Theory / guitar courses vs songs

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > Theory / guitar courses vs songs

Jake_22

Full Access

Joined: 01/22/19

Posts: 10

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

For example, the 18 second intro to Johnny B Goode by chuck Berry took me about 10 hours to get it with minal mistakes and almost 80% of the original 170 bpm tempo. *last week). My fingernails started lifting off my skin at the end there, a lot of bend practicing.

The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?

A lot of that time is dedicated to managing to switch rapidly between notes, learning them by heart, and being smooth overall. But I dont understand what I'm playing. I just learn a series of notes. It doesn't feel like I'm "learning" guitar, just looking at the tabs and putting my fingers where it asks me to. Anyone without any knowledge of chrod theory or scales or anything could do that as well.

So I'm wondering : should I carry on with theory here on guitar tricks and/or elswhere and when I better understand how are songs created and chords relate to each other, then I'll go back to try and learn songs to play because at that point I won't have to learn the notes one after the other, by heart, but they would instead seem like a natural succession of notes that the theory knowledge I'll have then acquired will make me see them clearly, as a "story" and not a succession of random notes (as I see them now) ?

Because even in Blues level 1, when it comes to theory, Anders Mouridsen will often say " this is an x,y,z chord/scale/concept, but you don't have to know that ". At what point do we have to know "that", instead of just playing the notes on the tabs ?

Also, at what point would I know that I have "enough" theory knowledge to freely practice songs without spending an inordinate amount of time to learn them ?

I am, and want to keep dedicating 3 hours per day for the guitar. I love this instrument, and my long term goal/hope, is to be able to play david gilmour's comfortably numb solo, the pulse version within the next 2 years.

So I guess I dont know what way to take from here. With guitar fundamentals 1 and 2 it was pretty clear, since it was the only way. It seems that now There are many roads I can go down, and I just wanna make sure I'm going down an efficient and productive one.

Thank you

#1

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

For example, the 18 second intro to Johnny B Goode by chuck Berry took me about 10 hours to get it with minal mistakes and almost 80% of the original 170 bpm tempo. *last week). My fingernails started lifting off my skin at the end there, a lot of bend practicing.

The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?

A lot of that time is dedicated to managing to switch rapidly between notes, learning them by heart, and being smooth overall. But I dont understand what I'm playing. I just learn a series of notes. It doesn't feel like I'm "learning" guitar, just looking at the tabs and putting my fingers where it asks me to. Anyone without any knowledge of chrod theory or scales or anything could do that as well.

So I'm wondering : should I carry on with theory here on guitar tricks and/or elswhere and when I better understand how are songs created and chords relate to each other, then I'll go back to try and learn songs to play because at that point I won't have to learn the notes one after the other, by heart, but they would instead seem like a natural succession of notes that the theory knowledge I'll have then acquired will make me see them clearly, as a "story" and not a succession of random notes (as I see them now) ?

Because even in Blues level 1, when it comes to theory, Anders Mouridsen will often say " this is an x,y,z chord/scale/concept, but you don't have to know that ". At what point do we have to know "that", instead of just playing the notes on the tabs ?

Also, at what point would I know that I have "enough" theory knowledge to freely practice songs without spending an inordinate amount of time to learn them ?

I am, and want to keep dedicating 3 hours per day for the guitar. I love this instrument, and my long term goal/hope, is to be able to play david gilmour's comfortably numb solo, the pulse version within the next 2 years.

So I guess I dont know what way to take from here. With guitar fundamentals 1 and 2 it was pretty clear, since it was the only way. It seems that now There are many roads I can go down, and I just wanna make sure I'm going down an efficient and productive one.

Thank you

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: Jake_22

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

Congrats on finishing those courses! And thanks for the background info.

Most of what you are asking is very individualistic & depends on the answers to these questions:

1. How long have you been playing?

2. How much knowledge & skill did you bring to learning guitar when you started GF1?

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
For example, the 18 second intro to Johnny B Goode by chuck Berry took me about 10 hours to get it with minal mistakes and almost 80% of the original 170 bpm tempo. *last week). My fingernails started lifting off my skin at the end there, a lot of bend practicing.

I'd say that's pretty good! It took me 2 years to get from absolute beginner strumming chords to playing Chuck Berry licks back when I was 10 to 12 years old.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)[/p]

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?


