Welcome back to part two of how to play guitar - discover
20 tips to play like a pro...
Most guitar players desire to become a better guitar player.
Guitarist ask me quite often why they are not at the
level that they desire and what can they do. In the past
I have asked myself the very same question. Soon I began
to understand the answers.
Just as you have probably done, I have read a lot of how
to play guitar interviews and articles from great guitar
players. I often found it frustrating whenever the subject
of how to play guitar came up or when advice was offered
on improving someone's playing. With a few exceptions,
little time and space was ever devoted on this.
It is not uncommon to see a guitar player give advise to
learn to play the guitar summed up in as little as three
words: Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!
I remember when I first was learning how to play guitar I
would practice on some days so long that the ends of my
fingers would be tender to the touch and hurt for days.
We all know that practicing is the main ingredient. Does
a football player practice a few times and then is able
to play up to the caliber of an NFL football player?
Rarely are we told anything more than on how to play the
guitar then to just practice. In my long quest to become
an excellent player I carefully took note of what worked
and what did not - which parts conventional wisdom are
accurate and which parts are (at least in my opinion)
are not. I believe the following twenty tips have proven
to bring great results to those who use them:
6. Surround yourself with better players (or at least with
those on your same level.) When you started out playing
guitar, everyone was better than you, but now you have
grown and there are less people better than you than
before. The better you get, the harder it will be to find
others who are superior to you to hang around or jam with.
But no matter how good you get, there will always be
something you can learn from someone else. Look for those
people, get to know them, jam with them, discuss music
and how to play guitar with them. Be willing to give as
much (or more) as you want to take. If you are fortunate
enough to be above the level of other guitarists in your
area, seek out great bassists, pianists, violinists,
drummers, etc. You can learn from them as well (even if
you are not better than your guitar player friends, seek
out musicians that play other instruments as well anyway).
7. Find out what inspires you and soak yourself in that.
For me, going to concerts to see great players or bands
inspires me to practice more. Listening to great singers
inspired me to refine my vibrato and phrasing. Listening
and studying the music of great bands inspired me to
study music composition. I wanted to write great music.
The greatest source of inspiration has been my own
personal experiences in life and within myself. The
desire to express that was (and still is) a constant
burning desire and powerful force that thrusts my desire
to improve. Know what truly inspires you, seek
it out, surround yourself with it and soak and soak
8. Define your purpose. What is your definite purpose? Do
you really know what it is? If I were standing in front
of you right now and asked you this question, could you
give me specific answers and explanations? Can you write
it on paper in specific terms? This is critical to
planning strategy and monitoring the results, etc. Don't
set goals just decide what you want to do and just do
it like the shoe brand NIKE says...Make a commitment
to completion. When all the enemies of progress start
to creep into your mind, you will need to bring your
definite purpose to the forefront of your thinking. I
have seen procrastination, fear of failure, self doubt,
lack of motivation, temporary setbacks, and other negative
things bring people with great potential to a halt.
Knowing your definite purpose and reminding yourself of
it when a negative thought comes into your mind will
help you overcome it.
9. Define exactly why your purpose exists in your mind.
I specifically choose to list this separately from
defining your purpose because I did not want you to let
the WHY get lost in the act of DEFINING. Trust me, this
10. Create a strategy! You need a strategy that will
layout exactly how you are going to reach what you want
to accomplish. Dreaming alone won't take you anywhere.
Telling yourself that you are going to play your guitar
everyday isn't enough. There is a lot more that goes
into being an excellent player than simply playing
your guitar. Ultimately you should work backwards. State
your ultimate things you want to accomplish (on paper)
then make a bunch of short and medium range blitzes.
Think of reaching your goals as a relay race, NOT as a
marathon. Each short term and medium term blitz is the
end of one segment of your plan and the beginning of
the next segment (just like a relay race.) There are
many benefits of looking at things this way as you will
discover for yourself in your own way.
If you clearly know what your ultimate goals are, you
can do this yourself. But if you need help in planning
out the short and mid term goals to plan your strategy.
Consult a teacher whom you trust and believe can help you
with this - it's worth it, believe me. If you can't find
a teacher who can do this for you, pay someone (YES I
said PAY) to help you develop a specific plan to do this.
The best person to approach for this is someone who is
already doing whatever it is that you want to be doing.
Remember that it's okay to daydream and fantasize about
where you are planning to go, but it can't stop there.
Don't wish without planning! Don't dream without doing!
And always, always, have a strategy. You may need to
revise certain aspects of your strategy as time goes on
and that's okay, but don't try to go forward without one
if you want the maximum results in the shortest amount
of time. In my early days learning to play guitar, I
wasted a lot of time aimlessly desiring to get better
without having a clue as to how to plan for it. Sure I
practiced a lot, but without direction and without an
efficient path to follow. Most of my substantial progress
as a musician came only after I developed a strategy and
worked with it.
If you are wondering why I haven't given you a detailed
explanation of the strategies I used in the past, it
would be pointless for me to tell you what my strategy
was, because it was specific only to my goals. Chances
are, your goals may differ greatly from mine in many
different ways. That is why you need your own strategy
for your own personal goals. One last piece of advice
before we move on, write everything on paper and read it
everyday! It will keep you focused and on target.
Each of us has some natural ability of some kind. You may
already know what yours is or you may not yet discovered it.
If being a better musician is not coming easy for you that
simply means you are like the rest of us.
I have continued the next five tips of 20 tips to part III
of how to play guitar - discover 20 tips to play like a pro.
The next tip I will be discussing is "Imagine yourself
having the skills that you desire." Be sure to get part III
with the next 5 tips.
Jason owns a few blogs on guitar lesson and how to play guitar and learn guitar and learn guitar online and learn to play guitar and free guitar lesson