The Fastest Way To Speed Your Progress On Guitar

If you want to know what the quickest, most efficient way to become the best musician you can in the shortest space of time, give this article a go.

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If you follow the advice in this article, I promise you three things:

1. You will experience an unbelievable rate of improvement with your instrument

2. You will have an incredible determination to improve

3. You will have heaps of fun

So, what magic must you perform to acquire these traits and gain these attributes? There are only two things you need to do: acquire a great teacher and join a band.

Sounds fairly obvious right? Well it may be to some of you, but I'm also sure that there are some players who are waiting to get better before they even think of joining a band. I hope to show you that diving headfirst into these two experiences will increase your motivation so much you won't want to do anything but play guitar.

So, what will playing in a band do for you, other than get you chicks?

(There's MORE?)

The first thing to improve will be...

1. Your rhythm and timing. Playing in a band is a different beast to playing on your own. You'll have to develop your ear for the drummer and bassist and work with them to make sure you all sound tight.

2. Your strength and endurance will improve. You probably already notice that your hands tend to cramp up after playing for a little while. Well the great thing about playing in a band is that you'll be playing live eventually, so after mastering each song individually, you'll start practicing as if you were live. When's the last ime you played guitar for two hours straight, playing full songs with only a 20 second break in between? Unless you've been in a band before, you probably never have. After a couple of band sessions like this, you endurance level will have improved dramatically (power level>9000)

3. Your knowledge of the songs your playing will improve. I have had the experience of thinking I knew a song inside and out, but when I played it with the band something was missing. I went to listen to the song again and there were things I hadn't even heard before. I was forced to go back and find them.

4. Your creativity will be given a kick start. If you enter and battle of the bands, creativity (playing your own songs) is usually an important factor in the judges decision. You'll be forced to star writing your own progressions and riffs, and maybe they won't be amazing at first, but everyone starts somewhere, and it's better to start sooner.

When playing in a band, your motivation to practice shoots up, because practice is a lot more fun when you nail your parts, and it is really satisfying when you nail that tricky rhythm, riff or solo. You can almost feel the appreciation of your band mates for your skills. You'll even start practicing more efficiently, as you'll soon have he whole song mastered with only a few tricky bits you need to work on.

Since the goal of 99% of people who start playing guitar is to either entertain, play in a band or write songs, being in a band is great because it accomplishes all three at once.

So where does a teacher fit in? Well, as motivated as you'll be to practice for the band, a teacher can show you the most efficient way to practice, or show you how to play hat riff that doesn't seem humanly possible to play.

Ideally you'd space band practice and lessons out (e.g. Monday band, Thursday lessons) and this way you can bring any problems to your teacher and he or she can show you the root of the problem and give you specific exercises to improve in that area. The teacher can also help you with music theory, which, although not essential to writing songs, can certainly help. And what if you wan to put solos into your songs? You can learn to solo on your own, but like most things, a teacher will save you much frustration and speed your progress.

With both a teacher and band to practice for, your practicing schedule will vary and be kept fresh, every week will present a new challenge, every band practice will get tighter, and your ability to play guitar will improve dramatically. Not only will be practicing guitar become fun and rewarding, at practice you get to apply it all and spend your time playing songs you love (and ripping on the bass player).

