Who doesn’t want to be good in what you are doing? Whether you are playing on big stages or at your home, you’ll want to get better in guitar or any other instruments you play. The reason you’re here reading this means that I am right and that’s a good thing.
I am a self-taught musician so I have no one to teach me but the Internet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be like those who undergo formal lessons and so are you. What I am going to share on this article is not really practical techniques but some principles that really helped me improve my playing.
I hope that you’ll read it through the end because we all need some disciplines too, not only practical skills. This list will help you how to get better in guitar through having the right principles. I believe that if you apply these, you will improve your playing so let’s get right to it.
4 Ways on How to get better in guitar
1. Practice Consistently
One thing I’ve done before is practice at least 3 hours twice a week but I was not getting better. It is so frustrating, and it’s like I am just wasting my time. I thought I am not cut out for guitar. But I did not give up, I did some research and found out that it is better to practice 10 MINUTES TO 30 MINUTES DAILY, rather than long hours but not everyday.
I changed my ways and it drastically improved my playing. If you practice daily, your fingers will not be too stiff to play. It will also improve your muscle memory which is very important for us, guitarist, since most of the time we rely to this. I don’t really use my mind when playing because my muscle memory is at work, in other words, MY FINGERS KNOW WHAT TO DO and who doesn’t want that?
I highly suggest that you change your schedule. It will save you a lot of time and you will easily develop the skills you needed. 30 minutes is not really that much compared to 3 hours so I believe that you can make time for it everyday.
2. Follow a certain lesson
The internet is full of free guitar lessons but sometimes it is too confusing what to follow. What I did years ago is I searched on youtube for “guitar lesson for beginner”. I know there’s a lot out there but what I suggest you do is listen to one person at a time. See if there is a playlist of him teaching beginner lessons and learn from him.
Don’t go jumping from person to person because you’ll just get confused rather than learn. So listen and apply what you learn from one person and if you think that you are still not that good, then search again. My point is, there should be direction in what you study. Just watch one video or two per day and practice it that day then the next day again.
DON’T PRACTICE RANDOM STUFF AND EXPECT IMPROVEMENT. Don’t waste your time practicing what you already know or doing chords that you learned ages ago. This will not help you at all. Sure you’ll be able to master those chords or those songs but your skill set will not improve that much. Take time to practice what you don’t know.
This is what I did and still doing now and I am now able to play a lot of songs with ease. And don’t study lessons that you should not be studying right now. If you are a beginner, don’t search for things like “how to play solo” because that is not for you yet. You’ll get there in no time as long as you follow a certain path.
There’s also one thing you can do if you are not that good at searching and if you have money. There are guitar lessons out there on the internet that you can go to but you’ll need to pay for it. It is already put in order and easy to follow so that you can learn the skills and techniques you need at whatever level you are right now.
Guitar lessons like Fender Play, Jamorama, YGA, and many more can help you in your guitar playing. I highly recommend these guitar lessons because it is designed for beginners and the lessons are in order.
3. Don’t just listen, Apply what you heard
I love listening to music and I spent most of my time listening to it. I always think that it is a good thing if I will be able to play like them and do those solos. But it won’t happen if you will not do it on your guitar. Even if you know how to do it, if you don’t do it, you will not be able to play it.
Just like what I said before, we rely on our muscle memory and so if you want to play like those legendary guitarist, do it on your guitar. Sure, listening will open your mind to a lot of good music but that will just be information if you are not able to play it. If you heard some good music, study how did the musician did it.
One thing you can do is to DO SOME COVER SONGS. You don’t really need to record it but I suggest you do it so you can listen to your self and you’ll know what you are still lacking. Cover songs will help you develop new techniques that you can use to other songs also. It will make you creative because you can make some good rendition to some songs because of what you learned to other songs.
This is what I do most of the time. I was able to change the feel of a song because I tried to apply the techniques I learned from other songs. Some may not like it, some may like it, but most important is YOU LIKE IT. That’s how music works. I believe that music is an extension of what we are so don’t let the opinion of other people stop you from becoming great.
4. Get back to Basics from time to time
Basic lessons are the most important lesson that you need in your guitar playing for it is the foundation of every lesson you will learn. When I have my free time, I still search for these lessons and listen to them again so that I will be reminded and I’ll know if I’m still missing something.
I know that you’ll say that you already know these things but it is important that you master the basics. Of course don’t search for how to play a G chord, search for those lesson that teaches you a principle like how to strum properly or how to use pick properly. These techniques are what you still need at any level you are right now so get back to it from time to time.
One thing you can do is to teach it to others. If you can’t put it in simple words, you don’t understand it fully. You can also search in google for things like this and read articles about the basics and you’ll see that there’s still a lot of what we don’t know. Sometimes I still get amazed of the basic lessons I listen or read because I still get a lot out of it.
These are just some principles that helped me. Of course there’s still a lot that we don’t know but I know that if you follow these principles, you’ll see improvements in your playing in no time. To be a great musician requires discipline and dedication
Practical skills is important but having a right attitude is also important. And one thing you should remember, don’t give up. You will get better in guitar or whatever you play I believe.
Do you know other principle that can improve guitar playing or do you find these list interesting? If you do, please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.
Are you playing with a band? Then you might be interested on my guide on how to play with a band.