10 MORE Steps to Being a Better Guitar Player Part 1

One of the most popular posts on SixStringMadness is 10 Steps to Being a Better Guitar Player.  I have received a lot of feedback on this post so I decided to do 10 MORE Steps to Being a Better Guitar Player.

In part 1, we will look at 5 more ways you can improve your guitar playing TODAY!


1. Project songs and ego songs-  you need to have a good mix of challenging material that is just a bit out of reach for your current playing ability and what I like to call ego songs.  Ego songs are songs, riffs, licks etc that fulfill that instant gratification desire in us.  These are easy and fun pieces of music that are quick to learn and fun to play.  The project songs will provide long term goals and challenge while the ego songs keep our motivation high.


2. Build a repertoire or “set list”– I learned this one from one of Steve Stine’s guitar courses. Ever been asked to play something for someone and had no idea what to play for them?  Develop a collection of short pieces of music that you can play in your sleep so when you are asked to play something for someone or are trying out new gear etc, you know exactly what to play and you know it will sound good.  Practice this medley often so you are confident that you will be able to play it when people are watching you.


3. Have a good teacher-  Learning the guitar is difficult.  Spending half your day horseing around on Youtube looking at guitar videos wont do much for your playing.  If you can afford it, find a good teacher in your area that does regular guitar lessons.  I teach private guitar lessons and have had students that have stumbled around on their own for years with very little progress.  Within a short amount of time taking private guitar lessons, their playing improved dramatically.  If you cant afford private lessons or have a schedule that just wont allow for it, find yourself some good DVD courses or online guitar memberships that have solid structure to them.  I have recommended a number of them on SixStringMadness.  Some of my favorites include the ones taught by Steve StineGuitarZoom.com has courses for everyone ranging from brand new to the guitar to advanced.  Be sure to check out my series on Battle of the Guitar Courses for more ideas.


4. Be a teacher– study after study shows that if you can teach something to someone than you know you have truly mastered it.  I have been teaching for a while now and my own guitar playing skills have improved dramatically.  By teaching someone, you are forced to master it so that you can demonstrate and fully explain it to someone else.  Teaching pushes you to take your playing to the next level.  Its also a nice way to make extra money for playing guitar.  If this is something you have thought about doing and have no idea where to begin in setting up a guitar teaching business, check out StartTeachingGuitar.com.  Donnie Schexnayder is a guitar teacher and small business coach who does a weekly podcast for guitar teachers to help them run a successful business teaching guitar.  It is a fantastic resource for guitar teachers!  His all access podcasts and other training courses such as his Email List Training Course  are great resources to help start and grow your teaching business.


5. Embrace your mistakes– One thing that I am constantly telling my students is not to let their mistakes show.  Most people will never know you screwed up unless you stop playing to restart or make a funny face etc.  Keep going and act like nothing happened.  More importantly, LEARN from your mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to screw up, just learn from what you did wrong and commit to correcting it.  If you don’t take risks in your playing, you will never grow as a guitar player.


Stay tuned for Part 2…