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Brian Davis

Brian Davis - Phoenix Guitar Instructor (cont.)

"Learning music deeply is like peeling the layers of an onion, which are transluscent, revealing some of what is underneath. As you peel back a layer by learning something meaningful (a lesson), you are able to start seeing the next layer of knowledge opening up to you. You build on that knowledge week after week, and while learning new knowledge and techiniques, you are reinforcing what's already been learned with the repitition of practice, and the consistent reinforcement of knowledge of the teacher.

Bad habits like improper hand positioning being caught early are why a teacher is so important. Most people do not start out with proper hand position naturally, it is learned. I have seen people spin their wheels for years with a self taught posture, and quit in frustation because they never progress to where they wanted. Don't waste your time bypassing the basics, because that will always trip you up. Not rock and roll to know your stuff? From punk to reggae to rock, it's made to look like it's spontaneous and newly inspired, but they all know their stuff enough to speak the language of music at least, and many if not most have pursued knowledge of music through lessons, music schools, playing in bands, and good old wood shedding (shedding, or practice), yes, many READ MUSIC. It is not an oxymoron to be a schooled musician, and when you go on your first band audition you will realize how much it means to know what a 1-4-5 progression is, or know a closed (and hence movable) position major scale, since the keyboard player wrote a tune in B flat Major, means the difference between terror and peace.

The 5 fret stretch reveals a good example of one of those bad habits: improper hand positioning will reveal itself in very obvious ways, and one of them is not being able to stretch your left hand properly which would hamper your development as a player. If you don't have the proper hand positioning to stretch or almost stretch five frets from pinky to index finger..."


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