Posts Tagged 'guitar practice'

Mistakes are your friends!

Why mistakes are you friends

If you are not making any mistakes on the guitar, either you are amazing or, more likely, you are playing material that is well within your current level of ability. Playing well within our abilities is desirable when performing live or recording. These situations require good performances that are free from mistakes for obvious reasons.

The practice room however is where we should strive to improve our abilities. This could mean developing ...

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A metronome is mandatory!

A scenario

Young, keen guitarist gets a guitar. He spends time diligently figuring parts out, learning from recordings and magazines. He starts to feel quietly pleased with his progress and looks for ways to improve further. He hears that it’s a good idea to get a metronome so he keenly buys one and heads home to give it a try.

“Hmm… this isn’t very much fun at all… I know how to play this tune but this ...

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Do guitarists need to learn to read music?

A common quote about reading music

“…and do you know, [insert name] can’t even read music? Isn’t that amazing?”

We’ve all heard this line or something very similar to it.

To someone that dabbled in learning classical piano or violin back when they were at school, it might seem that the ability to read music is essential. But really it’s nothing more than a method of communicating information.

So, do guitarists need to learn to read music? This depends primarily on two things:

  1. The style of music they ...
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Guitarist stuck in a rut?

From time to time it happens to just about everybody from writers to Olympic athletes. And guitarists are no different. For no apparent reason we can find ourselves feeling demoralised and unhappy with abilities that we used to be proud of.

Practice can feel like an unwelcome chore instead of something that we look forward to. Worse still the whole idea of developing our guitar skills can begin to seem a little pointless. We are stuck in a rut.

What to do if you’re a guitarist ...

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Guitar licks – why we should learn them

Why should we learn guitar licks?

“Isn’t it better to just improvise?”

The thing to recognise about improvising is that nobody does it in the purest sense of creating entirely original phrases spontaneously.

In reality an improvised solo is a combination of phrases (aka ‘licks’) that the performer has already picked up in the past; glued together with some improvisation.

Some guitarists may claim that they have never consciously sat down and learned and guitar licks.

That may be true, but we have all absorbed ...

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Guitar practice and spreading yourself too thinly

Time, our most valuable resource

Music is a vast subject with many different styles and areas of study. Time is a limited resource that very few of us feel we ever have enough of. How can we make the best use of the time we have with regard to guitar practice?

Having a well-structured guitar practice regime helps enormously to keep you focused on specific skills and tasks that you want to master (if you don’t have one yet click here for a free copy ...

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A short essay on musical education

To learn or not to learn…

Around the time when I first decided to study music, I was introduced to an aspiring guitarist by a friend.

We started chatting about who inspired us, and who we were listening to at that time. We shared similar tastes in music and it was a nice conversation – right up to the point when I mentioned that I planned to study music full time in London.

‘Why would you want to do that?’ he asked disapprovingly, followed ...

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