You can find more of Eoghan's stuff at his website Galway Guitar Lessons. Or keep in touch through his blog. If you found the above article useful, help Eoghan look cool by liking his page on facebook.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    youngpreppy
    OK 2 things : 1. This is a brilliant article. It's precise, well written, gives solid advice and does not make promises that can't be fulfilled. 2. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not see the fact that it does not pretend to be a magic formula. It tells us how to improve and why those rules are important. Nothing more, Nothing less. Now pls don't be the Devil's Advocate here guys and try to appreciate an honest to goodness article.
    Adamastor
    Thats exactly the path that im now taking, and i must say that if we start by the simple, we as guitar player and humans that we are, will more likely evolve to a level of skill, that all of the sudden we look at our fingers and wonder how the f..k do they move so fast !!!!????
    spikedemon!
    A lot of this rings true. Nobody wants to look like a fool playing live, so naturally motivation to get better goes up very quickly. Especially the day before practice or few days before a big show - for me anyways.
    p_a_morgan
    1. I was honestly not expecting a Dragonball Z reference in this article when I clicked on it. Hahaha. Props to you, sir. 2. I've never actually taken professional lessons...ever...but playing in a band will certainly help you improve. Especially, if you hook up with a guitar player who is better than you or even someone at a similar skill level, but different style. When they write and you learn their songs, it'll open up a new world.
    crevs1972
    This is music to my ears (pardon the pun)! Been playing a few years waiting to get good enough to join a band and then one day decided I would never be really ready and started jamming with a few guys. I learnt more in the first 2 hours than I had in the last 6 months playing alone. I now have a tryout with a band this week after having 2 weeks to learn a few songs, I am shitting myself but again the progress I've made just by "having" to learn songs for a deadline is awesome! Top article whether adviting or not!
    HavokStrife
    blackbird51 wrote: dumb
    Not dumb, more like, sky is blue, grass is green. But this is all well and fine for about six months until your band starts feuding over bullshit and you don't wanna go to practice anymore. You need a disclaimer or something.
    Faux
    I completely agree with this, i dont know why people are putting this article down. The best way to improve is to play with other people.
    Romper Stomper
    crevs1972 wrote: This is music to my ears (pardon the pun)! Been playing a few years waiting to get good enough to join a band and then one day decided I would never be really ready and started jamming with a few guys. I learnt more in the first 2 hours than I had in the last 6 months playing alone. I now have a tryout with a band this week after having 2 weeks to learn a few songs, I am shitting myself but again the progress I've made just by "having" to learn songs for a deadline is awesome! Top article whether adviting or not!
    Exactly what I mean! I had to learn 40+ songs in a short amount of time(mostly easy stuff) but the fact that i had to really push to do it when I thought I couldnt made me really break barriers in my playing.
    Romper Stomper
    I have learned more in the last 5 months playing in a band than I did the previous 2 years combined to I will have to say yes. I agree. Being in a band helped a lot.
    shreddymcshred
    This is one of those things everyone thinks they know, but they don't. It's worth a mention once in a while. A good teacher+ensemble playing help you more than just scales in your bedroom
    BurningTurkey
    this is nice to hear. i havent wanted to join a band because i wanted to be really good before i try, but maybe i'll go for it right now anyways
    katalyzt13
    While everyone is giving this article bad ratings and negative comments, the advice in this article is solid, and most people I've talked to who are stressing over improving are both not in a band and not taking lessons. While it is a "sky is blue, grass is green" type lesson, it still needed to be said.
    TimTheWizard
    Since the goal of 99% of people who start playing guitar is to either entertain, play in a band or write songs, being in a band is great because it accomplishes all three at once.
    actually, i we'd be honest 99% of the dudes are in for the chicks, the music comes second. I practice bout 4 to 5 hours a day, don't need a teacher. Different strokes for different people right
    Adamastor
    SMELL THE ROSES WHILE YOU PLAY GUITAR, PATIENCE, PATIENCE EVRBODY, REMENBER: SLOW IS ACTUALLY FAST in guitar practicing!
    phantom_lord586
    girls dont even give a **** about guitar players anymore, they would rather have some ***** boyfriend who goes to clubs with them and listens to **** house music, i hate what the world is becoming
    JohnnySolo
    it is all true and good advice, except I think most people on UG that read these articles are way beyond this phase in guitar
    shreddymcshred
    guitarpatrick66 wrote: What about us that are already in a band?
    Then you're already halfway done. Duh. Why comment on a lesson with, "I already do that." That's not a productive way to criticize, and doesn't contribute to the topic
    zerocenx
    Dumpster510 wrote: This makes Tom Hess look like a literary genius.
    I love you.