Before you pick up a guitar, before you go looking for one textbook or the other, before you start looking for a tutor to sit under, there is one thing you must learn first and keep learning if you want to move fast in your guitar learning journey… you need to learn to ENJOY music! Yes, you read it right. You may think you have no issues with this simple pre-requisite, but until you, for example, can habitually recall the titles of songs performed 25, 30, 40 years ago only after hearing them for 5 seconds, then you’re yet to arrive at where I’m talking about.
Regardless, wherever you are in your love for music, you still need to feed your passion for it, be more vulnerable to it, and you need to respect it. This is a great oversight I believe many rookie musicians will make on their music learning journey- they’d pick up an instrument as exuberant enthusiasts and end up expending so much time and energy in trying to sound like their guitar idol or some other guy who is trending somewhere. This will only lead to frustration and eventually boredom.
Music is a like River…
You must understand that Music is like one mighty river with many tributaries that flows both back and forth. Each genre (tributary) is continually cross inspired by the other as they flow in and out of each other. Therefore, it is not for you to come to the river, get in your boat and start paddling to where you think you should go. Rather, you should enter the river with the aim of surrendering to it, and then, depending on the shape of your boat’s hull (i.e. your spirituality, personality, teachability, and life experiences), the river’s waves will interact with your boat and send you down a path where you will best function. However, at this point, I would caution that you be careful of what music you ‘expose’ yourself to; stay away from works with toxic lyrics as this too can affect negatively your mind unconsciously. Yes, music is a powerful vehicle for several other things.
Now for those apps: here are two of them (which I have classed as ‘exploration apps’) that can help make your music-learning journey as short as possible.
1. Shazam- the song finder
Shazam can find the name of the artiste of a strange song only after having it listen to the song (through your phone’s microphone) for a few seconds. As long as your ears can hear the music, Shazam will find it- even if the music is coming from a radio speaker playing in your neighbor’s premises three doors down. Then, by familiarizing yourself with it, it becomes much harder for you to forget it again. Do note, Shazam is not Omniscient because it feeds from a library of music ‘fingerprints’. So, there are chances the music you are looking for has not yet been known or stored in that library.
The latent benefit:
The whole idea in recommending this app to you is to for it to help you train your memory to remember and be intimate with as many tunes as possible. This is important because as you will find out later in your music learning journey, new music often feeds on the infinite re-combination possibilities of finite sounds we already know. You can check out more about Shazam on www.shazam.com
2. iHeart Radio- the song introducer
This app creates an auto playlist of songs for you based on the artist or song you’d select as your first song to play. iHeart doesn’t give you any power to choose what song(s) would play next. However, from experience, the app mostly stays true to playing songs within the genre and perhaps artiste affiliations of the first song you play.
The latent benefit:
Normally, we tend to get comfortable with a set of artistes and music flavors, claiming they are our favorite. In so doing, we limit our core music knowledge to their styles except we hear something new by chance say from the radio or from a friend. With iHeart radio, however, you can be regularly introduced to new artists and songs you never knew. This was how I got to discover some artists I now listen to and enjoy. Now, this app does not work in every country (Nigeria included). You can find out more on i-heart at https://www.iheart.com/
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