Sure, you are doing fine. Much faster than some students I've seen! But, everyone learns at their own pace. And more importantly are you enjoying it? Are you accomplishing what you want to with the guitar & music?[/p]

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
A lot of that time is dedicated to managing to switch rapidly between notes, learning them by heart, and being smooth overall. But I dont understand what I'm playing. I just learn a series of notes. It doesn't feel like I'm "learning" guitar, just looking at the tabs and putting my fingers where it asks me to. Anyone without any knowledge of chrod theory or scales or anything could do that as well.

Sounds like your physical skills are moving beyond your theoretical knowledge. Learning the guitar requires both the skills & the ideas. So, at least you've got some of the skills down!

When you are ready to dive in to more of the theory side please work though my collection on music theory.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/music-theory

My collection on triads & inversions:

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/triads-and-inversions

And my collection on improvisation that will explain in depth & detail how music theory gets applied in real music.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
At what point do we have to know "that", instead of just playing the notes on the tabs ?

That's a great question. To some people, being able to play the notes & have them sound right is enough. Other people desire more knowledge about the hows & whys. That's what my collections linked above are for.[/p]

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
Also, at what point would I know that I have "enough" theory knowledge to freely practice songs without spending an inordinate amount of time to learn them ?

Theorectical knowledge will surely help you learn or understand songs faster. But no amount of theoretical understanding will take the place of learning the physical motions of any song or technique. The technique takes time to get into your muscle memory no matter how much you understand the notes you are supposed to play.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
I am, and want to keep dedicating 3 hours per day for the guitar.

That's outstanding!

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
So I guess I dont know what way to take from here. With guitar fundamentals 1 and 2 it was pretty clear, since it was the only way. It seems that now There are many roads I can go down, and I just wanna make sure I'm going down an efficient and productive one.

I'd say pick a course to work on. Then, keep learning songs. And start to work on my collections listed above. Those will really help open up your music theory understanding. And if you keep practicing the courses & songs, when you start to understand the ideas more, you'll be able to play them when you need to.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: Jake_22

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

Congrats on finishing those courses! And thanks for the background info.

Most of what you are asking is very individualistic & depends on the answers to these questions:

1. How long have you been playing?

2. How much knowledge & skill did you bring to learning guitar when you started GF1?

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
For example, the 18 second intro to Johnny B Goode by chuck Berry took me about 10 hours to get it with minal mistakes and almost 80% of the original 170 bpm tempo. *last week). My fingernails started lifting off my skin at the end there, a lot of bend practicing.

I'd say that's pretty good! It took me 2 years to get from absolute beginner strumming chords to playing Chuck Berry licks back when I was 10 to 12 years old.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)[/p]

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?


Sure, you are doing fine. Much faster than some students I've seen! But, everyone learns at their own pace. And more importantly are you enjoying it? Are you accomplishing what you want to with the guitar & music?[/p]

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
A lot of that time is dedicated to managing to switch rapidly between notes, learning them by heart, and being smooth overall. But I dont understand what I'm playing. I just learn a series of notes. It doesn't feel like I'm "learning" guitar, just looking at the tabs and putting my fingers where it asks me to. Anyone without any knowledge of chrod theory or scales or anything could do that as well.

Sounds like your physical skills are moving beyond your theoretical knowledge. Learning the guitar requires both the skills & the ideas. So, at least you've got some of the skills down!

When you are ready to dive in to more of the theory side please work though my collection on music theory.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/music-theory

My collection on triads & inversions:

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/triads-and-inversions

And my collection on improvisation that will explain in depth & detail how music theory gets applied in real music.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
At what point do we have to know "that", instead of just playing the notes on the tabs ?

That's a great question. To some people, being able to play the notes & have them sound right is enough. Other people desire more knowledge about the hows & whys. That's what my collections linked above are for.[/p]

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
Also, at what point would I know that I have "enough" theory knowledge to freely practice songs without spending an inordinate amount of time to learn them ?

Theorectical knowledge will surely help you learn or understand songs faster. But no amount of theoretical understanding will take the place of learning the physical motions of any song or technique. The technique takes time to get into your muscle memory no matter how much you understand the notes you are supposed to play.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
I am, and want to keep dedicating 3 hours per day for the guitar.

That's outstanding!

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
So I guess I dont know what way to take from here. With guitar fundamentals 1 and 2 it was pretty clear, since it was the only way. It seems that now There are many roads I can go down, and I just wanna make sure I'm going down an efficient and productive one.

