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Six Steps to Becoming a Highly Effective Guitar Player

Apr 12, 2008
Here are the six steps to becoming a highly effective guitar player:

1. Change the strings regularly. How often do strings need changing? Well, if you only play your guitar two or three of times a month then you will probably get away with perhaps 3 or 4 sets of strings per year. But if you play in a band or put in 1 hour or more per day of practice time then once a week is probably adequate. Experience suggests most strings lose their brightness in 1 hour or less.

2. Play your lesson. Yes, I know sometimes it gets repetitive and boring. Even if you have become efficient at right hand tapping techniques does not mean that you should try to use it at every opportunity. Instead, concentrate on your discipline and what feels and sounds natural for the piece you are working on. Possibly it is not as self self gratifying to play ten notes slowly where you could have squeezed in fifty, but it can often be far more effective to learn to play slow and play the right notes.

3. Practice with focus. Set up a regular practice schedule? Your guitar practice session should include practicing techniques, slow playing, fast playing, rhythmic playing, scales and chords. By playing what you enjoy only during solo practice sessions, one does not always perfect the proper technique. That is why we practice adnauseam until your old lady screams "can't you play anything else?"

4. Get involved in jammimg, play with other players, don't hog the show. Never turn your amp up to max and expect the rest of the band to join you. Not only is it a quick way to get tinnitus and early deafness, but it can also get you replaced by a more team/band oriented guitarist. An effective guitar player will be listening to the whole band, not just him/herself, and if the guitar sounds too loud the effective guitar player will turn the volume down to a level that matches the rest of the band!

5. Be original. Do not only copy your guitar influences. Of course it is natural and essential to actively learn the chops of your favorite players, blend licks and vibes into your own sound. It gets easier as you grow and learn.

6. Keep an open mind and ear to your equipment. Buy products that suit your tastes. All of the best players sounds are unique and exclusive, using the sounds of our favorite influences to develop your own vibe.
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