“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve. The amateur pianist who took half a dozen years of lessons when he was a teenager but who for the past 30 years has been playing the same set of songs in exactly the same way over and over again may have accumulated 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ during that time, but he is no better at playing the piano than he was 30 years ago. Indeed, he’s probably gotten worse.”

This minor sixth interval wastes no time, jumping in right at the top of the tune. It’s a bit tough to pick out of the dissonant, bluesy context that D’Angelo sets up with the rest of his opening riff, but if you can isolate just those first two notes, you’ll have a perfectly handy minor sixth to memorize.

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