Guitarband.org is a project I’ve been working on for a few months, and it’s almost time to go public.
Like most web projects this one has evolved as I’ve worked on it. My first thoughts were to create instructional videos for new guitar players, using animation. I’ve seen a lot of videos with a guy demonstrating how to play this lick or that chord, but I wanted to do something a bit different.
The truth is, I’m not sure instructional videos are very effective. The reason is that once you get past the first few chords – you know: C, G, D, E, A, etc. – advancing your guitar playing is just hard. No matter what the guy in the video says, trying to copy his moves is not easy.
Learning the Guitar is Difficult
So I’ve come to a few conclusions about learning the guitar, and they’re built into my most recent version of Guitarband.org.
First, you can accelerate your growth as a musician by working towards specific objectives. And the most productive practice sessions are when you are practicing for a performance. Performing forces you to bear down and learn specific songs, chords, leads, riffs – whatever you part in the performance might be.
Second, playing in a group – even if you’re just jamming – is a kind of performance. You have to hold up your end of the song. You have to keep going even if you make a mistake (which we all do fairly often). And you learn a lot from the dynamics involved in playing with other musicians.
Third, the next best thing to performing or playing in a group is to play as if you are performing for an audience. Bear down. Don’t make dumb mistakes. Play in tempo. Keep going until the song is done.
Guitarband.org lets you play with a little band
This is where Guitarband.org can help. The Private Collection” inside Guitarband.org contains many cool arrangements of songs you can play along with. These are my own “private” arrangements so they tend to reflect the kind of stuff I like playing.
It’s just like you’re playing with a little band. In fact as I work on these arrangements I have little 4 and 5 piece combos in mind. The arrangements all have guitar chords, a melody line and a bass line, as well as keyboard and drums (when I’ve found the time to include them.) Some even have fairly simple horn parts – usually sax and trumpet.
And it’s not like you’re playing from sheet music. Yes, the notes are all there, but through the magic of digital composition you can play along with the songs as they play in your browser.
Have a look.