Playing honestly

I first begun playing guitar to play my favourite songs. I didn’t care to be the next Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix or John Frusciante, I just wanted to play their licks.

Eventually, I grew tired of what felt like guitar karaoke. Whenever anyone asked if I could play guitar, I always felt I was being partly dishonest. Sure, I could follow tabs but I certainly could not write, craft or create anything entirely new. I felt one level above a Guitar Hero player.

This week I decided to do something about it: I’m going to focus on learning scales. From what I understand, this is one of the fundamentals of learning music. However, if you started off self-taught like I did, this lesson would have been inexplicably overlooked; a move tantamount to beginning a jigsaw puzzle without first looking at the picture on the box.

For the longest time, I had no idea what scales were. (If you, like me, were afraid to ask, they are the building blocks of music – a series of notes which fit nicely with one another).

Thus, I am going to start with the one I am already familiar with; the E scale, which consists of E, F#, G#, A, B, C# and D. With these building blocks, I have made it a goal to eventually write a song and answer with complete honesty the next time someone asks if I can play guitar.

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