Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Practicing Guitar....and More...Part 2

Most importantly,find a good teacher!It is unwise to learn wrong or pick up bad habits,only to learn later down the road,you have to re-learn the correct way,So,do yourself a big favor and ask around first,about a good instructor in your area,and then sign up for lessons!
Ready for some more practice tips,sure you are.In the last post we basically talked about,first,to tune your guitar,buy an electronic tuner,they are cheap and most,if not all,have a built in mic also,for acoustics and classicals.
O.k....i also mentioned the metronome.It is also a critical piece of equipment to buy.I suggest just a basic,run on batteries model,or a wind up one.One that is small,that would fit into your guitar bag or case.
Now,if you read,start off practicing the piece slowly,then graduating to the suggested tempo.And if you play by ear,well,maybe try finding an accurate tab of the piece.There are so many tabs around and so many that are not accurate!Maybe practice the tab and also listen to the original song and compare the tab to what you hear is being played,i know,ear training!And speaking of quickly,once you learn your basic chords and scales,along with more advanced ones,your ears will begin to hear these same chords or melodies in songs you like and want to huh!It is just a matter of getting your ears familiar with the chords and scales you learned and then being aware,by listening to the song,that the song contains some of these chords or melodies.That is why even before attempting to learn a new piece or song,it is critical to listen,listen and listen.And once you have practiced enough chords and scales enough times and learned enough songs,you will be able to listen to a song and already know what is basically being again!So practice,practice and practice.And the reward is a great one...being able to play an instrument,to express yourself and share it with the world.
Now on trouble spots,back off on your speed and start playing from a distance before the trouble spot and play through and beyond it.Again accuracy of playing the piece holds precedence over speed!For you speed freaks i suggest always playing slowly and clean and building from there.First,play the piece correctly and then increase your speed!And,man,can you really hear your mistakes better,with a clean sound.(Back-n-tha-day,i would play along with the song,note for note and that would be the way i learned a song,one note/chord/phrase at a time and keep building until i tied all the pieces together)That was after i had been playing a while though.Oh,and another thing,when learning new material...ALWAYS learn the rhythm FIRST,then the melody!So many young guitarist ONLY want to solo,but guess what,the melody has to follow the chords!And besides,it's always more fun being on a team(the rhythm section),than soloing all the time!
With the practicing of scales,for speed,you have to begin learning about alternate picking.You can go but so fast when picking every note in the same direction!So to increase your speed, alternate between a down pick then an up pick.Play the scales first note with a down pick then the next note an up pick.Then after a few times start with an up pick then go down.You have to ,in a way,have the fingering of the scale memorized first,before attempting alternate picking(for me,in a song, i might play the first note,that is on the down beat. with a down pick,and if the first note is on the up beat,then i will start with an up pick...try it).The same applies with chords.And there are accents that can be applied also,to give the melody or chord a phrasing or character or uniqueness.And in addition to that,the way you play or attack the note,ala,slides and bends or pull-offs and hammer- ons!All these can be incorporated into a solo or melody,along with accenting the chord being played on a different strum or in a different space in time.This can also be applied to practicing.It is good practice to try these things once you get the basics down,this builds individuality or your own style to your playing!I suggest you pick a favorite player and really,really listen to that player and learn his or hers style,by learning all their songs,and along the way you will develop your own style,sounds crazy,but you will!Only through trial and error and experimenting will you create your own style.....through practicing.
....and don't burn yourself out just hammering away at scales or chord shapes all the time...learn to play songs,that is the joyful part of....practicing!
enough said for now :-)


Post a Comment