Playing Music – Improving Your Music Playing Skill

What music skill are you going to learn in the next 12 months. You could be looking at a New Year, or the end of quarter and thinking forward about what you want to accomplish in the next 3 months or even the next year.

Taking Stock of your Music Skill

Any time is a good time to take stock and consider what you will be doing to move your music journey forward. If you’re an old hand at playing maybe it’s time to push your skill level and arrange a new song you’ve been thinking about. Maybe you don’t understand enough about compound or extended chord structures and you should start studying them.

If you’re a new student to music you know that you have to work on music fundamentals. Learning music principles and fundamentals is a must for anyone serious about being able to play music for fun or for entertainment of others.

One Hit Wonders

I have to admit I’m not fond of the pop music culture and the simplistic music that is often played these days. I’m pretty much convinced that most of these musician characters are shown enough to get by and make it sound good. It’s a wonder that we have so many one hit wonders.

However, my attention is perked when I hear a more complex arrangement of music where it’s hip and interesting to listen too. This is when I know that the musicians have studied music and know what it takes to keep people interested.

Complexities in Music

Whenever you listen to the great musicians you can easily find yourself getting sucked into the music and complexities.

It’s when this happens I find myself taking stock of what I’ve learned and what I need to get more versed at. For me it’s working with chord substitutions in the jazz realm at the moment. There are a few other things like Latin rhythm that I also want to focus on.

Do You Have Fundamentals Down Cold?

To be able to focus on anything you have to know where you are and where you’re going. The first thing is to ask yourself if you truly have the fundamentals down cold. Maybe you should test your knowledge.

  1. Can you list the seven sharp keys and seven flat keys with their relative minor?
  2. What key has 4 sharps? Could you name it in under 3 seconds?
  3. Do you know all 15 major scales and can you sit down right now and write them out? Can you play them?
  4. Can you pick any minor scale and write out the natural, melodic, and harmonic versions?
  5. Name the 4 types of triad chords.
  6. Write the seven kinds of sevenths for an A flat chord in notation form (Ab7), you have 10 seconds.
  7. If you are stumbling on any of these concepts you need to buckle down and work on them.