Learn how to Play An Instrument- A No Nonsense Guide To practical Jamming

For some people, learning how to play an instrument is all too intimidating. We like to over complicate the process of music making and get discouraged right when we can’t get sound like what we’d imagine we would sound like in our heads.

I started playing the bass in 2008, I sounded terrible those first couple of months, and only through the long drawn out process of trial and error did I even attain at least some play ability. I eventually took lessons from a blind man named Dawson (https://www.facebook.com/dawsonmusic) and that was when I got my steady foundation of my bass skills.

Over my 6 year span of bass playing, I have learned some tips that can be universally applied to virtually any instrument of your choice.

Some Things to THINK about

1) Stop Over-complicating it- Give yourself a little credit, learning an instrument isn’t easy; but it also isn’t hard either- it is possible.

2) You will not be the best, but you should still practice- You may not be the best, but you will never get close if you don’t put the time in.

3) Find the Instrument that is right for you- Everyone has their own instrument that fits them, mine is the bass- yours might be a Guitar, a Banjo, the Drums, a mandolin, maybe even a violin. When you do find the instrument right for you, Never buy the most expensive one at first- you need to ease in to it-

4) Play around with it- You don’t have to delve right into a structured and well planned syllabus, get comfortable with your instrument. Find your style as well as your confidence, you can’t possibly learn something successfully if you don’t get to have fun with it.

5) Chords- The Most fundamental aspect of music is all found in the chords. So your proficiency in chords could make you compatible with other musicians.

6)  Tabs- I never learned how to read music, nor did I ever want to, I feel like for the most part some people want to trick you into believing that you must be able to read music before you can advance your playing. I do believe that is something worth learning, and useful, but some people just don’t have the time to learn this skill, in fact it is a whole ‘nother skill in its own. Tabs- are much easier to read, and are easy to find on the web. Sites like Ultimate guitar ( http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/) give you a fast and easy way of reading music- and therefore are a very important tool for the musician.

7) YouTube- Tabs aren’t always up for grabs- and may not even be your style, if you prefer someone explain how to do something, and show you than YouTube is always an option (and sometimes it is your only option). YouTube has metronomes, Gutair fills, drum loops.

8) Make your own songs- Why just learn other people songs? Put your creative skills to work for once and orchestrate your own rhythm.

9) Collaborate!- Find some friends or other people in your nearby area that play instruments- some experienced players can shoot you some tips, and correct some mistakes. Jamming is a form of art among some circles, and creates a truly original sound in its self. Jamming brings people together, and overall improves over time.

Learning to play an Instrument is much more than some noise that’s about to be made. It is a form of self expression, and self determination- and anyone can do it.


The Best of Today’s Psychedelic Music-

I was first Introduced into the world of Psychedelic Music after I had encountered Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We only go backwards” one night on Pandora- and since then I have acquired the love for the genre. I don’t always listen to psychedelic but it is my favorite genre, I love the overall strangeness and mellow vibes of this type of music.

Through my years of jamming out to this genre I have come across 5 bands that I think are the staples of this music, and have included a links to several Music Videos on youtube-

1) The Growlers


Coming straight out of Cali, the growlers was formed in 2006 and have quite a track record, On a side note They are playing at Wakarusa(http://www.wakarusa.com/artist-lineup/2015/growlers/) this year, they are a truly remarkable band-

Notable Tracks- Burden of the captain(link above), Old Cold River

2) Allah Las

Allah Las is an extraordinary line-up that is from the California sun as well as the growlers- They are a mystical and  apprehensible band and have patented their own style. Most importantly, they are a band that even sound good live!

Notable Songs- No Voodoo(link below), Sacred Sands, Follow you down, Artifact,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaeP-7VWFHY (No Voodoo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJYecS0vU0 (Tell me whats on your mind)

3) Tame Impala

This Legendary Australian band has defined today’s psychedelia, Tame impala has an arresting sound, and is relatable – (Their best Album to Date(opinion)) is Lonerism,


4) Mac Demarco

Mac can lay down some truly remarkable tracks- the Canada born musician is the most unique and strange character on the sound-waves and He Is definitely worth Listening to- His song writing is Gilt-edged, a topflight act that is out of this world and bound to be world famous-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bfTTeZOrs4 (ode to Viceroy)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGh97zsBfWk (cooking up something good)

5) Blackfeet Braves

The opening riff to this song will make you instantly hooked to the song- Blackfeet Braves have an incredible instrumentation and collaboration–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbVV0fR0q-Y (oh so fine)

Psychedelia is worth the exploration and these Band’s make it a worthy adversary among st the all others, and make this genre relevant.