Why The Guitar Is The Backbone Of My Song-Writing

When I was 13 I picked up a guitar for the first time. In the following 14 years it has become the foundation for which my song-writing has been built on and in this post I am going to discuss why it is such an accessible instrument to get into music with and how I utilise it in terms of song-writing and production.


So to start with, the guitar is in my opinion, the most accessible instrument for someone looking to get into music. This is mainly for 3 reasons that I'm sure won't shock any guitarists out there: tablature, Barre/power chords and the pentatonic scale. With these 3 tools the guitar becomes a much more pattern and visual based instrument than those that rely on traditional music notation.


The guitar neck is made up of convenient shapes that can be easily memorised and transposed into any scale and key, which means that anyone with a basic understanding of counting numbers can get to grips with it. Without understanding very much music theory at all you can become a great song-writer just by using the guitar, and the only real barrier for entry is your physical ability to place your hands on the fretboard and pluck the strings with a pick, which after a year or 2 of playing is simple enough to get to grips with.


When I approach song-writing I utilise tab almost exclusively. Through the Guitarpro tablature software I can utilise tab with more than just guitar, so that when I write I can write for any instrument, this will then be converted to the clef of choice for whoever is playing that instrument in the song. Through a combination of osmosis, trial and error, high-school music classes and years of playing the guitar I am able to write and produce my own music, as well as others'. The guitar also lead me to pick up several other instruments, bass, drums, piano and most importantly vocals which helped further my love and understanding for music and song-writing.


I think that in the past few decades guitar has really opened up music to everyone, potentially as much as the internet, due to this accessibility, and it is certainly the foundation of my musical career. So if you are unsure if music is for you I'd say pick up a guitar, learn the shapes and the chords and give it a good year or 2, you'll be shredding face-melting solos or serenading with beautiful love songs in no time!


Ross

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