The Benefits of Playing Guitar with Other Musicians

The Benefits of Playing Guitar with Other Musicians

The Benefits of Playing Guitar with Other Musicians

“Practice isn’t doing scales but doing things like writing, jamming with other people or playing gigs.” –Tommy Bolin (Deep Purple, Zephyr, The James Gang)

There are countless benefits to playing guitar with other musicians. Not only is it the general aim for most people that start to play guitar, but also it is the most fun you can have on your instrument. I’d say the number one benefit is that you are able to improve while having fun and often without even realising it.

Here are some other points to consider:

Improved timing

Have you ever played with musicians that sound like they’re running away from the band or falling asleep while jamming the riff to Enter Sandman? Well, there’s a good chance you have or you may even have been the culprit yourself. This could be because of a lack of playing with other musicians and instead simply sitting in your bedroom playing by yourself to your own time. Fortunately, the more you play with a full band (i.e. a drummer, bass player, keyboardist or guitarist), the more likely you’ll be to develop some kick ass ‘in the pocket’ timing. There is only so much your metronome can do, remember it’s no human being.

Great way to network

How can you get yourself known as the next ‘go-to’ guitarist in your town, neighbourhood or school? Play with other musicians! Make sure people know you play and most importantly, be a nice person. No one wants to play with a guy that can shred faster than Steve Vai but has an attitude that says, 
”I’m better and more good looking than you, plus I am God’s gift to music.” So, once you are in a band, remember that band mates are more likely to consider you for future musical projects if you make a good impression. They will also talk to others about you, which can have a good snowball effect for your exposure.

Challenging

Every time you play with new and different musicians you will most likely be challenged to adapt to their style and preferences. This is probably one of the best things that can happen to you as a musician because it presents a challenge. Make sure you are always looking for situations that will make you play what you know but also stretch you to play stuff that you don’t think you can do. If you’re new to guitar and don’t feel like you’re able to play with other musicians yet you’re probably asking yourself, “How would I do this and where would I find musicians to play with?” It’s not important how well you play because playing with other musicians is your first step to becoming a better guitarist.

Start a band

“But I don’t know anyone to play with?” you say? Well, advertise with flyers at your local music store, use social networking such as Facebook and Twitter to find and connect with musicians in your area. Or ask your guitar teacher whether he has other students that may be interested.

Join your local church band

Many churches these days need musicians for their bands to run the services every week and the musical program often includes a wide variety of musical styles. This is a great way to play and meet with musicians every week. Normally, if the church is clued up in their musical department they will also have a musical director. This is someone you will learn from and it is humbling to learn to take musical direction from someone other than yourself and your own preferences.

Create a monthly jam session

If you don’t feel like you’re good enough to join a band yet then get together on a monthly (or more regularly) with people at your level. Even if these people are slightly more advanced, try to jam a song or two with them to try different ideas and progress with what you’ve been learning.

I hope this helps to clarify the benefits of playing guitar with other musicians. Now get out that bedroom and find someone, or even better a group of people, to play music with… And remember, most importantly, have fun!

Check out other articles on the benefits of playing with other musicians: Click Here and Click Here

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*Completing a BMus (Hons) at COPA *Plays for “Layla Scar” and “Book of Thieves” *Is a beginners specialist *Knows the secret Pat Metheny chords *Plays in the Rhema Young Adults Band *Also plays keyboards *Can even play Jonas Brothers songs *Has completed a Higher Diploma in Guitar and Keyboards from The Academy of Contemporary Music in London

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