Guess what??? That #1 thing you need is guitar music theory…..
Let me explain.
More than likely you’ve searched high and low for the perfect amp or stompbox, and have practiced the hell out of some licks and riffs.
You’re hoping that this will somehow help you become a musician, but…..
The fact is that you’re making it way too hard on yourself when you just won’t buckle down and learn a little bit about music theory.
Intervals make chords. Chords make progressions which become riffs and song sections.
Scales can turn into melodies.
Then you apply your crazy sweep picking and tapping techniques to these music concepts to make your killer solo or riff.
Get the picture?
That’s what making music is at its essence.
And more than likely I know what’s going through your head right now…..
Theory prevents you from being free and creative with your guitar playing because you’re awkwardly trying to apply this stuff.
You think it doesn’t work and that (insert your music hero) didn’t use this stuff.
Or you just probably think it’s trendy to know nothing about the artform you love so much.
It’s all bullshit.
And it reminds me of a quote I love by Banksy: “Everyone wants to be a great artist, but no one wants to learn how to draw.”
So be honest with yourself.
Are you just lazy?
Are you intimidated by this stuff?
If you are it’s alright. Not everyone immediately got it and it takes work to use this effectively.
And just because you couldn’t walk the first time you tried, doesn’t mean you never learned how to walk (metaphorically speaking.)
So here’s what you need to do if you’re still reading.
Start learning what an interval is. Start learning how chords and scales are made. And start seeing how all of this works in the music you already love.
Unless your favorite artists just make a bunch of atonal noise, you’re going to find material that’s influenced by the major and minor harmonies that run rampant through all of music.
And the more you understand this stuff, the more control you’ll have over the sound of your playing.
But if you’re not wanting to do anything more than cover other people’s songs from a tab book then don’t worry about it.
Theory is for people who want to make their own riffs and solos, and learn how their favorite artists did it.
And if you’re still calling bullshit on this, and just picking apart this article to confirm the false idea that this isn’t necessary, then let me ask another question…….
If music is so easy to make for you, why can’t you write a song as good as “Smells Like Teen Spirit?”
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know this is important.
You’ll know that the more you know about harmony and rhythm, the more you’ll know about how any song will work.
You’ll know that any solo or riff is within your reach once you can break it down and understand how it works.
Every other discipline goes through this, but would-be musicians often trick themselves into believing it’s not important.
Don’t be one of those guys, alright?