I'd say pick a course to work on. Then, keep learning songs. And start to work on my collections listed above. Those will really help open up your music theory understanding. And if you keep practicing the courses & songs, when you start to understand the ideas more, you'll be able to play them when you need to.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

Jake_22

Full Access

Joined: 01/22/19

Posts: 10

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: Jake_22

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

Most of what you are asking is very individualistic & depends on the answers to these questions:

1. How long have you been playing?

2. How much knowledge & skill did you bring to learning guitar when you started GF1?

I've been playing for a total of about 6 months. Separate days of irregular practice that amounted to about 25 minutes per day for a month. then 4 months of 30 minutes per day and 2 weeks of 3 hours per day (where I'm at right now).

Regarding the skills I've brought when I started GF1 : close to none.

Regarding the knowledge : I knew about the idea behind major scale formula (tones and semitones).

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: Jake_22

The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?


Sure, you are doing fine. Much faster than some students I've seen! But, everyone learns at their own pace. And more importantly are you enjoying it? Are you accomplishing what you want to with the guitar & music?

Yes I am ! I was just a bit annoyed at learning notes on tab by heart and not understanding why it all fits together so well, the underlying theory. And wondered if I'd learn the songs faster if I understood how they're made. And you answered yes to that ! I'm taking a deep dive on theory !

And thanks for giving me a feedback regarding the time I take to learn songs, I thought I had some serious problems with this awful ratio of something like 3 hours of practice that amounted to only 10 seconds of the actual song. Glad to know I'm not terribly behind and that this is normal. Since I have no one to compare me, I didn't know how I was doing.

#3

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: Jake_22

Hi, so I just went through the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 and through half of Blues level 1. I tried learning a few songs on the side but they take me a enormous amount of time.

Most of what you are asking is very individualistic & depends on the answers to these questions:

1. How long have you been playing?

2. How much knowledge & skill did you bring to learning guitar when you started GF1?

I've been playing for a total of about 6 months. Separate days of irregular practice that amounted to about 25 minutes per day for a month. then 4 months of 30 minutes per day and 2 weeks of 3 hours per day (where I'm at right now).

Regarding the skills I've brought when I started GF1 : close to none.

Regarding the knowledge : I knew about the idea behind major scale formula (tones and semitones).

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: Jake_22

The 1minute and 15 seconds intro to Wish you were here : 17 hours (learned it during guitar fundamentals 1 as a side project)

The first 25 seconds of Tears in Heaven by Clapton : 6 hours. (last week)

Are these learning times even normal ?


Sure, you are doing fine. Much faster than some students I've seen! But, everyone learns at their own pace. And more importantly are you enjoying it? Are you accomplishing what you want to with the guitar & music?

Yes I am ! I was just a bit annoyed at learning notes on tab by heart and not understanding why it all fits together so well, the underlying theory. And wondered if I'd learn the songs faster if I understood how they're made. And you answered yes to that ! I'm taking a deep dive on theory !

And thanks for giving me a feedback regarding the time I take to learn songs, I thought I had some serious problems with this awful ratio of something like 3 hours of practice that amounted to only 10 seconds of the actual song. Glad to know I'm not terribly behind and that this is normal. Since I have no one to compare me, I didn't know how I was doing.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
I was just a bit annoyed at learning notes on tab by heart and not understanding why it all fits together so well, the underlying theory.

Okay, fair enough. But you are only 6 months in. And it sounds like you are learning & enjoying it. I think it might be beneficial for you to take a step back & work through my older GF 2 course that provides a thorough grounding in basic theory.

https://www.guitartricks.com/course.php?input=fundamentals2(discontinued)

Have a look at Chapters 1 & 3. That will fill in some of what you seem to be missing conceptually.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
So, And wondered if I'd learn the songs faster if I understood how they're made. And you answered yes to that ! I'm taking a deep dive on theory !

Right, but remember it's not necessarily going to make acquiring the physical skills faster. :)

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
And thanks for giving me a feedback regarding the time I take to learn songs, I thought I had some serious problems with this awful ratio of something like 3 hours of practice that amounted to only 10 seconds of the actual song. Glad to know I'm not terribly behind and that this is normal. Since I have no one to compare me, I didn't know how I was doing.[/p]

Sure! But, even if you were taking a longer than average time, why worry about it? Enjoy the process!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#4

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
I was just a bit annoyed at learning notes on tab by heart and not understanding why it all fits together so well, the underlying theory.

Okay, fair enough. But you are only 6 months in. And it sounds like you are learning & enjoying it. I think it might be beneficial for you to take a step back & work through my older GF 2 course that provides a thorough grounding in basic theory.

https://www.guitartricks.com/course.php?input=fundamentals2(discontinued)

Have a look at Chapters 1 & 3. That will fill in some of what you seem to be missing conceptually.

