School of The Rock

 

Learn Guitar or Piano                


Written by Paul D. Race for SchoolOfTheRock.comô

 

No matter what kind of music you  like or want to write or perform, the ability to accompany yourself is critical. 

It helps you with your songwriting. It also keeps you from being at the mercy of an accompanist. 

Learning guitar helps you relate to many kinds of popular music.  It also means that if someone puts you on the spot anywhere there are musicians, there’s bound to be a guitar within reach.  Being able to play at least some guitar also gives you “cred” with folks who may not understand that your real talent lies elsewhere. 

If you plan to be a worship leader, at any level, it’s critical.  Most worship songs were written by guitar players, and it’s hard for non-guitar players to ever really get a feel for that music. 

I regret not learning to play piano when I was young enough for it to sink in.  People who really learn piano come up with chord progressions and harmonies that guitar players never do.  If you doubt me, listen to the Doobies before and after Michael McDonald.  I love both eras, but you have to admit that having a serious keyboard player in the band broadened their musical horizons. 

If it’s too late to actually learn piano, I’d recommend at least learning the chords you’re most likely to use in your songs on the piano as well.  Again, you may find yourself called upon to sing a song without your accompanist or even a guitar handy, and if you can pick the chord out on a piano, you still have something. And you’ll grow musically for being able to play at least a little.  Don’t laugh, self-taught pianists include Annie Herring of the Second Chapter of Acts, Larry Norman, and Sir Paul McCartney. 

I’d recommend learning banjo, too, if I thought it would help your career - it’s a lot of fun, but I don’t think it’s for everybody.  Yet.  ;-)

Every town has a guitar teacher, and nobody can keep you from practicing until you’re insanely good.  But if nothing else, you need to be at least good enough to accompany yourself on one of your typical songs. 

 

As always, please contact me with corrections, complaints, clarifications, etc.  If your response is responsible, I'll try to include it in the "reader response" section below.

God bless,

Paul

SchoolOfTheRock.com

 


Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.A Note from Paul: Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

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