There is a reason the best players in the world get hired for the biggest rock shows in the world.
If you’re an aspiring musician, you may have already seen the ‘Hired Guns’ documentary on Netflix.
A “Hired Gun” is a top-tier musician who is brought on to play some of the biggest rock shows in the world, often on short notice. They are the guys in the background, making the leader look and sound great. In order to be a hired gun, you have to be at the next level of tightness and tastefulness.
How can you work towards playing like the biggest go-to players in the world? Here are five tips for any level of guitarist looking to light up the path.
Though this may seem insignificant, warming up your hands before practicing and performing is a great habit to get into.
In a literal sense, it can be difficult to play well with cold hands. It can also be hard on your joints. Make sure your hands are not frozen stiff when you start playing. Warm...
The Internet! You clearly know how to use it. It’s probably become an integral part of your everyday life.
You can pretty much search anything these days and find pretty accurate results. It’s a giant web of endless information and entertainment.
You don’t have to be a nerd to harness the power of clever Google-searching.
Using the Internet to aid your musical education is simple, and very effective!
Boost your learning by using the Internet for these five purposes…
Online streaming has blossomed into a huge market online. Whether it’s YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, or other streaming mediums, a wide range of music is readily available for your listening pleasure.
Experiencing new music can give you new ideas and expand your musical palette. The more music you have in your palette, the more music you have to learn.
Blending a slew of influences will give you a broad playing style, morphing you into an adaptable, flexible music...
One of the most enjoyable parts of learning an instrument is jamming along with friends in a basement or a garage. This practice has birthed some of the greatest rock bands of our time.
Nirvana, for instance, was merely a garage band when they were signed to their first label, later becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
These jams are usually spontaneous, revving on a round of a few chords, bouncing between band members for solos, and coming up with cool new musical ideas.
Jamming isn’t always so informal, though. If you want to be a go-to session cat, your improvisation will have to be top notch.
This level of improvisation takes a lot of practice, as these musicians are expected to improvise new, exciting, and tasteful guitar parts for the songs they work on day in and day out.
Studio guitarists often write their parts in a matter of hours. The best of the best may have the perfect guitar part on the first take, without hearing the song beforehand.
How do they...
Finding the right guitar can be hard. Knowing what accessories to buy with it can be even harder.
First off, I am not a salesman. I am not here to promote any particular product. I am however, a teacher, and I see new guitar students every day. I watch them struggle through their first chords and strumming patterns.
Over the years, I have begun to recommend certain accessories for every new student.
Some help you to care for your instrument, and some help you to learn faster.
Having the right accessories will make your musical experience much more enjoyable!
Get the most out of your guitar with these 6 must-have accessories…
This one should be fairly obvious. A guitar has strings. Those strings go out of tune.
Keeping your guitar in tune is absolutely crucial.
I would recommend a small clip-on tuner; you can take it anywhere, and you don’t need a patch cable for it to detect sound.
The material you are learning will never sound right if your guitar...
It takes two hands to play the guitar.
Everyone wants to play with a lightning-fast fretting hand; it’s a classic rock star aesthetic. This will only be an aesthetic if you don’t also work on your picking hand.
In your first few guitar lessons, you will have learned to keep your hands working together as you pick notes and strum chords.
However, a lot of players start focusing on their fretting hand too heavily once they get the basics of picking hand technique down.
Beginners – get into the habit of practicing picking and strumming technique as much as you practice your chords, scales, and riffs. It WILL pay off huge.
Intermediates – Don’t be a player that impresses, be a player that expresses.
Players of every level, take your playing to the next level up by training your picking hand in these areas.
When learning a solo, or a pattern, or even an intricate strumming pattern, start slow, and focus on picking or strumming each...
What’s your reason for not practicing as much as you should?
Everybody’s got one.
As a private lessons instructor, I hear countless reasons for not finding time to practice. Young kids are often involved in other extracurricular activities, and older students often get caught up in work or other commitments.
I never scold my students for not practicing. I simply tell them “The more you practice, the more you get better”.
The struggle is real. For the students that want to get better, but have the trouble finding time to sit down with the guitar and practice, I’ve got a few solutions.
It’s time to capitalize on your extra time.
Whether you’re standing in line at the coffee shop, sitting in traffic, waiting for the bus, or any situation of that nature, you can continue your guitar education in these 5 ways.
This may sound confusing, but this product is about the size of the first 5 frets of a...
Practicing a craft takes time. Guitar is no exception. It takes time to learn the chords, strumming patterns, and scales.
Every new guitar player has a long journey ahead of him or her.
However, there is a secret to accelerating your growth; a challenge, should you choose to accept.
First, let’s identify the biggest thing that can slow us down when learning guitar. Accountability, or a lack thereof.
Who is pushing you to practice more? The answer could be you, a spouse, a friend, a teacher, or one of many other possibilities. Who is providing feedback? Are they pushing you enough?
You need to be kept accountable for your learning. People who have nothing to push them often lack commitment, and their regular practice schedule falls apart.
The more people you have holding you accountable for your practicing, the better.
This brings me to my main point. How do we accelerate our guitar growth?
By playing live.
Playing live gets you in front of people.
Don’t worry, I’m...
Learning an instrument takes a considerable amount of time and financial investment.
Enrolling in lessons is a great way to stay committed to reaching your goals.
Everything takes time, so the more efficient your learning is, the sooner you will reach those goals!
Online lessons and tutorials have taken the world by storm over the past 10 years. You can find information on virtually anything guitar-related somewhere online. Even full structured lesson programs are available for a very moderate cost (take Guitar Coaching Online, for example).
With great online resources, guitarists now have to choose between learning online and learning in private lessons.
Both options offer the same learning opportunities, and share the same information, so you can learn what you need to from either. Each option just involves a completely different learning strategy, and you’ll want to pick the one that works best for you.
If you are having trouble choosing between the two, consider these five...
Learning the notes (and distances between notes) is very important. In fact, the fretboard will be next to impossible to navigate comfortably without at least learning the musical alphabet. The key here is understanding the distance between each natural note.
[W] WHOLE STEP = 2 Frets
[H] HALF STEP = 1 Fret
A [W] B [H] C [W] D [W] E [H] F [W] G [W] A
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Want to get better at guitar, faster?
Take your playing up a notch by practicing more efficiently.
Learning an instrument takes hard work, and hours of dedicated rehearsal. The best guitarists have all put their time in. Nobody’s talent is all natural.
Efficient practicing will take your playing to the next level quickly. Learning how to practice efficiently takes some discipline.
Follow these six steps, and see faster growth in your abilities.
One of the most common things I hear from students is that they didn’t have time to practice. My response is simple; the more you practice, the better you’ll get.
If you don’t put the time in, you won’t see any results. Plain and simple.
Start by dedicating 20 minutes a day to structured practice. This time is specifically for new chords, scales, and finger exercises. This is not 20 minutes of playing whatever you feel like.
Getting comfortable with chords and scales...