Comment: These are great for

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These are great for

getting the most out of practice and developing good concentration and discipline. Music is a discipline, and that is what so many people fail to understand or do not wish to accept!

To better address the actual TITLE of your post (and point # 9), which is to understand chords, it is helpful to realize that music (western) can be easily boiled down into a relatively small number of chords, or note combinations. These are intimidating for a lot of folks to learn and understand (which is often a result of how they are taught--or rather not taught when they should be), but it doesn't have to be this way! The real difference between one chord and another is interval, or the amount of "musical space" between the notes in each chord (actually, distance between frequencies). This can easily be visualized!

Under all melodies are chords and scales that fit over those chords. Instead of always resorting to rote memorization of notes--in, say, a classical piece--in the linear order in which they appear on musical staff, there is great value in first learning the chord structures underneath, which contain all of those "correct" notes. They are patterns, really. Learn the patterns first, and then you'll recognize them when they appear in music, plus you'll have the muscle memory of those patterns under your fingers... be they scales or chords.

What is cool is that there is not an overwhelming number of these patterns. It helps to "see" music to get a sense of the relationships between notes to better understand this.

To get a visual sense of this, check out this short clip:

What would the Founders do?