When it comes to playing guitar, it is not only about moving your fingers on the string. It is playing with the right control, being able to switch between strings as well as playing efficiently. So lets get started on how to get better at guitar!
You must first hone your skills well enough to master the foundations of playing guitar. You also need to keep in mind that, in the process of becoming better at playing guitar, you need to keep the ease of playing, the motivation to keep practicing as well as delivery of desired results.
There is no magic to instantly get you to play guitar the best. You need to practice hard, push yourself to the boundaries and be consistent in your motivation to see results.
However, in order to help you go a step forward towards becoming a good guitarist, as is the dream of every beginner, we have compiled a honest list of recommendations.
These are mostly exercises, which are convenient and easy to follow. Some may need you to adjust or even change your current practice , but trust us, it will work wonders and you will be able to differentiate between your outputs.
You can look at our guide on how to play B minor step by step.
Teach Yourself The Art of Bending
Did you try to pay attention to the sound produced when you are bending a guitar string? When going for the whole step bending, are you usually able to make to the highest extent?
Try to take a seat and practice the different kinds of bends- try the quarter, the whole, the whole and a half as well as any bend that you can think of.
You may wonder about how to achieve this. It is not as complicated as it sounds. You simply have to start playing the beginning note, followed by playing the note you have targeted, and then making your way back to the initial note, whereby you try to bend it towards the limit of the target note that your ears have just caught.
After a few tries, you will get there. When you are bending using your third or fourth finger (the ring or the pinky respectively), you should try to make use of your index finger or the middle finger to provide support to the other fingers. It is indeed an art to be able to bend properly, and this highly boosts up development of finger strength.
Record Yourself Playing the Guitar
It is extremely handy, as well as beneficial, to make your own lick library. This can be achieved by recording yourself playing. You can also make a video of yourself, because this will give you insights about how your fingers navigate in the process, what are the problems and where you should work on.
In a video, you can easily notice whether your hands are correctly positioned, how is the reach to the neck of the guitar etc. You can also help yourself to remember the tunes through the video.
When monitoring your performances via the recording, you will, over time, be able to see your progress in the journey of learning and eventually, mastering the playing of the guitar.
For instance, if you compare the recordings of the tunes which you have captured on video at a difference of 6 months, you can see what you have managed to improve, and what still needs some reformations.
Play a style on the Guitar that you are not used to
Versatility is a huge bonus when it comes to guitarists. However, it is also a trait that helps to boost the self-confidence and gives you added freedom when you are able to play different styles or combine one style with the other.
You can jam and jazz together, for instance, imagine, how cool is that? Going beyond your set boundaries and your comfort tunes, you can train yourself to play a multitude of tunes.
Sometimes you may be struggling with playing a song in the guitar. In such occasions, try to play the same song in a different style- one that is highly different from the original one.
This will keep the sound of your tunes pretty fresh, and even help you come up with a novel creative and interesting piece. Try to do a bit of homework researching on the different kind of genres that can blend together. We assure you, you will enjoy it.
Play with a group
It has been advised by several professional or advanced guitarists that you should try to play with others. Even after you have been jamming for ages, playing in a band setting will be extremely new and beneficial to you.
It will equip you with new ideas and knowledge that you can implement on your style and make it better.
When you play guitar in a band, you learn a whole new set of things- this can go from simply understanding how to play for that specific song, when to step up and let the crowd see you, to going on creating a masterpiece from scratch with the band.
What needs a special mention is, it teaches you how to listen. When you listen to others and when others hear you, you will be able to progress much faster.
This also makes sense when it comes to the previously mentioned technique of recording. You can try to send a copy of the recording to someone else. Their ears will help judge the improvements better.
Get a New pedal for your guitar
Of course you cannot become great at playing just by upgrading to better gears. However, you may not realize until you try, getting a new guitar pedal can give rise to excellent, new tunes.
The new pedal can inspire you to push the limits of your creative self and to try different things like shifting pitches in between, playing the song with a sort of delay.
If you are thinking this will cost you a tons of money, you are wrong. You can try out something exceptional and new for under 100 dollars.
You can give yourself the incentive of buying yourself a new pedal if you reach your goals of perhaps, mastering a specific technique or trying some new style throughout the month.
Make a cover for your favorite song
This is an under-estimated technique of getting better at playing guitar, and yet one of our favorites. When you are interested in a specific melody or a tune, you can add it to your personal collection by trying to learn it by heart.
This, in terms of playing guitar, is useful because it will allow you to create a nice list of songs you can play in the guitar, giving you added excitement. Even during practice sessions, it will be more fun than a training and you will feel highly rewarded.
Take Inspiration from your Idols and their idols
As a guitarist, you must revere another guitarist, right? You must have a favorite, or more, and you must be following his or her regular updates, techniques, tips etc. They inspire you.
Try to look for their interviews, and podcasts. Listen to them speak of their struggles or try to get to know where they get their inspirations from.
It is always handy to go back to listening to the people who have influence on your playing. When you check out their journeys and where they drew the inspirations from, you are likely to benefit and get motivated from there. You can imitate their style in your own version and makes a new style of your own.
Be You, The Unique You
As mentioned earlier, it is always great to hear, watch and learn from your idols and the artists who have influence on your playing of the guitar. It is never discouraged that you attempt to emulate another hero.
Indeed, it can be a great first step, and you can learn to play at different scales, techniques and implement their ideas. However, it is important that, at the end of it all, you become your own hero and have your own style.
Try to sit back and think, what is so unique about you, about your playing the guitar? What is one x-factor about you that you never saw on other guitarists?
Try to embrace your own, amazing, self and this will give you the much needed confidence to get even better at guitar. Inspire yourself with your special characteristics, for instance, the ability to combine several styles, to get even better.
As you have realised by now, getting better at playing guitar is a constant process- it cannot happen overnight. You have to ensure your efficiency and your ease of play to increase your dexterity of playing the strings.
Practice is the key to success and if you start with the exercises discussed in this guide, you are bound to see results.