Saturday, September 21, 2013

Delving Into Theory

  I believe I've mentioned this before, but the main reason I started piano instead of picking guitar back up right away is because I wanted to use that as a pathway to increasing my knowledge of music theory. I had no idea that I'd enjoy piano as much as I do, so that is a bit of a side bonus. When I dust off the old guitar, I hope to come back to it with a stronger grasp on the makeup of music and for once do more with it than simply play songs someone else has already written. But for now, my classes are what I look forward to most during my week.

  We've been getting into a bit more theory the last two or three classes, which has been making my day. I love how every week I can return and look at old music with new insight and how mysteries are slowly unraveling right in front of me. It's the same feeling I get when reading a good book and some subtle nuance finally snaps into place in my brain. I spend the rest of the day mostly in my head, pondering the new revelation.
  The catch is that learning to play and learning theory at the same time can be a little overwhelming, especially during a busy week when I don't have as much time to devote to practice as I'd wish. I occasionally find myself bumping against a wall when I'm working on new things and for some reason my brain can't seem to function correctly. Even if I KNOW what I need to do and CAN do it, sometimes my mind just refuses to participate and I just stare blankly at the keys, eyes glazed.
  Quite by mistake, I found a way to help myself around those walls. When I'm overwhelmed, I pull out old music that I've already spent a lot of time working on that I feel very confident playing. Or just taking out the book I use to study from, starting from page 1 again, and playing through everything I've already gone over. What seemed so difficult a handful of weeks ago now seems pretty close to natural, and playing through makes me feel like I actually know what I'm doing. This is how I feel like I look when I'm tearing it up on an old song:

But hopefully I have cooler hair.

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