Play OUTSIDE The Box... Or BUILD A Box?

Play OUTSIDE The Box... Or BUILD A Box?

Tommaso Zillio

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simplicity songwriting secret

Do you want to know the secret to songwriting?

It sounds like a big claim, I know, the "secret to songwriting"? Is there really such a thing?

Well, yes. There is one massive secret to songwriting that you can start practicing right away, and it has to do with woodworking.

…What? What does woodworking have to do with songwriting? That’s exactly the thought that I had when I started reading a comment that was left on one of my past videos, where a viewer was comparing writing music to making a wooden box.

(Compare with most musicians' obsession with playing "outside the box"...)

It seemed odd at first, but the more I read, the more sense it made. So I made a video about this comment to explain the idea, which is nothing short of great.

So, what’s the songwriting secret? Check out the video below, and I’ll share it with you.

Do you know what else will make you a better songwriter? Understanding your chords. This seems obvious, but I'm willing to bet that even if you think you are an expert with chords, there are probably so many things you still don't know.

Or, worse, there are many things that you are uncertain about. And nothing stops you in your track while making music than having doubts about what you know.

If you want to bolster and consolidate your chord knowledge, check out my Complete Chord Mastery guitar course.

Video Transcription

Hello internet so nice to see you, I got a great question and they want to answer it.

Discussion of pop songs reminds you the first thing you're often taught to do in woodshop courses to make a box. And people often learn how complex simplicity can be.

That's a great comment. And it contains if you want the secret of songwriting, and need probably the secret to music, and I mean, I know, I know, he sounds like clickbait right now. But I really believe it. Because the idea is this. It's whenever you learn something, no matter how simple, you should play it.

Okay? And that's when people stop and like, No, it's too complex to play. Now you have to find the simplest way of playing it. So, for instance, let's say that somebody teaches you about the C major scale. Okay? C major scale, no, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and you want to play it.

Okay, so let's say you know what, how to find the notes on the fretboard great. If you don't, I have a video for that. Okay. But the first thing you want to do is don't worry about patterns, systems, anything, just find those notes on the fretboard. I mean, what could go wrong, you play the notes in the wrong order, and you open a rift in the space time continuum, Nope, just gonna play this game.

So and you're gonna discover really soon, just by trying to do that the simplest way that there is more than one way to play the C major scale. Of course, the simplest application is if you play it in order, so you can play them this way. Or you can play in this way. You can play them this way. Or in any other way. There are so many ways to play the C major scale.

Some of them are structured, some of them are more compact, okay, but the first thing is, realize that there's more than one way to play the C major scale on a guitar. Different than in the piano on the piano, it's always the same thing, maybe you can change the octave. But here, I didn't change the octave, I play the same note in the same octave.

And there are different ways fingering if you want, then we can start talking about which one is best. Which one is worst? which one works best for specific things, and so on and so forth. Okay, but is that everything you can think about when you learn the C major scale? Because notice, I just play the C major scale going up. The first is the next simplest thing is let's play his key coming down.

Now every viewer watching this video and thinking he's just saying obvious thing. Am I when when somebody told you about the C major scale? Is these what you did? If not made it consider that I'm saying something that can apply to what you're learning right now. Okay, so what is the next simplest thing up this gate coming down? And again, there's more than one way of doing it.

Okay, depending on how you want to move the fingers. There's many, many possible ways of playing this game coming around. And again, of course, it's time to stay in position because nobody told me to stay in position, or they told you to stay in position. Maybe I can put a C major scale this way. Okay.

Make sense? So, how many ways that's the question, how many ways can you find right now with your guitar to play the C major scale? How many, just think of just think about it for a moment, even if you're an advanced player, can you find a way to play the C major scale that you haven't played? I could sit down here all day, and find new ways to play the scale using slides or other things. So maybe I can bend.

Okay, and it's still the C major scale. You see what I mean? Whenever you learn something, you want to apply it immediately. And look for the musical possibilities. Elementary basic does not mean simple. And even simple does not mean easy. The C major scale is the simplest thing ever. But like more than one musician said there is a lot of good music yet to be written in C major.

And then a lot of modern composers who wrote music in pure unadulterated C major just to show that there is more space even in the simplest scale, ever. Okay, so no matter how advanced you are, grab your guitar and try to play the C major scale in a different way. And notice right now, I was talking about only playing the scale going out and playing the scale going down but we all know that you can change the order.

Okay, you can play does not in any order okay you can play sequences or other things patterns so you can just go up and down randomly How many things can you do with that how many melodies Can you write with that you see how we started from something really is more which is the C major scale and these exploded and you can start writing melodies over melodies and different things using only those few notes everything that you know you should play and everything that you know already everything you're thinking I know these are ready all of these can become new music if you give it two minutes and you sit down and try to play it okay. You might know your C major chord Okay.

Related to C major scale Okay, how many ways are not playing the C major chord I mean you can hear II complete here you can play these are completely easy to complete you can play these you can play this you can you can do this. So many paths you can play these, you can just spread the voices out or spread even more. Okay, but even if I stay only in this position, maybe I can stop it. I can arpeggiate it.

Okay, there are more and more ways to play the C major chord regardless, okay, on how simple it looks at first. Okay, the name of the game is not just knowledge, the name of the game is implementation, meaning how many ways you know to apply that concept, like the commander was saying at the beginning of this video, when you learn woodworking you start by building a box, the box in the simplest thing ever.

But when you actually build it, when you're not sitting down in your armchair and thinking about it, like you're actually building it, you realize that a lot of things go into these now I know a little about woodworking, okay, so I don't know, the specific, but I guess that there's gonna be a lot about precision of the joints and cutting those in those pieces perfectly right? Otherwise, the box is skewed and all this kind of thing. So you build something simple first.

These is key because a lot of people want to build something complex at first, but many people are attracted to complex music, which is great, I love it. But you cannot start by writing complex music because you don't have the chops, you don't have this skill set, you need to start writing something simple.

And something simple would be something like maybe explore with this record, which are c, f and g can do for you. And then you can make it more and more gradually more complex. But you have to start from the simple stuff. And the simple stuff is gonna teach you a lot. All those musicians out there that you see play great and complex music started with the simple music.

I'm not they didn't stay there, but they started there. Okay. So start if you want to become like those musicians, you have to follow a similar path. Don't be afraid of playing or writing simple music, but play it well and write it well or at least as well as you can right now. And you're gonna learn a lot and the next time you do it is going to be better and the next time you do it's gonna be even better until you're able to do the complex stuff and do them well.

Okay, and if you need any help, you can just enlist my help but think by taking my courses and I have a course about chords called complete chord mastery teaches you all the chords and harmony on guitar directly on the fretboard and yes, in this course I also show you the implementation I'm showing you different ways of playing those chords so that you can make them sound in in different ways metal or jazz or funky, or acoustic and wide or interesting and strange.

And it's always the same chord is just different ways of playing them. So in this course we see both the theory but directly on the fretboard and the different ways to apply these in real life so that you can write by the sound guitarist stick and not as if they're copied from piano players.

Okay, started make your your guitar sound like a guitar your by sound like a guitar and then make them sound good. If you liked this video, smash that like button Don't forget to subscribe so click on subscribe and then click on notification so that YouTube will tell you when I put up a new video. And if you have any comments on everything I said today or you have any questions you want answered, just write them down in the comments. I love reading from you guys. This is Tommaso Zillio of MusicTheoryForGuitar.com, and until next time, enjoy.

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