top-rated free essay

10 Essential Concepts and Tips Every Guitar Player Should Know

By chauphat1611 Aug 15, 2013 985 Words
What is it about music that brings so much joy to so many people? I have been playing guitar for nearly 15 years, and it has brought me more joy than any words can describe. Throughout my years as a musician, I have been asked more times than I can count for advice or tips. Recently I was asked by one of my students asked me for my best advice, and I found it difficult to come up with just one piece of advice. Because of this, I have decided to create this list of what I consider to be some of the most important concepts and ideas that every guitar player should know and utilize.

1) Use a metronome. A great musician is of no value if he or she cannot keep time. Either live or in the studio, a musician that cannot keep time will quickly find themselves on the short end of a very angry stick. 2) Slow is fast. Many times I have seen guitarists frustrated because they are struggling with a passage at high speeds. This is a lesson learned the hard way. In my early years as a guitar payer, I would learn a part and try to play it as fast as I can. However, this is just not the right way to go about learning difficult material. You must dissect each passage and learn it inside and out. Play it slowly, focusing on technique and playing it correctly. Once you have mastered it at a slow speed is when you should increase your speed. Use a metronome to help you do this. You will discover that not only will you begin to play better, but you will be able to learn much faster.

3) Use your ears. One of the most important concepts I like to teach my friends and students is the value of your ears. You need to develop a god ear. A well trained ear is essential when trying to play out a melody without any sheet music or tablature to help you out. To start training your ear, try learning simple songs by ear. Doing so will help you recognize chords and melodies when you hear them, and it will also help you improvise when need be.

4) Learn music theory, even if only a little bit. A basic understanding of what makes music work will go a very long way. You should be knowledgeable of your craft. Once I started learning basic music theory, I discovered a thirst to know more and more. Knowing music theory will also help you if you suddenly find yourself being asked to play a I IV V in the key of G. You will know what that means and will know what to play without a problem.

5) Play with other musicians. There is nothing more rewarding, both as a learning experience and a pass-time activity. Playing with other musicians is fun and helps you coordinate what you’re playing. It also helps in the creative process.

6) Never stop learning. This is one of my favorite bits of advice. The value you gain as a musician grows exponentially with the more you know about your instrument. Always continue to challenge yourself and learn new things. Learn a new chord every week, or a new scale or lick. Learn how to play blues, then learn to play jazz. Learn some new songs. Just learn something new all the time. It will make you a much better musician in the long run.

7) When you learn a song, learn the whole thing. Every bit and piece. Learn the solo, the rhythms, and the melodies. Learn the names of the chords you are using and the scales the song uses. Learn the key. Learn as much as you possibly can about the song. Knowing it inside and out will help you memorize the song and also help you recognize elements of it in other songs.

8) Practice, practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute for proper practice. Without practice, you will not get very far. Practice in small bite sized chunks. Spend a few minutes focusing on a particular technique. Then spend a few minutes on something else. Don’t let yourself get too distracted during practice. Once you finish practicing, then you can noodle around for a while. Your brain will continue to wrap itself around the things your practice while you are doing other things. You will find that you will get better with practicing things in sections.

9) Learn the notes on your fret board. Knowing this will open up a whole new door of possibilities. You will begin seeing the fret board in a completely different light. Patterns and scales will jump out at you. Chords will glare at you. You will be able to look at the fret board and just play what is in your head. This is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself.

10) Put yourself into your music. It will sound more personal and more emotional if you can manage to put yourself into your music. This is a difficult concept to visualize, but when done correctly it really enhances your music on a different level. Don’t just play the music. Put some oomph into it. Bob your head, sway with the rhythm. Make funny faces. All of this stuff sounds cheesy, but you will be surprised when you start to feel the music inside of you and the effect that has on the feel of your music.

My list here could go on forever, but I feel these are some of the more important concepts and tips that I have learned over the years. Give these a try, and you will be amazed at the difference they can make after a few days of dedication. Enjoy, and keep playing those guitars!

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • 10 Books Every Designer Should Read

    ...10 BOOKS EVERY DESIGNER SHOULD READ The Essentials for the Modern Designer Keeping current with industry news, software updates, legal information, and the million other things a designer is expected to follow on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis is difficult. There is so much new and current information to download and process that...

    Read More
  • What Every Parent Should Know

    ...Parents are a child’s first role models. They learn how to behave by seeing what their parents do and follow by example. That is why parents should be aware of what they say and do when they are with their children. By including words like “please” and “thank you” as part of daily life, parents teach good manners. Parents who norma...

    Read More
  • 10 Tips for Parenting

    ...with school and leave the house. See more parenting pictures 10: Get to Know Them as Adults All parents have an aha moment when they realize that their little baby is all grown up. It can be a bittersweet realization -- he's not my sweet little 3-year-old anymore -- or a pretty great one -- he's not that back-talking teenager anymore. In any...

    Read More
  • Review of Essential Terms and Concepts

    ...Review of Essential Terms and Concepts CIS-300 1. The word bit is a contraction for what two words? Binary digit 2. Explain how the terms bit, byte, nibble, and word are related. A bit is one digit, a nibble consists of four bits, and a byte consists of eight bits, while a word consists of two or more adjacent its. 3. Why are binary an...

    Read More
  • 10 Limousine Tips be the best? Are my kids going to be safe on this very important night? These are just a few of the questions and concerns that surface during the annual ritual we call Prom Season. Below are 10 tips to ensure that you are SAFE and STYLISH and SMART this prom season. 1) Always Look and Touch. You spend hours calling every limousine co...

    Read More
  • Fairness and Purity: Why American Baseball Players Should Know Better

    ...Fairness and Purity: Why American Baseball Players Should Know Better Max P. Farhi Keuka College February 2013 Fairness and Purity: Why American Baseball Players Should Know Better Reading the recent articles “We, the Public, Place the Best Athletes on Pedestals” by William Moller, and “Cheating and CHEATING” by Joe Posnanski,...

    Read More
  • Eng 10 Concept Paper

    ...Name: JUSAYAN, REX ANGELO M. Student Number: 2014-81828 English 10 WFW4 “Biosorption” With rapid urbanization and industrialization, disposal of aqueous effluents into the environment has increased. Many of these effluents contain high level of toxic pollutants such heavy metals which are mainly produced by anthropogenic activities such a...

    Read More
  • Chapter 10 Concepts

    ...Chapter 10 Concepts John Adams- Federalist who was Vice President under Washington in 1789, and later became President by three votes in 1796. Known for his quarrel with France, and was involved in the xyz Affair, Quais War, and the Convention of 1800. Later though he was also known for his belated push for peace with France in 1800. Regarding ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.