I’ve been playing guitar for a long friggin’ time. Way longer than I should probably admit to, given my current skill level. I mean, I’m okay. I can figure stuff out by ear sometimes. I can improvise a lead. I can play and sing at the same time. I’m about good enough to be in a garage band. Maybe a gigging punk outfit.
Anyway, I’ve been in a creative slump for a while, so I figured that a good way to pull myself out was to follow the pack of jackals I’m friends with on Twitter and sign up for some lessons. I met my teacher on Saturday. He sounds like Otto from <em>The Simpsons</em>, but he knows his shit, and that’s cool. He’s also super friendly. I have a feeling we’ll get along just fine.
The first thing that Tony (that’s my teacher) gave me was some paperwork on the major scale, which is awesome because, after playing with it, I finally figured out how the major scale modes work. Also, I learned a great mnemonic device for remembering them: I Don’t Play Like Mr. Alex Lifeson. That’s , Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.
As I was going over these, I figured out that the Aeolian mode is the same thing as the natural minor scale. This is a known thing, among people who actually know what the fuck they’re doing when it comes to music theory. I, however, felt like motherfucking Pythagoras sorting out the relationship between a triangle’s sides and its hypotenuse! It was Archimedes in the bathtub time for me.
It’s a silly thing, I know. It’s not a great discovery. It’s certainly not new. But it’s been a long time since I felt like I actually accomplished something musically, and that was awesome. I’m pretty convinced that picking back up with guitar lessons was pretty much one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I find myself excited to play, when I really haven’t been in a long time.