In this short post I want to spend a few words on the importance of knowing tunes, either written by other musicians or by yourself. ‘Repertoire’ is often a fancy word we use to identify ‘all the tunes we know’.
In my experience as teacher I have found to be a divide between the guitarist that is obsessed by theory and scales and that who is just interested in learning songs with no real interest in knowing how this songs are created. I always wondered why the second category were happier about their playing…
We spend as musicians most of our time learning theory, techniques and we often wonder how these fit in with ‘real life’….a lot of times we forget that tunes and musical pieces/compositions should be the goal of what we do. All these exercises and music theory studies should be a way to better perform and understand the tunes we know and write.
I always suggest to all my students to always keep an updated list of all the tunes they know (or they can busk), and a folder with all their original material, from the completed tunes to the ‘work in progress’ type material.
Keep writing and learning new tunes: this will give you a sense of purpose in your studies and also it will be a test for all the techniques and theory you have learnt…
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