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Old 12-04-2012, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Electric Guitar Tips!

Article by Dan “The Contributor”

I’ve been playing guitar for over 15 years. During this time I’ve had the opportunity to have jam sessions with a variety of musicians from various musical backgrounds. I often get asked how I figure out songs so quickly or how I develop my technique. Below I will lay out my top 3 points to help you become a better guitar player.

1. Focus on the basics of technique

You have to remember that guitar is a touch-oriented instrument unlike any other. The lighter or harder you dig in, you’ll get a completely different sound. To play guitar properly you need clean technique. This is especially true when playing chords and transitioning between them. I suggest going to a guitar chords website or find a chord book, and simply strum a chord repeatedly (even if you’re strumming in one direction) and then transition to the next chord of your choosing.

The goal of this practice is to avoid “ghost chords” or sloppy transitions when changing to the next chord. It might seem like a simple concept, but you really need to have perfect chord transitions, especially if you are recording your playing.

2. Listen to blues playing

Blues guitar is often lost on younger players, because it’s not “fast” or “cool”. The benefit to learning the blues scale is it helps develop “phrasing”. Phrasing is important to make a guitar sing rather than sound flat and dry. Bending notes and vibrato technique is also exercised when playing the blues and helps you develop a sense of distance between notes.

Blues leads directly into different styles of music, rock, jazz, and funk. Start slow with the blues scale; focus on phrasing, and vibrato technique. The quality of your playing is elevated when you can create an expressive tone with what you play.

3. Listen to a variety of guitar players

There are so many great players from around the world with different techniques. One of the ways I learned to play was to visualize in my head the sound I was hearing and translate what I heard onto the fret board.

It is easier than ever to take inspiration from a variety of different players. Just watch YouTube. Focus in on what they are playing and HOW they are playing it. Watch live concerts and zone into the fret board and simply analyze what they are doing. Watch it again and again if you have to. But remember to start slow, zone into your own playing, and analyze the sound you are hearing.

The goal of this is to take proven techniques from other guitarists and incorporate them into your own style. The idea is to visualize, and focus on ear training. Down the line, ear training will be an essential tool for improvising with other musicians.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great hints! Are we to give our own hints?

If I could give one hint: Learn tab and start collecting lots of it and play everyday.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very true... it's all about putting the time and effort into achieving what you want with the instrument.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^^I like what you had to say about crispness and changing chords...I don't know if these are 'ghost chords' but I tend to be lazy when I'm playing and I'll slide my hand into the next one and it gets this really lazy mutliple chord sound going, so yeah I think the key is to practice practice practice and don't be lazy

Tab is the greatest thing to me ever...I can't read sheet music for nothing but I can follow tab easily.

So I'm not the brightest knife in the drawer. Like this is new.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Random chance will only take you so far..if you understand why certain scales sound good against an underlying set of chords then you've got a far more powerful understanding of which notes to place where.
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