Quick Tip: 5 Ways to Improve Your Playing

Quick Tip: 5 Ways to Improve Your Playing

1. Practice Makes...

It's fairly difficult to learn how to be a better musician by simply reading about it. The best, and fastest, way to improve is to PRACTICE; this means devoting time to do so. Hours of regular practice, and play, will allow you to 'get better' automatically. Practical experience always trumps theoretical knowledge.

2. Just Play

Practice isn't enough. A consistent practice regimen is fundamental, but doesn't do much unless your routine is assembled into useful format. Instead of repetitive scale and modal runs, create MUSIC and PLAY tunes which illustrate the subject matter and technique. A modern analog: "you don't 'practice' a video game for hours to get to a higher level, you 'play' it." If your guitar routine isn't fun to play, it won't be beneficial. Far too many instructional books, videos, programs, etc. forget to emphasize the the whole point of music: having fun.

3. Be Curious

Throw away conceptions of genre. Seek out new chords, scales, modes, techniques, and styles-- use the internet to its full potential. Genres are NOT types of music, but rather different ways of expression. Try something new!

4. Know your Axe

Understanding how your instruments and equipment work, what alters tone, and how it pertains to your playing will give you an edge. Being comfortable with your guitar will allow for seamless and worry-free playing. 

5. It's All in your Ears...

Ultimately your ears are your greatest musical asset. Learn to recognize intervals, chords, and scales by ear; then written note-for-note transcription will never betray you. Learning ( and playing along with ) new tunes becomes infinitely easier if you start out already knowing its particular key, diatonic chords, and the scales/modes involved. Listen. Recognize. Reproduce. Improvise. 

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