This post is a little different from my usual long-form lesson. Instead of a conceptual article, this lesson is more tactical and will demonstrate a simple strategy you can start applying right away so you can learn songs faster and more efficiently.
So a few days ago, I became absolutely captivated with James Jamerson's bass performance on Marvin Gaye's legendary track, "What's Going On." I immediately knew what song I would study for the week and I dove right in.
Without realizing I was doing it, I went through a little ritual that helps me get organized and find all the learning materials I need before attempting to learn a new song or musical concept. This is something I've done for years and not only has it made me a better, more efficient self-taught player, but it has also saved me a TON of time.
I stopped myself and figured, why not share this strategy with you guys?
See, before I started doing this, I found it hard to navigate the seemingly endless sea of online guitar and bass instructional material. I found that I would spend more time trying to locate decent sources than I would spend actually learning them. My focus would often get interrupted when I'd need to find a more accurate tab or a better video lesson. I didn't know what types of sources would make the learning process easier and more enjoyable, and when it came to learning songs, I felt like I was grabbing at straws. This sadly resulted in a spotty, semi-accurate understanding of how to play the songs I was hoping to master.
Over time, I developed this strategy and found that by simply getting organized before learning a new song, I could save a lot of time and stay more focused and efficient.
In the video below, I'll show you my 10-minute ritual.
The video shows you how to:
- Select a variety of quality sources that make for a fully dimensional learning experience;
- Strategically organize these materials so you'll be more efficient with your practice time;
- Understand when to use each resource and why they're useful.
Although I use a bass track as an example in this video, you can apply the same strategy to anything you want to learn on guitar, whether it's a song, new technique, or new style.
The video is admittedly a little rough around the edges since it's my first attempt at a screenshot demonstration, but I hope you find the strategy useful. Overall, it has been a huge time saver and has boosted my progress as a self-taught player.
Share what you think in the comments below. Do you have any tricks for improving your practice efficiency?
About the Author:
By Zach Pino. If you like this approach and want to get a little more specific with how you can apply it to your own playing, I have something extra for you (free of charge). Click here to get access to my free e-guide, the Zach Pino Guitar Game-Changing Guide to Learning Songs as Quickly as Possible. The guide gives detailed step-by-step instruction on how to get organized and how to learn songs faster and more accurately so you can really start seeing the results you want.