5 Guitar Tips to Take Your Playing to the Next Level

So you think you can shred?

No matter how well you play guitar, there’s always room for good guitar tips. The best players constantly push themselves to further hone their craft. You might be good, but that’s not an excuse to blow off practice.

An intentional practice regimen can make all the difference in breaking through that next level in your playing. Here are some guitar tips to give your playing that extra boost.

5 Guitar Tips

1. Get outside of your comfort zone.

5 Guitar Tips to Take Your Playing to the Next Level

Everyone has their own distinct style, but sometimes our stand-by methods can put us in a slump. Learning an unfamiliar technique can give your playing a much-needed punch in the arm.

Maybe you can downstroke power chords like Johnny Ramone, but you’re useless at ballads. Set aside some time to practice your fingerpicking. Maybe you’ve got the blues down. Try metal sweeping.

When we branch out our playing, we find unexpected crossover between different styles. You can also try free guitar apps to learn on your own.

2. Jam with some friends.

If you spend all your time playing by yourself, you might be making easy mistakes without realizing it. Your tempo might be all over the place. You might be pressing on the frets wrong, leading to bad intonation.

When you play with other musicians, it hones your abilities [1]. Playing off of each other sharpens your rhythm, improves your improvisation, and increases your awareness of your instrument’s role in the band.

Collaboration with a group also encourages more dynamic songwriting. Some of the best songs come out of jam sessions between a group of musicians.

3. Take a lesson from the masters.

The rock and roll heroes of yore are legends for a reason: they knew what they were doing. The canon of music history offers thousands of great songs chock full of lessons to inform your playing.

Make a habit of learning classic songs verbatim. Master Purple Haze. Learn the legendary solo from Stairway to Heaven. Practice the fingerpicking on Bob Dylan’s Girl from the North Country.

Learn a new song every day, and watch your creativity unfold like a blooming flower.

4. Practice the boring stuff.

Playing scales and practicing chords can quickly grow tedious, but don’t downplay their importance. After all, every song is just a variation of 12 notes.

You might know every major chord, but do you know it in every position? Find some chord exercises and play them habitually [2]. A working knowledge of chords will throw open the doors of your songwriting to new heights.

And as terrible as it sounds, practice with a metronome. The tick-tocking might be annoying at first, but there is no better way to improve your tempo.

5. Get the right guitar.

The right technique on the wrong guitar can throw a wrench in your playing. If all you have is an acoustic guitar, you’re going to have a hard time playing metal techniques.

On the other hand, a Flying V with high-gain pickups will ruin your folksy ballads. You need to choose the right guitar for the job.

Check out our buyers’ guides to find the perfect guitar for your needs.

Stephanie Su
 

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