Instructional music mash-up, and my inability to learn alone

My buddy Rob is always good for throwing me groovy web video links — I could probably maintain a decent blog just ripping him off. A couple weeks back he turned me on to this inspired mash-up of three instructional music videos by Kel McKeown:

A fine example of recombinant inspiration lifting the ordinary into the realm of the extraordinary.

No shortage these days of useful online resources for someone trying to learn an instrument. YouTube and Google Video are awash in instructional video goodies, there’s a wealth of pages that transcribe even obscure songs. My present attempt to learn “Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes” by Kevin Ayers off a tab-sheet is hampered by my inability to perform basic manuevers on the fretboard, and to feel between lines/dots of the chord-changes. Trying to teach myself guitar this past year has provided me with boundless humility and some insight into my own processes of learning, the pros and cons of mechanisms for informal self-instruction. Too bad that I still suck.

What I find myself wanting is some means of online social interaction that might begin to replicate the vastly superior learning experience of sitting down with a patient, friendly musician willing to share a few licks and tips. Maybe I should just get out more.

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7 thoughts on “Instructional music mash-up, and my inability to learn alone

  1. Great video, lots of fun.

    I did a Berklee Music course in arranging whilst in a location that separated me from like-minded musicians and it was well worth it. They run some pretty good guitar programmes.

    There are online music collaboration sites, like digital musician, but these are geared towards recording musicians. Forum-based sites like harmony-central have lesson lounges, but to be honest the information there is as often unhelpful as it is helpful.

  2. Brian:

    I’m intrigued by the concept of online collaboration in music as well as the arts. There is a fab website I came across terminus1525.ca whose mandate is to get young artists to collaborate with others in Canada & abroad. This is done with forums and creation of an online “virtual studio”. I’m very interested in seeing the end product of these collaborations.

  3. Thanks to you both Fernando and Patricia — these references both point in the direction of what I fantasize about.

    I must admit, music is such an instinctive, presence-oriented form that I think creating it remotely will be something like the ultimate challlenge…

  4. Very cool post. What you seem to be looking for is also what the 4600-ish people with the same learning goal in 43 Things could benefit from.

    The “network” that has formed around a learning goal there isn’t so much about helping each other achieve the goal — it seems to be more focused on helping people decide whether to pursue it in the first place, and how to get started. Once they’ve adopted or rejected the goal, very few return to participate in any meaningful way. It’s like the assumption is that once you’ve started, the learning will take place in isolation (or at least elsewhere). Interesting…

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