Ok the first thing I have to say is that I have some odd views on playing guitar. These are things that helped me in writing music and improving my skills. If you think I'm totally wack and my tips are useless then don't bother leaving a comment. These are just various (well quite random) things that I found help me play guitar. I assure you that all my techniques help in playing guitar and writing music (they have helped me anyway!)
Healthy Diet = Healthy Mind
Now really you may say I'm nuts, but a healthy diet can boost your playing ability. Have you ever had one of those days where you felt tired and weak, and playing the guitar seems more than anything like a chore? Maybe it's just me? Well anyway when you eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods with loads of protein your mind and body can perform better. Also staying well hydrated helps your mind perform better. If you go to school you'll definitely know what I'm talking about. You sit there while the teacher drones on about great literature like To Kill A Mockingbird (snigger), and you don't give uh because you are tired and bored. If you stay hydrated your mind stays on track. Ok seriously I'm not a nutritionist, but it helped me.
If you don't believe that I live in a mental hospital wait till you hear this. Simple things like chewing gum and wearing the same cologne every time you play guitar can help you remember certain licks/lyrics/songs/solos. There was a study done that proves a human can concentrate better when they are chewing mint gum. I was skeptical when I heard this, but I tried it. I studied for the math test chewing double mint gum, (because I like it ok) and took the test the next day chewing the same kind. I absolutely aced the test. So with that said, cologne or perfume can have the same effect. (or is it affect?)
Well anyway when you're practicing guitar, burn some incense or spray on some cologne. If you do this every time you play, your mind can pick up on riffs and such things that you made up last time you were playing. This is especially helpful if you incorporate it with the next tip.
Don't Over Do It
So you just made up a lick or whatever, and you really like it. Don't Keep Playing It! You may think I'm absolutely insane, but playing a lick too many times can make it seem boring and uncreative. Maybe this won't work for everyone but if you play a lick, don't over do it. I like to play it a couple times just to get it in my memory, then make up another lick or chord progression that goes well with it. Also my drummer hates it when I play the same song or lick too many times, so I tend not to.
Broaden Your Horizons
This has been touched on in so many places in so many ways. It's important to listen to music as well as play it. Try listening to new stuff and see what you can come up with. I don't remember who wrote it, but someone had the idea of listening to music while you sleep. I recommend doing this, and good job to the person that suggested it. That's all I have to say for this section only because it sounds a little to sane for this article.
Strengthen You Hands
It's important to keep your hands in good condition. You can play faster, and for a longer period of time without your hands cramping. A good way to strengthen the muscles in your hand is by taking an old news paper crumpling it in a ball and squeezing it. You could buy a stress relief ball I suppose, but I use the old-school paper method because my dog usually rips stress relief balls to shreds. You could also try injecting your hands with steroids no, no, no I'm joking really, don't.
Ok well I decided to keep this column short so you don't think I'm crazy and boring. I really hope this is helpful, and please go easy, this is only my second article.