How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing

The first thing to do when deciding to accelerate your guitar playing in a certain period of time is to set short-term reachable goals within a long term goal. The long term goal here would be to advance your playing in a period of six months. In order to do this you must break up the long term goal into segments of short term goals and also, very importantly, make sure that the goals are reachable and know what you want to work at.

Let’s take the example that we want to increase our playing as a whole in the period of six months. We would need to break up the practice routine and focus on various aspects that would encompass the progress of your playing as a whole and focus on these different areas. Some students think it’s difficult to set goals as they don’t get a lot of time to practice and would rather focus on a bigger picture to work at when they can. However, regular practice and goal setting is important in this case as well. A good guitar tutor will help you set out goals on your playing level and what you want to achieve with your playing in the most proficient way.You can check out this website which has tips and a discussion on how to practice if you have limited time.

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing With Limited Time

Now once we have our long term goal, “increase my playing as a whole in six months,” we need to create shorter-term goals with realistic time spans. It can be focusing on getting to goals each month, every two weeks or even every week. But be realistic with what you want to achieve in the short run with the time allocated. If you have never done any technical exercises but you want to be shredding at insane tempos in one week, that is being unrealistic!

An important thing is to focus your attention on aspects of playing that need the most work on your part. Focus on your weaknesses and spend more time with more of the short-term goals, focused on these holes in your playing. If you are shredding and have great technique but only know one scale and two chords, then spend time increasing your theoretical knowledge and learning to increase your harmonic vocabulary (in terms of scales and chord applications). If you are a great rhythm player with weak lead ability, spend some more time on your lead and likewise a great lead player with weak rhythm ability, spend some more time on your rhythm playing.

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing With A Metronome Part 1

Use a metronome as a guide to create goals for technique and rhythmic ability, set short term goals to increase your technique by firstly having a good reference for efficient technical exercises starting them at slow tempos where you can manage and then increasing them by 5 or 10 bpm after certain periods which suits you and are comfortable for you as a player. Using metronome marks to increase technique is great for short term goals in terms of technical focus, and remember to focus on the techniques that you are weak at, always focus on your weakest elements.

Although it’s challenging with limited time, you must try and focus on all the elements of your playing with, as previously mentioned, specific focus on the weak areas. You can either set short-term goals to focus on specific areas such as technique, rhythm, theory or improvisational abilities; or focus on moving forward as a guitarist with all areas increased in short-term intervals, which is the long term goal after the six month period.

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing With A Metronome Part 2

I think it’s best to have the idea of moving forward as a whole with all aspects focused on, but then make sure that the weaker aspects get the most attention and that the short-term goals are focused on getting these weaker points corrected but still making sure that the complete package is being set up. Discipline is a key factor in the process of growth and you must be able to motivate yourself to keep to the timetable you have set up in order to achieve your goals. It is important that you know what to practice in order to reach your goals and to increase your ability in the various areas of guitar playing, so seeking out a teacher that can help you construct a thorough and realistic timetable with achievable short- and long-term goals is essential in the beginning days of your growth as a guitarist.

After you have been guided by a teacher and have a decent level of knowledge and playing ability, you will know what works for you and will be able to set up your own goals as everyone differs in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the whole process, it is of the utmost importance that you don’t forget about the creative development of your musical ability as it is an important area to focus on when growing as a guitarist. We tend to forget that guitar playing is an art form and we are all aspiring artists just like sculptors, painters and poets.

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing With Creativity Part 1

You should spend time developing your creative sense and linking in with a more intuitive side of your musical being. Spend time trying to learn to tap into what you hear inside your head, what makes you unique, listen to the sounds you hear inside. A good exercise is to take a note or chord play it and try and depict different moods with different modes or scales around the sound, or to play what you hear inside your head once the sound is produced .

This same exercise can be applied to a song you are learning (literally anything from a Beatles tune, Metallica riff, 12 bar blues, E9 funk jam or contemporary jazz; break up whatever song and play around attempting to be creative within its framework). Play each chord of the song that you jamming over and play around that sound, play a note or chord and listen, really take time see where you want it to go and try follow the sound inside on your instrument learning to paint and depict scenarios, moods etc. This is one of the most important areas of focus that we should learn in order to grow as guitarists or even artists in that manner.

How To Accelerate Your Guitar Playing With Creativity Part 2

It is what will set you aside from your peers and make you stand out as an original, but the necessary technical and theoretical knowledge is required in order to tap into this. However, as soon as you know a scale or chord (see it as a painter sees his canvas with his different colors available; even if you only have blue for your paintbrush you can still learn to paint a blue picture and learn to depict imagery within that color) even if your knowledge is limited, be creative, using your own voice to paint your own portraits and learn to listen to yourself and bring the greater sense of creative awareness into your guitar playing.

The more time you spend tapping into yourself as a musician the more unique and expressive your improvisation and composition/songwriting will be. Creativity is an exercise in itself and must not be ignored in the process of complete development. Remember to also learn to pay attention to what you practicing see if it works for you and remember to take small breaks between practice times to give yourself some time to absorb what you have been working at.

On a final note after you achieve something work on your next area of guitar playing. In essence if you a good player then your guitar playing will never stop improving and learning.

Other sources you can check out for more practice tips and how to accelerate your guitar playing.

Guitar Practicing

8 Steps to better practicing

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Profile photo of Anthony Bierman

* Completed an honours degree in music at University of Pretoria * Currently performs in a guitar and piano duet * Played guitar Hero and nailed it first time * He is a jazz specialist * Has a wealth of knowledge in music theory * Was taught by the world famous Jonathan Crossley * Has 2 years teaching experience

2 Comments

  1. Hi there,

    I’m an intermediate player, I found your tips quite helpful.

    I’m currently learning lead guitar techniques. I’m very passionate about my guitar.

    Thank you.

    1. Profile photo of Tyrone Mayer

      Thanks Phumlani!! Keep coming back for more articles and join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GuitarExcellence and Twitter: http:/twitter.com/#!/GE_Tyrone for more tips!

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