I did learn a lot that day when I got my first Etudes. I never went back to the tutor, but I kept practicing the etudes and started to notice a new ease in my playing.
However, on the paper was only sheet music, I had no clue how to connect this with anything else or what I could use the strange new tremolo technique I had acquired for, but I did like it, it was refreshing to actually feel as if I was getting better.
I wasn’t really sure about how or what I was getting better at but I was definitely getting better.
Since I considered myself a full time musician I did continue to gig during this time, but completely unable to match the new technique with popular music I soon became a bit depressed about the whole thing and actually gave up.
After 16 years of trying to learn the guitar I gave up. I did continue gigging but my search for understanding the guitar, I simply gave up and decided it had to remain a mystery.
Funnily enough, people around me wouldn’t agree if I said I couldn’t play the guitar. It certainly sounded like I could!
I could play songs, and I could play a blues solo or if I memorized it; even solos in pop and rock songs, but I did actually have no idea how music in itself worked on a guitar, I really had no idea. It was all trial and error.
Back to music school!
A few months later I find this music school on the internet, I was bored with my somewhat mindless gigging life and decided to go for it again, this time away from my country, away from all distractions, I was going to give this one more go!
At the age of 26 I drove my car from Sweden and arrived in the U.K to start my second degree in music. I had three years ahead of me studying popular music, this time in English.
After two weeks I realized that I wasn’t going to find any answers here either. It had been a few years since my last trip to music school but it all came back to me very quickly…
Different tutor, different system!
I’d go from one class were one guy said one thing, next class and the theory was completely different! Why?
-Because there is no commonly embraced system or method to teach you how to play the guitar. There just isn’t.
Consequentially, in any music school you get a lot of self-taught guitar tutors, all teaching the guitar in the way they look at it, I was furious!
Luckily I found a mentor in the founder of the college who actually laid it straight to me:
“There is no one system, if you want to find one you need to come up with it. And by the way, playing guitar in a rock band is actually not that complicated, it has more to do with sound, feel, songs, looks and all things you can’t find in a system.”
I can assure you that these where harsh words to my ears, but never the less true; it’s not hard to play guitar in a rock band, people do it drunk!
Unfortunately for me I didn’t have a band, and I had set the year aside to practice, not to get a new hair style, so I stubbornly continued my chase for the system that would solve my problem of not understanding the guitar.
I continued to go on about this to other students and tutors until it was pretty obvious nobody was listening anymore. When this happened I decided to basically invent a system that on paper would make sense, then learn it.
I decided to use what I learned, I took the main lesson, the core of it all and decided to just lock myself indoors to actually do the work.
To be continued…
Dan (your guitar guru)