We all get stuck sometimes. Playing the same stuff and having no idea how to get better and break out of this guitar rut... Let’s change that and get ready to be blown away by the sheer profanity yet the magical impact of these 5 tips to supercharge our playing!
This is probably the best way to learn new stuff and boost our playing! We just need to find songs that we enjoy and that will challenge us. This can be anything from a new technique, new chords, or a new scale that we can add to our playing.
Why does this work so well?
First of all, we get an instant reward because while mastering the song we simultaneously add new music to our arsenal! Secondly, we don’t need to think too hard about the perfect exercise and what to practice. The parts of the song that make us struggle will give us instant feedback on what we need to work at.
Thirdly, we only learn stuff we can use in our playing. This means we will be able to learn songs faster that are in the same style or we get new ideas for writing our own material. Fourthly, we have a goal that motivates us - mastering the song! Getting better at guitar is kinda the side-effect of that which puts us in a state where we don’t think about learning. It just happens.
Finally, the most important reason is fun! It’s just fun learning songs, getting better at playing guitar while doing it, and enhancing our knowledge of music in general.
Learning stuff from other musicians is a great way to grow as a guitar player. Everyone has a different background and knows different things. Swapping ideas can be a real eye-opener that we may never would’ve found out on our own. Or didn’t even know it existed….
Playing with other musicians is also a place where we cannot hide behind the band on our stereo we are playing along with at home. Here we need to show our skills and get feedback on what to work on. May it be timing or a real-world check that we should probably practice that riff or song better for the next jam session.
Playing in a band may sound a bit intimidating but what I mean is that being in good company, we have allies and can push together to get better!
Recording ourselves can be so frustrating because it will mostly crush our holier-than-thou guitar ego. And that is good! We are here to get better, not to flatter us, right?!
Getting better at recording guitars develops the way we play. First of all, we need to play in time and we need to play as clean as we can. Therefore we have a decent recording we can listen to and not turn away in shame. This is already a big step forward.
The next level of this is where we can develop our sound and learn how we can transfer the music in our heads into a real recording. Being able to record our playing the way we hear it and want it to sound like is one of the major steps as a guitar player and musician in general. This takes some time and experimentation but will ultimately forge our voice and style as a player.
Creating our own music is a great way to test what we learned so far on our guitar journey. As learning new songs that are challenging to us, writing riffs or guitar solos that challenge us is the same deal with a dose of creativity on top!
When I wrote Running To The Top I knew I wanted a Nuno Bettencourt kinda tapping lick in it. Well, guess what I had never played or learned a lick like that before but I liked the sound. I wrote the part and then…..unspectacularly…. I learned it.
It took me like a month from going a few bpm faster every day to finally recording it! Learning the tapping lick from Get The Funk Out always seemed too hard but writing an easier but still challenging version did the trick. Not only that but to have the goal to record it for the lead section was a real motivator.
Most of us cannot make time for 4h practice marathons and that is fine! It’s not about how long we practice but what and how we practice. We need to figure out what we want to achieve like learning a new song. Breaking that song down into smaller parts and then giving it a go for 15-30 minutes every day. Those small steps add up. We just need to make sure we keep at it. To keep at it we need to be realistic and plan our sessions.
Getting better at playing guitar is a journey and a process. One that will never end. The biggest players are still curious about new things to learn and new things to explore. While doing that they became the great players they are today.
This is exactly what we need to understand and the way we have to go to become better. We need to stay curious and willing to put in the time.
I hope the tips above will help you to become a better guitar player, to be motivated to learn, and to have fun putting in the time to rock out!
Thank You for Your time and as always....
Play The Rad Way!
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