To become a great guitar player, you must be diligent about practicing regularly. However, every musician knows that practicing can get stale if you don’t change up the routine. You can’t always sit down to play the same chords, riffs, and songs over and over and expect to be challenged.
So, to shake things up and advance your musical skills to a new level, follow these steps below:
1. Practice Covers
There are so many talented musicians to learn from. Break out of genres you usually enjoy and challenge yourself to discover a new artist every week. Try watching these musicians live or find a video recording. Pay attention to their style of playing and picking. Imagine yourself playing those same riffs and licks.
If there’s something about this musician that impresses or inspires you, learn a cover of one of their songs! Covers are perfect for building your repertoire of songs you can play. It also makes “practicing” feel more fun and enjoyable.
The discipline of finding, learning, and playing new music will improve your musical instincts.
2. Keep Learning
There’s never going to be a better way to improve your guitar skills than by learning from a professional. Lessons provide in-person, tailored instruction that set you up for success based on your goals. Expert teachers will help you find your strengths and work on eliminating your flaws.
If finding an in-person instructor is not an option, the internet is a great way to learn from home. The internet is full of resources, like All Stringed, that provide instructional videos and articles for at-home players looking to improve their abilities.
3. Jam Along
It doesn’t matter if you’re playing with friends in-person or along to a recording; practice your skills with others. You will improve your proficiency and endurance.
Jamming with other people is another great way to learn improvisational playing, how to blend musically to create new sounds, and fall into the groove of a group. Overall, it will improve your listening skills which will make you an even better musician.
4. Record Your Progress
If you nail a riff or come up with a new chord progression while practicing, write it down or take a video recording! This will be especially helpful when you’re starting to write songs or compose music.
Keeping a video will make it easier to watch your fingers on the frets and strings to accurately recreate discoveries you’ve made. It’s also a tool to chart your progress. Watching recordings of yourself playing will show you the improvements you’ve made already and places you still have room to grow.
5. Practice Another Instrument
A great way to expand your musical prowess is by practicing a different instrument. If you’re a guitarist who’s trying to improve their rhythm, try picking up the drums.
Expand your understanding of chords and melodies by playing the piano. Translating your musical knowledge to different instruments is a great way to become a much more innovative, well-rounded musician.
6. Upgrade Your Gear
Fancy gear and accessories won’t make you a better musician, but they can enhance your playing, especially as a reward for diligent practice.
If you’ve been practicing riffs and licks and have seen your skills grow, perhaps it’s time to introduce a pedal to your practice. Playing around with a new pedal is a great way to incorporate the techniques you’ve learned from practicing with new artists and genres to finding your personal sound.
Even the greatest guitarists have to keep practicing to continue growing as a performer. If you think you’re playing to the best of your ability, find ways you can use new artists, genres, and resources to learn new techniques and covers to expand your knowledge.
Utilizing these strategies will grow your songbook to help you become the legendary musician you’ve always aspired to be!