Learning Guitar at Music Pillars

How do the Pillars apply to learning guitar?

Love

The guitar is one of the best instruments to channel your creativity. It is easy to write your own songs with guitar accompaniment. Once you learn scales, you can improvise your own solos and show off your musical creativity.

Pattern Recognition

The musical patterns involved in playing scales and chords are easier to see on the neck of a guitar than on a keyboard. It is very easy to transpose to a different key on a guitar while a pianist will still be scratching their head.

Theory

Guitar is great for learning music theory. The relationships between chords are actually easier visualize on the guitar than on the piano. Since guitar is both an accompanying and solo instrument, it is great for learning the theory behind both harmony and melody.

Dexterity

Like piano, guitar is great for building dexterity of the hands. Whether you are learning pop/rock guitar or classical, there is a correct way to execute both right hand and left hand technique. While left (or fretting) hand technique is consistent across musical genres, picking techniques vary. Rock and popular guitar styles use a flat pick and classical guitar uses the nails of the fingers to pick the strings.

 

Audiation

Guitar is a great instrument to assist in learning the skills of playing by ear. Intervals on a guitar are consistently played the same way, so students can easily play and hear musical intervals.

Sight-Reading

Strumming guitar chords off of a chord chart is essential for any guitarist to know how to do. Once you know how to play chords, you’ll be able to accompany the singers around the campfire even if you don’t already know the song! Guitar tablature is a system of notation specifically for guitar that shows you exactly where on the guitar to fret. Tablature is so easy to read, you will be able to sight easy riffs the first time. In the example to the right, the top staff is standard musical notation, and the one on the bottom with the numbers is guitar tablature.

Improvisation

The guitar has always been an enormously expressive instrument for improvisation. Since there are fewer scale patterns to memorize on guitar than piano, improvising solos on a guitar can be incredibly intuitive with just a little bit of musical know-how.

Composition

The versatility of the guitar makes it an incredible tool for composing music. If you enjoy writing your own songs, guitar is a great way to figure out backing chords to accompany your voice. For strictly instrumental music, the guitar is highly versatile as well. It is possible to play a melody, a bassline, and chords on a guitar all at the same time!