30 Tips To Be A Better Guitarist

If there’s one thing that’s unanimous across all guitarists it’s the need to get better; here’s a checklist of things to consistently do to make sure you get the most of out your practice time.  It can be hard and it will take a lot of time but it’s going to be worth it.

  1. Play standing up and/or sit up straight and learn to relax.
  2. Discipline yourself to learn at least 1 new piece of information a week like a song or chord scale.
  3. Ask yourself and others questions and learn to problem solve your difficulties often.
  4. Create a permutation of everything, e.g. learn scales or licks in reverse.
  5. Play in keys or positions you never like to go, e.g. Eb.
  6. Learn the rudiments of rhythmic values, especially the rests.
  7. Always practice slowly to a beat or a click (metronome) and don’t rush or try to go fast before your time.
  8. Make it a priority to clean up sloppy playing using muting or stop the mindless and be mindful of everything you play.
  9. Learn something from another instrument or style/genre.
  10. Play the same licks in different places on the neck.
  11. Learn simple tunes like something off the TV using only your ear.
  12. Transpose songs into different keys.
  13. Put the plectrum down for a day and play with your fingers.
  14. Learn a part until you can do it in your sleep.
  15. Jam often or have a lesson – it’s really good to play with other people (try and find someone better than you).
  16. Balance songs, chords and theory with technique.
  17. Spend 20 mins playing with only upstrokes.
  18. Spend a day on slides bends and vibrato.
  19. Spend more time actually playing your guitar rather than on your gear or eBay.
  20. Spend time in shorter bursts of practice, perhaps get a countdown timer.
  21. Play at a high volume to hear your mistakes so you can rectify.
  22. Practice on an acoustic with heavy strings then fly on your electric.
  23. Learn different time feels and apply them to your licks, like swing or ¾.
  24. Keep a journal and set goals.
  25. Record yourself practicing and playing, even have a mirror in front of you if you can so you can spot bad habits.
  26. Play a piece in front of people as often as you can.
  27. Learn and write something in a new scale or mode.
  28. When you start to learn or write something, do it all the way and don’t give up until it’s done.
  29. You can do it, believe in yourself.
  30. Don’t compare yourself to people more advanced than you.

Get practicing!

 

 

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