Ways To Improve Your Guitar Playing"
of the most frustrating aspects of playing guitar is when you
reach the point where you are not improving. Whether you are a
novice or a seasoned musician, we all face the same problem and
ask the question, "Why am I not at the level I want to be
and how can I get there?"
add insult to injury, we see our guitar heroes in magazines and
on T.V. everyday and it seems as if they are constantly inventing
new tricks and improving their skills. When we read about them
in Guitar World to try to emulate their skills and learn their
tricks only to leave more confused. Becoming the ultimate guitarist
is far harder than it looks.
what is the key to success? While there is no one answer that
can solve everyone's problem, there are a number of concepts and
theories that can help you break through the barrier that keeps
you from reaching your full potential.
one thing that you need to realize is that you don't need to be
a genius to become a great guitarist. The two key things you need
to have in your possession are interest and commitment. You'll
never meet a great guitarist who isn't passionate about music.
They didn't get to the level that they are at by being apathetic
and lazy. They took the initiative to go out and try to learn
guitarist who dares to challenge himself takes the risk of failing.
This is where many musicians lose their battle with low self-esteem
and quit. It's not that they didn't take the risk, rather, that
they failed and couldn't pick themselves up again. If you realize
that failure is a part of growth and that it takes many jam sessions
to get some tricks down, you have just acquired the first skill
you will need to become the ultimate guitarist.
have compiled a list of concepts that I believe every guitarist
should try out. Unlike other articles you will read, these short
and simple steps ask you to do, rather that simply read. Thoughts
and attitude are important but in the end it's what you do that
counts to your audience.
get started with the top ten things you can do to obtain maximum
results as a guitarist.
10 tips for success...
something new - Educating yourself is the first step to becoming
a better guitarist. Whether you choose to believe it or not,
there's always something new to learn and master. If you are
currently studying music in a conservatory, at school, or in
college, you will find that learning will come more easier to
you. If not, I highly recommend that you get in a program. While
I believe in teaching yourself, I also know from first hand
experience that motivation and encouragement from a teacher
is priceless. Once you conquer the subject that you were learning,
push yourself to learn something that you're not quite comfortable
with. Learning within your comfort zone often results with you
running around in circles.
your time count - Practicing does not make perfect, it makes
permanent. That makes the time you spend playing your guitar
all the more important. Don't waste your time fiddling around
on your guitar. Dig in and learn something that will aid you
on your quest for musical success. Set goals and work towards
achieving them. Whether it's technique, tricks, or a new song,
you can become better just by using your time more wisely.
to more music - The more music that you are exposed to, the
better guitarist you will become. Listen to the bands that you
enjoy most and draw inspiration from them. Take note of what
the musicians are doing in their songs and make a list of the
techniques you want to learn. This can be the motivating force
that gets you to play your guitar more often.
yourself with excellence - When you play your guitar with people
who are better guitarists, you not only learn from them but
feel motivated to push yourself to keep up. At first this idea
seems obscure. Why would you expose yourself to that kind of
stress? Let's face it, if there's one thing that will make you
get motivated quickly it's the fact that people are counting
on you. Don't play with musicians who are arrogant and rude.
Embarrassment doesn't foster self-esteem and will only get you
down. The people you want to learn from are patient and understanding.
Eventually you will find yourself at their level. It happens
faster than you might think.
yourself what will you do when you obtain the skills you want
- What do you want to do with what you learn? Perhaps you want
to make a CD or join a band and play at some local venues. Start
planning for it now and use what you currently have. This ties
into setting goals but is not to be underestimated. Knowing
how you want to use your talent is important. Create a vision
and use goals to act on it. Whether you want to play for others,
or to the wall in your bedroom, the choice is yours.
someone how to play guitar - To teach is to learn. If the only
chord you know how to play is a G chord, show someone that.
Why? Because it reaffirms what you know and solidifies your
knowledge. I can tell you from personal experience that I have
learned more through teaching than I ever learned through being
taught. It forces you out of your comfort zone and when questions
are asked, you need to know the answer. I'm a firm believer
that anyone can teach someone something if they want to. Give
it a shot and see the results for yourself.
in your ability - Yes, I know how cliché this sounds. However,
you need to hear it. You can do anything you put your mind to
and if you choose to play guitar well, chubby fingers or not,
you can! Don't listen to what others say and be true to yourself.
