6 Simple Ways To Improve Your Guitar Playing
Every guitar player wants to know how to improve their playing skills, whether they're a beginner who is just starting out (New Yearís resolution maybe?) or a guitarist whoís been playing for years.
With that in mind, here are 6 relatively simple things you can do today to quickly help you on your journey to becoming a better guitarist.
If you want, you can jump to each item on our list by clicking the relevant link below.
Our Top Tips
- Play with other people
- Use a metronome
- Listen to yourself
- Learn a new song
- Practice regularly (with focus)
- Go see a band
1. Play With Others
Itís really important to jam with other musicians if you want to improve as a guitar player. Playing in your bedroom is all very well but if you canít play with others or in time to a backing track, you wonít get very far.
Jamming with other musicians (or along to a song) will give you a great feel for the music. It helps you improvise and improves your confidence and technique. You can also learn a lot from other guitarists, as well as gaining the ability to play through any mistakes you might make. Above all else, itís great fun!
2. Practice With a Metronome
As we said above, timing is really important (more important than hitting the right notes in some respects). A metronome or click track can really help with your guitar playing and improve your consistency and ability to keep time. Playing with others, or to a backing track also helps, but itís a good idea to practice with a metronome to really tighten up your playing.
That isnít to say you must always play to something as rigid as a click track or metronome, itís essential to feel the music and go with the flow too. You donít want to sound too robotic. Music is an art, not a science.
3. Listen To Your Playing
You know how weird your voice sounds when you hear it played back? A similar thing happens when you play a musical instrument. Itís not quite the same but, depending on your ability, youíll certainly notice things when you record your guitar playing that you werenít aware of at the time. Youíll pick up on mistakes and timing issues. You may find that youíre rushing through certain sections or playing the whole thing too fast.
If you learn a song and keep recording yourself, youíll be able to work on any issues and improve your playing. Each recording should be an improvement on the last. It's also a great confidence booster to hear how you've improved as a player over time.
4. Learn Something New
Thereís no better way to progress as a guitar player and keep motivated than by learning a new piece. Pick a song you like, thatís maybe a little bit out of your comfort zone, and work on it until youíve mastered it. The skills and techniques involved will help with your overall ability and there could well be some new chord shapes or lead parts to commit to your muscle memory.
If you only learn one song a month, in a year, your playing will have moved on considerably. Even if you donít want to learn a new song, how about learning a new riff, scale shape, chord progression or solo?
5. Practice, Practice, Practice!
It goes without saying that you need to practice your guitar on a regular basis. This doesnít just mean playing through the same songs or scales that you already know. Of course you still need to work on these things but itís vitally important to put in some tough focused practice sessions if you want to advance as a guitarist.
Work through exercises and concentrate on your technique, scales, chords, picking patterns etc. Make sure you have an end goal in mind though, donít just practice aimlessly.
6. Go See A Live Band (or watch one on YouTube)
Watching other players and opening yourself up to different styles of music is a great way to advance your musicianship. If you see a live band and the guitar player launches into an epic solo, it can inspire you to go home and try it out yourself. You can pick up a lot of tips and techniques from watching other guitarists. Just soak up the atmosphere and absorb the music.
Thatís All Folks!
So there we have it. 6 simple ways you can quickly improve as a guitar player. Of course there are many other things you can do but the 6 tips above will certainly help. Hopefully youíve found a few useful pointers to help you on your guitar playing journey. Probably the most important piece of advice we can give you (that isnít on our list) is to enjoy playing the guitar.
What are you waiting for? Plug in and get practicing. What's that you say? You don't own an amp and wouldn't know the best one to buy anyway. Don't worry. We can help you choose a great little amplifier for practicing your guitar.
Hang on a minute though, should you even be practicing with an amp?