Maximized Guitarist. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about it? Be honest now. You've probably thought of your immediate favourite guitar idol. Whether you're a shredder liking Satriani, or a gritty type person idolizing Neil Young or a technical type who appreciates Clapton or experimental who enjoys Hendrix, without a doubt, you've probably thought about your idol.
I guarantee you that your signature sound is developed by listening to your idol which is the case with most everybody. You look up to your idols. You idolize them, worship them, admire them, you get the idea. The passion, energy and fire that is conveyed in their music is what you want to hear in you own. They've gotten to where they are, or where they have been by staying true to themselves and their roots. Experimenting, learning, building confidence and perfecting their skill. Their desire and passion keep them going. That's what you want to keep you going to. Not for fame or glory, but for the music.
But how do you maximize your guitar playing ability? Here is an article to help you do it.
Play Alone Or With A Close Friend
Genuine musicians tend to enjoy playing alone. For obvious reasons it should seem, playing alone sets the foundation for your confidence building. Let's face it, not a soul enjoys screwing up in public. Whether it be a musician in a subway or a kid at a talent show or someone playing for a group of friends or their parents, you run the risk of screwing up in public. And it isn't fun and has shattered many of my friend's dreams of music, or at least put them off of it for a while. When you're alone or with a close friend, you're not trying to impress someone. Your mistakes are helped and not ridiculed. You don't feel like a failure. You just feel like you can play. Private practice as opposed to public playing is a good way to build the foundation for your confidence, and hone your skills.
Learn New Songs, Licks, Solos & Riffs
Keep it fresh. Summed up this section in 3 words. Ironman, Smoke On The Water, Day Tripper, they're all good songs with good riffs that made some influence for sure, but to be blunt, they're over used, and stale. Learn as many songs as you can. Hear a song on the radio, and start putting chords together and figuring it out. Mess around with solos you can't pin down, learn that blues lick you always thought was cool or blues turn-around you love, or bass line that you can't get out of your head. Premeditated or on Impulse, it's good to be fresh, and keep it real.
Rhythm Is Necessary!
Rhythm is 75% of the song and timing is everything. Simple chord progressions like Am, C, G, F in 4:4 can sound one stale, bland old way. Or jazzed up to sound like a variety of genres depending on the rhythm that's used. It could sound heavy, jazzy, bluesy, hard and metal, but it all depends on the rhythm. Learning your solos is needed, but don't neglect this crucial piece of information.
I can't stress this enough. To get anywhere as a musician, you should understand why things are the way they are. Why the major scale is 7 notes and an octave, why bar(re) chords are movable and interchangeable, why relative major and minor chords work together, why & where augmented and diminished chords are used. Theory is valuable, and you will need it if you decide to pursue music as a career.
Obvious no-brainer. Talent and skill don't just happen. It takes hard work and effort to get to where you want to be and where your idols got. Don't strain yourself though. All it takes is a half an hour practicing something you want to learn and an eight hour nap on a daily basis, and over time you'll get it. Work hard at what you want, but don't neglect what you already know. Practice new things, and review what you already know to stay sharp, and keep improving.
Go to a concert, slap on a CD or DVD, read online or magazine lessons or interviews of your idols. Just get inspired and stay inspired. Inspiration is one of the biggest tools you'll need to become great.
Unplug And Learn About Other Instruments
Practice you're acoustic work as well as your electric work. It's great to know about all angles of the musical world. And while you're at it, play electric, play acoustic, play bass, play the piano, play the keyboard play the flute, play everything. Musical theory and instruments are all relative; the only thing different is the sound and how it's played.
When you're watching TV or talking on the phone or on the computer, have you're instrument with you. Pay attention to one thing, but subconsciously, build your picking speed, run through a lick or scale, practice you're slap pop and thumping skills. You can do two things at once, and every minute you hold you're instrument and do something with it, paying attention or not, you're perfecting how to use, and honing your skills.
That's all there is for me to say on the subject. Thanks for reading. I may do more articles if this one turns out well.