RHB Tip of The Week - Open Your Ears To Improve Your Guitar Skills

This weeks Rock House Tip of The Week is about listening to different kinds of music to improve your skills. One thing I have found in common from interviewing many of The Rock House instructors is that at the top of their list of advice to improve your performance is listening to music. Not just blues, rock or metal music but all genres of music. 

I think it's cool to be really be into a certain type of music. I am, I'm into old school blues and rock. Probably not much different than most others. Lately I have been opening up my ears to different types of music. I've been tuning my radio to different stations and listening to country, jazz, classical and shred music. I'm not talking about the words to a song here, sometimes I have to work hard to get past part of the music. What I'm trying to get to is when you open your ears to other kinds of music it opens your eyes and expands your playing ability. When you open your ears it will expand you're view on other styles of guitar playing, or whatever instrument you play.

When you listen to music that is "outside of the box" for you here are a few suggestions that may help you become a better guitar player.
  1. Listen to see if the instrument you play is in the song. If it isn't, it doesn't mean you can't learn something from the music you're hearing. Remember Cannon in C was not originally written on a guitar.
  2. Ask yourself what is this guy doing. Listen to the phasing and the melody.
  3. Play the figure it out game. Figure out what key the song is in.
  4. Think about if you played that piece how you would do it. Could you change the melody or the entire song? Could you take the metal song and make it cound country or jazzy?
  5. Listen to the "chickin' pickin' or country, the smooth melodies of blues, the complexities of jazz, and the melodic picking of shred and learn some songs from those genres.Incorporate them in your music, in your style.
As you listen to other kinds of music and open your ears up you will learn and grow your playing abilities in many ways.

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