This can be hard seeing as we live in a critical society that
doesn't realize how much words can hurt. Keep at it and surround
yourself with supportive people. More of a life lesson than
a guitar lesson, but as far as I'm concerned music is intertwined
with daily living.
are incomparable - In case you haven't picked up the hint yet,
you are the ultimate guitarist. There is no one like you and
there will never be anyone who even comes remotely close to
being like you. Integrate who you are into your music and you
will never have a shortage of material. Your music will soon
form into your own tone and style.
what worked for others - Whether you research your favorite
guitarist or talk to your guitar teacher, ask others what worked
for them. I don't claim to know all the answers but when everyone
puts their heads together, some really neat ideas start to flow.
Networking allows you to give and receive at the same time.
your weakness - We all know where we lack the most in the guitar
realm. For me it's in technique and finger picking, for others
it's something different. Whatever it is, don't ignore it while
enjoying your recent victory. Keep attacking your weak points
and you'll soon see improvement. The secret is that you never
stop seeing problems and you continually get better over time.
You'll never be stuck without something to do. Take out a sheet
of paper and write them down. Then find the resources you need
to help you destroy them. It's not unlike a war, but in the
end you always win.
believe the popular myths.
may be surprised to hear that a lot of the common advice distributed
amongst guitarists couldn't be farther from the truth. There are
myths and tokens of advice that get passed along and guitarists
like yourself use them. Try as hard as you like, but you'll end
up realizing that what meets you at the end of the road is failure.
avoid that, let's look at some of the most common myths floating
good players can play all styles - While great in theory, it
doesn't work out in practice. Throughout the history of this newsletter,
I have consistently pushed trying various genres of music and becoming
a more cultured guitarist. However, no where will you ever hear
me, or any other teacher, say that you should be able to master
all of them.
fact is that it takes a lifetime to master one style. Some take
up two genres that mix well together, such as blues and rock, but
those genres are the exceptions. You will never hear a neoclassical
shred guitarist play country. Many jazz musicians take decades to
perfect their craft and even then they still see areas that need
you want to be a great guitarist, take the genre and style that
you're passionate about and focus on it. Don't get distracted with
other music. Your guitar heroes are heroes because they mastered
a genre. Very few will ever play outside of their specialty and
that's just the reality.
either have "it" or you don't - Let's face it, some
understand music more easily than others. That doesn't mean that
you can't be as good as them. Everyone can play guitar, it just
depends on the effort and time you want to put in. There are dozens
of specialties within music and no one knows all of them from the
time they are born. Perfect pitch is developed, as is technique
and originality. Look at where you started from as opposed to where
you are now. Would you say that you are just as original as you
were when you first picked up the guitar? I know I'm not. While
things may come easier to others, remember that we all have our
own struggles within music and that we are in it together.
sound good, you need the best gear - The best gear is nice,
and yes, you do sound better. However, it's unnecessary for those
who aren't interested in professional music or are just starting
out. Beginners love to see the rack of guitars at their local music
store and say, "I want the $2000 one." That was me for
years but the truth is that a guitar of that caliber is useless
to someone who can't play it. Learn on something modest and work
your way up. Not only will the experience be more rewarding, it's
also nicer on the instrument and your self-confidence. In the end,
the guitar is only as good as the person who plays it.
have heard crappy guitars sound half-decent when played by someone
who knew what they were doing. The same applies to you. For those
who can afford $5000 guitars, my advice is go for it. For the rest
of us, I say save your money and work towards being the ultimate
guitarist. Think about it, if you sound good on a crummy guitar,
how much better will you sound on something that can really produce
a good tone?
need to be the most talented to succeed- All too often, as mentioned
above, we tend to compare ourselves to others. The ultimate guitarist
is you meeting your goals and making progress. There will always
be others who sound better in certain areas but who cares? Be the
person you want to be and music will be far more enjoyable. Success
is measured on a personal level, not n how many CD's you sell. The
famous musicians in today's society often find themselves wishing
they weren't so pressured by record labels. They want to be in your
shoes where they have the choice to do what they want to do. Enjoy
yourself and the rest will fall into place.
free access to Guitar Tips members area
you be waiting for the right moment to get a Guitar Tips membership?
