Thursday, November 30, 2006

Using a MP3 Player to Learn Songs on Guitar

How can you use an Ipod or MP3 Player to learn a song on guitar faster? I asked myself that question a few weeks back, and started to learn ways I can implement my two favorite toys, my guitar and my MP3 player.

Here is what I did:

1. I recorded rhythm tracks on a drum machine and converted the files to MP3s and upload them to my MP3 Player.
2. I used these tracks to jam along with and improve my rhythm playing.
3. After finding guitar TAB for a song I wanted to learn, I ripped the song from my CD collection and upload it to my player
4. I used my amp with head phones only.
5. I put in the ear buds for the MP3 Player, and then put the amplifiers head phones over top.
6. Adjust the volume of the MP3 player and amplifier so the balance between the two is correct when playing. Be careful not to turn the volume too high, ear damage can happened if you are not careful.

Now play the song you want to learn on the MP3 player and use the guitar TAB to play along with the song. This method helps you learn timing and phrasing similar to the actual recording. It also forces better rhythm playing, since you will be trying to match the rhythm of the original recording.

It is important that you work with the TAB for a little while before you start using the MP3 player to jam along with. Learn the basic rhythm patterns, chords, scales and the key of the song. Make sure you listen to the song on the MP3 player as a clue to how the riffs work in the song. Then sit down and study the TAB until you have the basic riff worked out. After you have accomplished the basics it is time to start jamming along to the song with your MP3 player.

It may be difficult at first to keep up with the original recording, but you can set up most players to auto repeat a song, allowing you the chance to repeat the song until you start to improve. Repetition and perseverance are the secret to learning how to play any song or musical instrument.

With this method you will be surprised how fast you can learn your favorite song. By using this system I have been able to reduce the amount of time it takes to learn a song by more than 50%.