Making Your Guitar Playing More Interesting

A small article on the 'less is more' principle for guitar.

Ultimate Guitar
Hello, in this short article I would like to tell and teach you something about making your guitar playing more interesting. Most guitarists nowadays try to play blazing metal solo's, uberfast riffs and mindblowing divebombs. I'm fine with that, metal and shred are both great genres on their own. But what I think is more impressive, is if a guitarist can make some great sounds, with as few notes as possible. Kind of the 'less is more' principle. I will tell about something I do to practice this principle. The thing I like to do is take one chord and play with it for a while, without moving the left hand. Just try to keep the sound coming from your guitar interesting for about 5 minutes. Difficult? yes. Challenging? yes! And that's what guitar playing is about, challenging yourself, no matter how long you have been playing. True creative guitarists will be able to keep it interesting, you really don't need a thousand notes for some nice guitar playing. (This is also a good right hand exercise!) A little more explanation to the above, just start by taking a random chord, I prefer one without open notes, because then it's easier to strum muted. Some chords I really like using:
Try to play this in a kind of 'funk' way, many muted strums throughout and some good use of up and downstrokes. I can understand that it might be quite difficult to understand what I'm trying to say, so I will try to upload some sound samples. I know that this is just a small article, I can write more if you guys want, or even make a video. Just leave any comments, suggestions or whatever you like below, thanks for reading.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is a good idea, but you should try and make the lesson more substantial
    link no1
    This article needs more 'depth'. At the moment it pretty much reads to me: - Play in a 'less is more' fashion, just because. - Here is a 'funk' chord/strumming pattern I like.
    I agree 110% with this articule. I spent most of high school playing and writing heavy metal. it just lost its fun. Now i'm out playing stuff like The Who with a heartbeat tempo but delicate guitar playing. It seems more fulfilling in the long run.
    Yeah, I posted this a few days ago, but i didn't have too much time, but if people are interested, im willing to write more
    danny_unleashed wrote: Really like the idea behind this. RHCP is a great example for this concept.
    I was thinking this exactly haha
    Maybe name the chords and tell us why they work together? Seems like something a beginner could benefit in knowing
    I like your idea. For such a small lesson, sound clips and/or a video would've been nice from the start. Perhaps next time you could give more than one example? And maybe show how your idea can be used in a lead guitar context? E.g. Use one lick for 5 minutes but vary the rhythm/note duration etc.
    There was this revolutionary art philosophy known as "minimalism". You should look into it.
    I used to listen to thrash metal such as Megadeth, Annihilator and I was able to play their solos (still am). But then I discovered mr. Jack White and I prefer his playing over those great tehnicians, because he is more interesting. In fact, I find him the most interesting guitarist in the world )
    Darkness in Zero
    Your article reads as such: "Most guitarists nowadays try to play blazing metal solo's, uberfast riffs and mindblowing divebombs..." "...Some chords I really like using..." I believe this belongs in the forums.
    kaweichan wrote: Good right hand exercise, huh?
    Most people tend to focus more on practising their left hand, and kinda forget about the right one. This exercise does the exact opposite.
    danny_unleashed wrote: Really like the idea behind this. RHCP is a great example for this concept.
    Yes, I kinda learned it from them, they are really able to write great songs with few notes!
    danny_unleashed wrote: Really like the idea behind this. RHCP is a great example for this concept.
    Which song it is?
    i agree with this! i also find hammer ons, pull offs and one fret slides are a funky touch when playing around with one chord. i know they technically aren't in line with the "one chord" thing but they can help after 5-10 minutes of playing one chord as a transfer into another and go from there between chords.
    So does anyone know if I can someway edit this article? I am in my home studio now and can record some clips and write a little more
    Good theory behind your lesson definately Makes playing more fun that way I rekon heh
    Actually, if anyone wants to hear a really good use of minimal notes, listen to this song: