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Old 01-13-2021, 08:31 AM
Fatfinger McGee Fatfinger McGee is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2019
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Default Thought exercise: learning music as conversation

Is there a way to learn guitar that's more like learning to speak, and less like learning to read? I have been watching my children learn to read, and contrasting it with how they learned to speak, and I can't help but wonder if there's a different way. I practice licks and scales and learn by rote; they learn to read by learning the alphabet, string letters into words, and words into sentences on the page. They learned to speak just by speaking - not just copying me, but pretty quickly learning and applying abstract concepts. I hear jazz musicians talk about musical conversation, and assumed that just comes when you hit a certain level of expertise, but does it have to? A toddler can string together a perfectly intelligible sentence knowing only 40-50 words. They don't need to know rules of grammar or diagram a sentence. How come I can't string together a decent improv after years of playing? How might I structure my practice to learn theory in an intuitive, organic way, to build a fretboard vocabulary and learn to combine notes in new and interesting ways? Maybe the answer is as simple as, hey dummy, you wouldn't learn anything just talking to yourself, go play with others.

Anyway, anyone else think about this too?
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