Quincy Jones says learn your favorite songs note by note!





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Music

One of the best ways to learn is to play along with music. Here are some great albums that are sorted by difficulty.

Easy

Bob Marley - Legends
This is great music and it is easy to play along to. Most songs are just a few chords, but do not let that fool you. It is sophicated songwriting played by amazing musicians.

Medium

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Probably the most famous jazz album from the last 50 years. The ballads are tough but So What and the two blues tunes are not so bad. The solos are tough too, except for Miles' solos. This is an album you can learn from for at least a couple of decades.

Jimi Hendrix plays the blues
This is a cool album. You can play along with the chords and maybe pick up some licks.

Books

The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron
Check out our review of the book. This is a great guide to finding a higher place.

DVDs

Buddy Guy: Teachin' the Blues
Listening to Buddy talk about playing the blues is a heart-warming thing. You can tell he is a truly humble person and he imparts his grace unto the listener in an accidental manner. I don't remember how many times I've watched this tape, not really to learn anything but because he has such a great spirit and approach to the guitar.

George Benson: The Art of Jazz Guitar
This is another DVD produced from the same guys. Again just listening to George Benson talk about guitar and seeing how approaches songs and playing is just a happy experience. You can tell he has great love and admiration for music.

Instead of trying to absorb technical details, like what chord he is playing, just relax and absorb what he is saying and playing. I know it had an immediate and profound affect on me. I went to a gig right after watching the DVD and it was like I had woken from a hypotherapy session. I couldn't figure out what was coming out of my fingers. George Benson is so amazing that I think that if you watch the video go into with an open mind; don't compare yourself to him. Remember he's from another planet or something! Just soak up the good vibes!

Gear

These are some GuitarKitchen favorites for gear.

Sabine Metronome Tuner
This is a great price ($25) for a tuner/metronome that I like a lot. It works well and does not eat batteries too quickly.

Thomastick Jazz Swing Mediums
These are great strngs for playing jazz. Flatwounds. I think the trebles are the best I have heard and in general they sound good. Anything you will sound good if you make it sound good! But these are my favorites! Check out Big City String too because then you can get extra trebles, which is important. Trebles seem to wear out a lot quicker than out strings.

GHS Fast-fret String Cleaner and Dunlop Ultraglide 65 String Conditioner Cleaner both keep your strings clean. It depends on how your hands affect the string but you may notice some rust developing on the trebles plus some dirt gathering. Just using a cloth to clean off your strings works but I think this stuff works well. I have had not adverse health effects but I cannot vouch for the safety of the items - them seem decent.

Online

There's plenty of good resources on the internet. Here's a few we like.

Beatcraft

Beatcraft has tons of cool stuff. Basically you can use it as a drum machine to practice or you can program beats for songs. There's a week trial period, so definitely check it out.

Transcribe!

Transcribe! is great! Any music you have on your computer can be slowed and looped so you figure stuff out. It even has pitch recognition skills. It has a month trial period.

Ear Training

Listening to music, trying to figure out what's going, and playing with people is better, but online ear training is not so shabby either.

Ear Trainer
This is a great place to work on your ear in a formal way. If you don't know much about music theory it's a good place to start.

Good Guitar Lessons

Free Guitar Lesson Videos
You can learn a lot from this site. Check it out.

Guitar Tricks
While I have not actually subscribed, I believe they provide clear, succinct lessons with good audio and video - all in one well-organized website. If you want to learn about an obscure musical style, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you are interested in learning about major American musical styles and the fundamentals of guitar playing, check out Guitar Tricks (you can try out some lessons for free first).

Tab

If you want tab for songs there are plenty of places. Help support real musicians by actually buying stuff, if you can.

Guitar Tab Universe
This is our favorite place for popular music. Remember - play along to the music!

Scales and chords

All Guitar Chords
All the chords and scales you can shake a stick at!

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