Connecting The Dots – Tips For Learning Guitar
I have a lesson today that I wanted to talk about and it’s more of a theory based concept. It’s a great concept because it also relates to the physical side of learning guitar as well.
The idea is the importance of “connecting the dots”… and this is both explained as a way to think about how guitar concepts relate to each other, but also the physical aspect of connecting the dots that you’d see on your fretboard and in guitar tabs.
This came about when I was doing a live online guitar lesson. At the end of the lesson we were talking about how relative major and minor key signatures work and how you are able to take a relative minor scale on a minor Pentatonic scale and play the relative major of it to extend the range of the fretboard.
At the end of the lesson, one of the people said a big thank you and said that it is really helping them to “connect all the dots”… I thought that was really cool revelation because it’s so important to think about in all of the things that you learn, especially with guitar.
When you learn guitar there is not one thing makes you learn it well, there’s a lot of different concepts. As you learn them, they help piece together the whole idea of how to approach playing the instrument.
It’s very important to think about when you’re out there learning and studying a lesson. When you’re introduced to a new concept, the thing that you want to keep your eyes open for is how something you might be learning today relates to something you might have already known or learned in the past.
Sometimes it only takes one powerful idea or a powerful way that someone explains that idea, that helps you realize… “Oh My God” this just made everything make more sense! I now understand why this works and how it relates to that. I don’t wanna give exact examples because it’s more of a concept, it’s more of a thought.
If I were to relate it to an example on the physical side of connecting the dots… I once had a student and I’d given him a chart of the 5 different Pentatonic patterns and how they all relate to each other. He came to me the next week after I gave that to him and he said “Oh My God, these all made sense to me”. In his brain he wrote out this master chart of a fretboard and he had all the dots laid out. He had his own method of the way they all connected. I took a look at it and said, ” Yeah man, that works, that’s awesome!”
There was a way for him to associate all the lessons we did and bring it all together. In his brain, the way it was explained just made sense and made a lot of concepts we discussed come together and it gave him a deeper understanding and brought him into a new level as a player.
It’s fun to think about when you’re out there learning and working on something. Ask yourself… “how does this relate to something else I might have learned”?, chances are it’s gonna be related to something that you’re trying to do to get better at. Sometimes it’s just that one concept that allows you to connect the dots!
Sometimes it’s just a matter of looking at a certain way of having a concept explained to you that makes sense or maybe it’s just a matter of someone teaching you the concept of relative major and minor to say “Oh my God”, now I understand how these 2 are connected.
Just think about that, keep your eyes open for that whole idea to hit you and be present for when it does because it’s super powerful. So, get out there and connect the dots!