. Its hard to just make and sell. You have to do some promoting as well. Get your music out there and see what the response is, then if they want to buy it they can.



Even when they aren't. Most of the time it's an underprepared, overzealous, ego-fueled guitar player.