Thursday, July 3, 2008


Hi,and hope all have a "safe" and happy July 4th!And wanna say thanks to ,a great site for guitar backing tracks.
I am going to talk a little on wood shedding,or practicing.There are a number of things that will help with your progress on guitar.And they pertain to the "art" of practicing,or how and what you practice.To begin with,you should always warm up before trying to rip away at solos or chords!The secret is playing scales and finger stretches very very slowly.When you begin to 'feel" your "knuckles" opening up,then you know you are playing slow enough!Gaining or increasing your finger stretching ability can only be accomplished through playing very slowly and covering a minimum distance of 2 frets between each note.And this is done down between the first 5 frets,they are the widest apart!And, you could just play notes, no scale,and simply cover a minimum of 2 to 3 frets between each note played,with the next note being the next finger(index,then middle,or middle then ring finger,or ring finger then pinkie)!Again,this has to be done by playing very,very slowly.You will actually "feel" your knuckles opening up!In addition,you can also do warm up and stretch exercises with chords.Major and minor 2nd(9ths) triads are good for stretching your knuckles.Any Major or minor 9 voicings are good stretchers!So the warm up/playing slow and stretches are the starters!
Now another prime thing to mention about wood shedding or practicing is rhythm and soloing.You can sit around,till the cows come home,playing over and over, scales,riffs,chords and chords progressions,BUT,when you get into the real world with other players,playing together,all will be to no avail unless you have played the chords and scales in a "group" situation.I see so many young players just ripping away by themselves in a music store,then to be just lost when they go and play with their friends or a band!There is nothing that can beat playing with other musicians in a unit or band,for real experience.The closest to this would be using "backing tracks",to practice along with,So go out and buy some,or Band In The Box or some other music software by Cakewalk or others,this is critical!Then select a style/key/chord progression and tempo and practice away!It is really hard to play and be aware of your mistakes by yourself!By playing with music,it increases your awareness of your timing,phrasing and other things like being in the right key,playing the right scale or mode or the right chords.And when you get together with your friends or a band,this will all change a little also!People are not perfect like the tracks you practice with,so the tempo may vary here and there,you have to adjust to these things!And you can also purposely "push" the beat or play "behind" the beat or speed or slow down the tempo.These are all human factors.So it is critical to find some means of practicing with tracks or a group.
Also,try recording yourself while practicing with your backing tracks or friends.You will be amazed at how different your playing is on the tape or cd than what you were thinking while recording it!!!Man this is a real eye opener!The 'ol saying..."The tape never lies",is oh so true here!
I hope this helps with your musical journeys!
...Below is a link to some great backing tracks,to get you started :-) (2547 guitar backing tracks in the archive)
....There are additional post on wood shedding and practicing,check the archives


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