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
So, And wondered if I'd learn the songs faster if I understood how they're made. And you answered yes to that ! I'm taking a deep dive on theory !

Right, but remember it's not necessarily going to make acquiring the physical skills faster. :)

Originally Posted by: Jake_22
And thanks for giving me a feedback regarding the time I take to learn songs, I thought I had some serious problems with this awful ratio of something like 3 hours of practice that amounted to only 10 seconds of the actual song. Glad to know I'm not terribly behind and that this is normal. Since I have no one to compare me, I didn't know how I was doing.[/p]

Sure! But, even if you were taking a longer than average time, why worry about it? Enjoy the process!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

bouncee

Full Access

Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 12

In a rush and on my cell so I respond in this thread to find back to it later, that way I can look into the links posted in post #2, as I to am struggling to find the balance between praticing playing guitar and learning theory.

#5

In a rush and on my cell so I respond in this thread to find back to it later, that way I can look into the links posted in post #2, as I to am struggling to find the balance between praticing playing guitar and learning theory.

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 293

My experience is that theory, for guitar, is easy to learn and comes fairly quick (as long as you dont get to badly caught up in the morass of understanding written notes), developing the physical skills...not so much.

#6

My experience is that theory, for guitar, is easy to learn and comes fairly quick (as long as you dont get to badly caught up in the morass of understanding written notes), developing the physical skills...not so much.

bouncee

Full Access

Joined: 01/18/20

Posts: 12

Then there is people like me that never excel'd in anything theory, and just the mentiononing of any theory brings flash backs to days most forgotten. Back to a period in my life when I often got the feeling of defeat, books felt like huge mountains.

I guess I am actually kind of scared to dig deep into the music theory, fearing it might actually beat me or worse even break or ground me down so hard I never find the spirit to try again. I've always been more of a hands on guy, but everyone keeps saying how important music theory is so nothing to do but to dive in deep.

#7

Then there is people like me that never excel'd in anything theory, and just the mentiononing of any theory brings flash backs to days most forgotten. Back to a period in my life when I often got the feeling of defeat, books felt like huge mountains.

I guess I am actually kind of scared to dig deep into the music theory, fearing it might actually beat me or worse even break or ground me down so hard I never find the spirit to try again. I've always been more of a hands on guy, but everyone keeps saying how important music theory is so nothing to do but to dive in deep.

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 293

Bouncee,

After what you just said, I would recommend you follow the lessons and get your theory from those lessons. They really do a good job of focusing on the playing while feeding you little bits of theory along the way. In the end, theory is just an abstraction of music. So no reason to get shut out of learning how to play an instrument.

You don't have to swallow it all at once if that does not work for you. I think this web page was designed to be just what you are looking for. I believe my experience was very diffrent than yours. I have been a musician in one form or another for decades, so I found it easier to just study the theory.

The really important thing is that you find a way to theory that doesn't make you want to fire off the ejector seat. You really can get it through these lessons. They are designed to do this and these people are great reasources, when you need them. If you can't enjoy what you are doing wiith music, you are doing it wrong or you are inpatient to become Jeff Beck overnight. Both can be rough going and very little fun.

#8

Bouncee,

After what you just said, I would recommend you follow the lessons and get your theory from those lessons. They really do a good job of focusing on the playing while feeding you little bits of theory along the way. In the end, theory is just an abstraction of music. So no reason to get shut out of learning how to play an instrument.

You don't have to swallow it all at once if that does not work for you. I think this web page was designed to be just what you are looking for. I believe my experience was very diffrent than yours. I have been a musician in one form or another for decades, so I found it easier to just study the theory.

The really important thing is that you find a way to theory that doesn't make you want to fire off the ejector seat. You really can get it through these lessons. They are designed to do this and these people are great reasources, when you need them. If you can't enjoy what you are doing wiith music, you are doing it wrong or you are inpatient to become Jeff Beck overnight. Both can be rough going and very little fun.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 6509

Originally Posted by: bouncee
Then there is people like me that never excel'd in anything theory, and just the mentiononing of any theory brings flash backs to days most forgotten. Back to a period in my life when I often got the feeling of defeat, books felt like huge mountains.

You've mentioned your trouble with theory a few times now. I'd like to help you with this. Can you say exactly what is frustrating you about learning it?

And just as importantly, what is your current skill level?

