I need to see music to learn music.

I came to music late in life. I only started playing the guitar a few years ago. I had tried to teach myself guitar several times over the years but nothing much ever happened. Finally, I went to a guitar teacher for help. The first thing he did was start teaching me music theory. "Great," I thought. This is what musicians know.

For the next several lessons he piled one seemingly arbitrary music theory rule on top of another until I was overwhelmed. When I couldn't take it any more I got motivated to make it simpler. I knew that there had to be a reason for these rules. I knew that there had to be some underlying guiding principle to all of this. Since I'm kind of a nerdy science guy I gathered all the rules together in order to find a unified principle. I wanted to know how music was put together. It couldn't be difficult, could it? I mean I've seen guys who couldn't make change for a pizza play the most awesome riffs. If they can do it, why can't I?

Eventually, I began seeing how all these rules my teach told me related to each other. I saw that if I laid out scales in as a diagram I could understand how chords were constructed. I began to see patterns and relationships that made sense. I realized I didn't have to know the rules if I could understand the principles. At last I had my map, so to speak, that would show me how to make music.

Soon after creating my map I was able to join two bands. Music and music theory became something I could understand. My playing ability quickly improved. Since then. I have continued to devise diagrams and illustrations that have help me be a better player. I hope they can do the same for you.

Tom Michero