Perhaps money has been tight lately and you're saving up. Look no
further. We have an opportunity that could land you with access
to any one of our sites! What do you have to do? Simply go to:
be the most active poster for the month of June. Membership is free
and the stakes are high. If you come out as being the most active
member, you will receive full access to any one of our sites. You
do not want to miss out.
as the Guitar Forum is near and dear to my heart, I will also offer
to do a brief musical biography on the top three posters for the
month of June. They will be featured in our July newsletter that
reaches nearly 200 000 people! If you want the ultimate exposure
as a musician, go to our Guitar Forum and start typing. It's not
too late to rack up the posts!
month's featured jazz 'n' swing band
Joyce Grant Quartet
you ever heard modern day jazz with a classic swing? If not, here
is your chance. The Joyce Grant Quartet is a superb example of
musical professionalism and refined talent with a swing that draws
you into the music. It's not often that you hear voices like Joyce
Grants and to be quite honest, I'm surprised she isn't already
a household name.
if a great voice wasn't enough, she only plays with the best of
the best. Joyce's fellow musicians are quite remarkable and extremely
sophisticated. Each has their own distinct tonality and feel that
they convey to the audience. It doesn't take a trained ear to
appreciate the talent and passion this band possess. Her jazz
guitarists are particularly striking and have exceptionally nimble
fingers that seem as if they fly across the fretbord.
what Joyce had to say when asked about her band:
Joyce Grant Quartet is relatively a new band (less than two years
old) consisting of myself: Herman Eberitzsch (keyboard) songwriter/arranger.
Herman has played with Lee Oscar (War), Greg Ricco (Sly & the
Family Stones), Syklopps band (members from Journey).
alternate between Eric Swinderman and Bob Coons on Guitar. Eric
Swinderman has been performing in front of Bay Area jazz aficionados
for close to thirty years. My original tune "Speak To Me" is featured
on Eric's CD "In Pursuit of the Sound". I alternate between Bobby
Cochran and Raul Ramirez on Drums. Bobby Cochran is a veteran
drummer who has played in numerous bands as: John Lee Hooker,
Jimmy McCracklin, Edwin Hawkins, and currently with Elvin Bishop.
am currently working on material for an upcoming original CD.
The video on my website was created at Expression College for
Digital Arts. By clicking on the link under "Bands Wanted" musicians
and singers can not only get video, but CD's and WMF files done
free. The college is on the lookout for bands to be recorded by
the students. If you don't know about this and you live anywhere
near Emeryville, CA, this is an opportunity worth looking into."
a personal standpoint, I am moved by many of their tunes. One of
my favorite tunes that is featured on Joyce's site is an original
song written by Eric Swinderman called "Speak
To me." Joyce is the solo voice and it is a wonderful feel
good song. This quartet has a lot of potential and are merely beginning
their journey into the jazz world.
I highly recommend this band to anyone who is looking for something
different. Their refreshing take on jazz will surely put you in
a better mood. To learn more and to hear samples of The Joyce
Grant Quartet, simply click
double handed guitarist site review
are few words that one could use to describe Michael Angelo Batio's
progressive rock style aside from phenomenal. I have yet to witness
such outstanding technique and stage presence throughout my lifetime.
This website will not only leave you in awe, but it will also inspire
you to bring your playing to new heights.
is Michael Angelo Batio's official site that details his career,
playing experience, music, and friends in the industry. Aside from
his stellar technique, he is most notably known for his unique one
of a kind guitars.
double-guitar (pictured to the left) is made by Dean USA specifically
for Michael Angelo Batio. In fact, he is the inventor of this masterpiece
and is currently pioneering a new revolution in the guitar world.
Dean Zelinsky is the man who put Michael's ideas into action and
personally crafted his guitar.
you hear his music you can't help but sit back and envision yourself
playing before thousands of fans. Despite the many stereotypes placed
on rock music by other genres of music, Michael Angelo Batio's music
will captivate even the most hardened of critics.
there's one thing you need to do before you leave your computer
it's seeing his double-guitar in action. Click
here to go there now. You'll notice that he plays with his hands
crossed over one another, illustrating the skill and talent this
highly recommend that you pick up one of his CD's and try out some
of his material. If you want the challenge of a lifetime, look no
further than watching one performance by Michael Angelo Batio. Click
here to check out the rest of his incredible site.
featured in our newsletter
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raps up yet another edition of our Guitar Tips newsletter. We hope
that you took something away from this article that will aid you
in reaching your goals.
comparing yourself to other people only results in disaster. Be
yourself and continue to work towards achieving the best you can
be. When you're at that point you have become the ultimate guitarist.
It has been an absolute pleasure to reintroduce our Guitar Tips
Feature Band column. I am still in the process of lining up bands
for future articles and want to personally thank Joyce for being
such a great sport. Stay tuned for future stars!
Until next time, keep on picking.
BY GUITAR TIPS
If you've always wanted to learn to play the guitar but
never had the chance, give me 17 minutes a day for 90 days
and I'll show you how to play virtually any song you want!