Originally Posted by: bouncee
I guess I am actually kind of scared to dig deep into the music theory, fearing it might actually beat me or worse even break or ground me down so hard I never find the spirit to try again. I've always been more of a hands on guy, but everyone keeps saying how important music theory is so nothing to do but to dive in deep.

Thanks to snojones for giving great advice! If you're following the GF 1 course, then you will learn that there are simple chords & basic open chords. You'll learn the musical alphabet. You'll learn how to count in time, 4/4 time & 3/4 time.

In GF2 you'll learn barre chords & basic minor & major scales.

All of that is music theory.

Music theory is the conceptual understanding of what you are physically doing while playing music on an instrument. And like the physical skills, it's something that you learn & apply a little at a time.

Just like you don't become a master guitar playing overnight, you don't become a master music theortician overnight. One step at a time.

And as I stated above, theorectical knowledge will surely help you learn or understand songs faster. But no amount of theoretical understanding will take the place of learning the physical motions of any song or technique. The technique takes time to get into your muscle memory no matter how much you understand the notes you are supposed to play.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#9

Originally Posted by: bouncee
Then there is people like me that never excel'd in anything theory, and just the mentiononing of any theory brings flash backs to days most forgotten. Back to a period in my life when I often got the feeling of defeat, books felt like huge mountains.

You've mentioned your trouble with theory a few times now. I'd like to help you with this. Can you say exactly what is frustrating you about learning it?

And just as importantly, what is your current skill level?

Originally Posted by: bouncee
I guess I am actually kind of scared to dig deep into the music theory, fearing it might actually beat me or worse even break or ground me down so hard I never find the spirit to try again. I've always been more of a hands on guy, but everyone keeps saying how important music theory is so nothing to do but to dive in deep.

Thanks to snojones for giving great advice! If you're following the GF 1 course, then you will learn that there are simple chords & basic open chords. You'll learn the musical alphabet. You'll learn how to count in time, 4/4 time & 3/4 time.

In GF2 you'll learn barre chords & basic minor & major scales.

All of that is music theory.

Music theory is the conceptual understanding of what you are physically doing while playing music on an instrument. And like the physical skills, it's something that you learn & apply a little at a time.

Just like you don't become a master guitar playing overnight, you don't become a master music theortician overnight. One step at a time.

And as I stated above, theorectical knowledge will surely help you learn or understand songs faster. But no amount of theoretical understanding will take the place of learning the physical motions of any song or technique. The technique takes time to get into your muscle memory no matter how much you understand the notes you are supposed to play.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

edb200

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/20

Posts: 1

I'm brand new to Guitar Tricks so I can't directly speak to their method but...

I basically signed up because I've been playing for 4 years and have realized that there's two pretty distinct schools of music teaching.

1. Learn Theory and technique before songs.

2. Learn songs and through osmosis, the theory and technique required to play those songs.

School one is the academic way. School 2 is the 'rock and roll' way. Or so it seems. My teacher for the past 4 years is very school 2 and while I can learn songs and perform them without fear, I can't just sit in with a band and jam. Because I feel like I need to be doing both. So I signed up here hoping the progression of these courses gives me School 1 while I work with my teacher on school 2.

That's a long way of getting to my recommendation. Which is to devote half your playing time to each school. Work on those scales, chord shapes, progressions etc.... Then work on a song and, ideally, one that utilizes what you just practiced. Or, if not a specific song, get with the jam modules and just improvise the theory you're learning with a looping backing band. With a blues focus and some time, you should be able to figure out what's working in these improv practice sessions and it'll help you recognize what you see in the songs.

#10

I'm brand new to Guitar Tricks so I can't directly speak to their method but...

I basically signed up because I've been playing for 4 years and have realized that there's two pretty distinct schools of music teaching.

1. Learn Theory and technique before songs.

2. Learn songs and through osmosis, the theory and technique required to play those songs.

School one is the academic way. School 2 is the 'rock and roll' way. Or so it seems. My teacher for the past 4 years is very school 2 and while I can learn songs and perform them without fear, I can't just sit in with a band and jam. Because I feel like I need to be doing both. So I signed up here hoping the progression of these courses gives me School 1 while I work with my teacher on school 2.

That's a long way of getting to my recommendation. Which is to devote half your playing time to each school. Work on those scales, chord shapes, progressions etc.... Then work on a song and, ideally, one that utilizes what you just practiced. Or, if not a specific song, get with the jam modules and just improvise the theory you're learning with a looping backing band. With a blues focus and some time, you should be able to figure out what's working in these improv practice sessions and it'll help you recognize what you see in the songs.