How many guitar drills do you practise? The answer is “too many,” if you’re a guitar player like most others. Today’s internet era makes it far too simple to instantly access hundreds of guitar exercises on any subject imaginable. However, despite their best efforts, most guitarists discover that their musical abilities remain stagnant in their never-ending search for new guitar playing resources. For more details Taylor AD27e Flametop
Despite how frequent this problem is, the majority of guitar players respond to it in an entirely incorrect manner. Most musicians mistakenly believe that ‘if only’ they had more/new/better exercises to work on, their guitar playing would improve more quickly. However, because little effort is made to figure out the optimum way to PRACTICE these exercises, progress is only made slowly over time.
Focusing on getting the most out of the things you are already studying will help you improve your guitar playing much more quickly than continuously trying to add new things to your repertoire. This will provide you with two significant benefits:
- You will become a better musician faster simply because you won’t have as many exercises to practise.
- You will know exactly what to do to design your own exercise whenever you encounter a genuine problem in your guitar playing.
The Method of Your Guitar Practice Is More Important Than the Exercises You Do
When you practise guitar, you must be able to articulate (at the very least to yourself) the goals behind each practise technique you are focusing on at the moment. Being able to provide such an explanation keeps your training on track and prevents it from devolving into a pointless and unfocused waste of time.
Consider a relatively typical example, like learning guitar scales, to help clarify what I mean (something that all guitar players have done at one point or another). Although almost everyone is aware that learning scales is crucial for musicians, few guitarists are informed of how to use scale practise to enhance the following particular facets of their musicianship:
- Quickly picking up the guitar
- Practicing improvisational guitar solos (or improving their ability to do so)
- Fully visualising the guitar neck
- Increasing their musical creativity
You must take a certain set of steps in order to accomplish each of the aforementioned goals. To achieve that, you must use your head as a compass to guide your hands during each scales-focused practise session in order to lead them in the right direction. Setting specific micro goals for every practise session is crucial when doing this. To avoid confusion, these “miniature ambitions” are NOT the same as the grand, long-term goal you have for yourself as a guitarist (several years from now). Instead (as stated above), they function more like a map and compass that instruct you on how to travel (and what steps to take) in order to achieve a very tiny, precise goal. Once you get used to it, you’ll realise that it’s really doable to improve many aspects of your musicianship with just one guitar practise tool. However, since the majority of guitarists do not practise with this mindset, their practise sessions frequently become little more than a list of exercises to play through without comprehending how each one is (or should be) moving them closer to their objectives. This explains a major chunk of why most artists never reach their full potential as guitarists.
Most people do not naturally have the ability to set specific goals for each thing in each guitar practise session, which is another reason why many artists find that learning guitar on their own is not the best option. Regardless of whether you take guitar lessons or not, your playing will already improve if you make an effort to go through the following process when you are practising.
To put the aforementioned procedure into effect, I’ll give a few examples of how using a standard guitar practise exercise like scales may help a guitarist improve in a number of different ways. This will be accomplished, as previously mentioned, by concentrating your thoughts on a particular set of goals during each practise session.
The Fretboard Can Be Learned Using Guitar Scales
Your focus should shift from memorising the physical aspects of your guitar playing to memorising how the shapes of the scales you are practising look (visually) in EVERY area of the guitar, regardless of what key you are in. This is because practising scales will help you improve your ability to visualise the guitar neck. You will be forced to pay full attention to what you are doing when your mind is actively involved in this activity rather than playing scales automatically.
How To Develop Your Guitaristic Creativity By Using Guitar Scales
Try forcing yourself to “invent” a number of fresh scale sequences, patterns, and phrases as you practise scales to develop your creativity as a guitarist. This is distinct from simply playing mindlessly and uninspiredly the scale curves up and down. This work alone can keep you occupied for several months while also inspiring hundreds of fresh ideas for scale sequences. The purpose of this piece of advise is to provide another another example of how, while working on a certain small aim, your mind is actively concentrating on an entirely separate set of duties.
Guitar Scales: A Tool For Improving Technique
You must deliberately concentrate your attention on each component of superb technique in turn when practising scales to improve your physical guitar playing: eliminating additional strain, avoiding superfluous hand/finger motions, picking articulation, and the capacity of both hands to function in unison. The crucial difference between practising scales particularly to advance in one of the aforementioned areas and mechanically moving your fingers through repetitive fingering patterns, as most guitarists do, is what I want you to take away from this. You can more effectively train your hands for greater scale guitar playing by comprehending and using this distinction.
Using Guitar Scales Can Help You Improve Your Improvisation
One of the many skills you must develop in order to learn to improvise on the guitar is the ability to play scales accurately and fluidly all around the instrument. One of the things you should do to explicitly develop this ability is to spend a few minutes at a time working on each scale position, creating licks and phrases from it, but momentarily forbidding yourself from utilising any of the other shapes of the same scale. Practice this technique for a few minutes, then switch to a different scale shape and do it again. The key concept to grasp here is how your concentration is different while practising scales to better your improvising in contrast to working on scales to advance in some other aspect of your musicianship. Of course, this is not the only way you should practise scales to learn to improvise guitar solos.
I’ve shown you examples in this post so far of how you may use a single guitar exercise to improve a number of different aspects of your musicianship. You can accomplish a number of goals during a guitar practise session by selecting where to direct your attention. It’s crucial to note that these broad strategies may be applied to ANY guitar exercise you perform (and are not just restricted to scales) in order to hone any musical skill you can imagine. The more you do this, the more you’ll come to understand that HOW you practise whatever it is you’re working on, rather than “the exercises” you play on the guitar, determines how well you do at playing the instrument.