Ever since my buddy Jack Bonner and I were younger we had wanted to become famous rock stars that made music for the masses and toured the world. As it happened, this was only ever a dream and like with many dreams, life inevitably got in the way. During those years I played guitar, badly, but played nonetheless and after leaving high school, I didn’t pick up my axe for over a decade. Last year I decided that I would get back in to playing guitar, not for dreams of world domination this time, but just so that I could play a tune or two for myself or the kids.
Getting back in to playing guitar was tough but I used a serious of techniques which really helped and I wanted to share them with you if you would like to get better at playing the guitar.
The first point to mention is that you must practice religiously if you seriously want to improve your guitar playing, you need to invest at the very least, one hour each day. When you practice like this you will feel your fingers becoming more supple and playing songs much easier. If you should leave your practice for a while and then come back to the guitar, you will find that you have forgotten many things or that you have taken backwards step in terms of your development.
Licks and Scales
A great way to boost your finger speed and dexterity is to learn blues licks and scales that you can practice regularly. There are literally hundreds of these to choose from and you can start off with something simple and then gradually build it up to something more difficult. Almost every song on the planet has its roots in the scales of blues and jazz and if you can master some of these licks, you will find it far easier to play songs.
I have never had any interest in reading sheet music and the beauty of playing guitar is that you don’t need to, you can use tablature instead. Tablature is stripped down sheet music that is made for guitarists and it is basically a template of the 6 strings with numbers on each one for where you need to place your fingers. Once you have learned to read tablature, you will be able to access the millions of songs, ditties and licks that you can find online in tablature form and greatly enhance your playing ability.
Youth is a video sharing site that is jam-packed with guides and tutorials for how to improve your guitar playing abilities. I use the site regularly to learn little licks and solos and there are some highly educational people on there offering tutorials. The reason I like to use this so much is that I can pause, rewind and watch the tutorial as many times as I like before I can finally nail down what it is that I am learning.
Practice hard, practice smart and be committed, you’ll be noodling in no time!