Another Way…

WARRENMUSIC Melody Module — Episode 09, “The Ultimate Goal of Ear-Training”

I am convinced that we live in the best time in history to learn music. We download albums in seconds, watch entire concerts on YouTube, and have easy access to tons of educational content. I hear there’s even a crazy guy who teaches tons of Radiohead songs for free! It truly is an amazing time for students of music everywhere, isn’t it? And yet, I am approached–almost daily–with the same issue students have everywhere in the world… what I call a lack of fluency in music.

Over the brief time I’ve been teaching music, I’ve been privileged to meet all kinds of students: hobbyists who learn through YouTube and guitar tabs, passionate songwriters in possession of a few basic chords, precocious youngsters looking to develop a more mature musical palette, and many more. But one thing unites them… the desire to become musically fluent, to have confidence in the midst of the many musical situations that arise in our daily musical lives. To most people, the task seems immense. Many students ultimately turn to tabs, instructional media, and sheet music in hopes of learning how to make the kind of music they love. And they eventually get stuck, plateau, and become frustrated with the lack of progress that inevitably sinks in for so many.

Now I won’t lie to you. Musical fluency is a challenging road. Not everyone will successfully walk on that path. But I wholeheartedly believe that–if steered in the right direction–passionate lovers of music can learn to teach themselves. With the right approach and a deep level of commitment, I believe anyone can learn to make music: they can learn to play melodies and chords by ear, solo over complex chord changes, program a drum groove, compose for a quartet, or arrange a whole song for a single guitar… it is all possible with time, dedication, and a way forward.

After all, I have been demonstrating exactly all of this for years by sharing my passion for music on my YouTube channel. Sometimes it’s a Radiohead song that I will teach the same day it’s released. Other times it’s an old Christmas song I have arranged in my own way. Occasionally, it’s an original piece with some electronic production. And it all starts with a few big ideas explained in the simplest of ways: melody, harmony, rhythm.

What I am advocating, in my opinion, is more complete and more helpful than any single tab, guitar DVD, piano/vocal/guitar book, or piece of sheet music. Tabs are often wrong, and they lack rhythmic information; they also condition us to focus entirely on the fretboard, while taking away the focus from developing our listening skills. DVDs and books can be very expensive; they can also be impossible to find when dealing with obscure songs. And reading sheet music proves over and over again to be a big obstacle for so many; the staff lines, note heads, and other symbols can simply become overwhelming. There are certainly many positive aspects about all of the learning methods above, but fundamentally, they all foster a dependence on something other than the most important thing: the connection between your ears, your understanding, and the music.

There is another way.

Through my training in the Kodály method, my studies in ethnomusicology and western music theory, and my own geeky fascination with understanding everything about the music I love, I have put together a system that can help people understand and play what they hear. In my system, the song itself is your teacher.

Are you interested? If so, let me show you another way.

Stay tuned.

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      Warren Lain

            WARRENMUSIC Melody Module — Episode 09, “The Ultimate Goal of Ear-Training”I am convinced that we live in the best time in history to learn music. We
            [See the full post at: Another Way…]


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