10 MORE Steps to Being a Better Guitar Player Part 2


In part 2 of 10 MORE steps to being a better guitar player, we will look at the last 5 ways that you can improve your guitar playing.  Click here in case you missed part 1.  Also be sure to check out the original 10 Steps to Being a Better Guitar Player

6. Take care of your equipment– This is one area that guitar players seem to neglect.  Be sure to change your strings, clean your guitar, tighten up loose parts and have a set up done at least annually to ensure your guitar is in its best playing condition.  A guitar that is falling apart, hard to play and grimy is not much fun and will not motivate you to pick it up.  Check out my post on how to care for your guitar and if you are new to guitar playing, here is an article with video showing how to change your strings.  I have also suggested some of my favorite brands of strings such as the Ernie Ball Cobalts and the String Dog Tone Rockets.

7. Buy something new– sometimes it helps our motivation which translates in to playing better if we recognize our successes on the guitar thus far and treat ourselves to a new piece of gear such as a stompbox or a new guitar pickup.  It will make things fresh and fun which in turn will cause you to practice more.

8. Play with backing tracks– this is an excellent way to not only improve your timing but give you the sense of being in a band.  Plus it’s a lot of fun!  Once you have a piece of music down well enough, put on a backing track and play to that.  You will be surprised at well your timing will improve, you’ll get the feeling of what it is like to be in a band if you have never played in one before and it will give a new energy as its just plain fun to do!  I love Planet of Rock for my backing tracks.  They are all professional tracks.  They have tracks that are great for working on your improvisation skills and also have tracks that are specific to a song so if you are working on say Dr Feelgood by Motley Crue, you can purchase that backing track to play along with.

9. Practice in short increments.  Sitting there practicing for hours on end without taking a break is actually counterproductive.  You will lose focus and your motivation will begin to go away.  Instead, practice in small 10-15 chunks throughout the day.  This way, your desire to practice will be higher, your concentration will be better and it’s much easier to find small chunks of time throughout the day than it is large blocks.

10. Play with emotion– Take the stiffness and robotic like playing out of your practice and be sure that you are feeling the music.  It is important to make every note and chord sing!  Play the song, riff etc. like it was your last.  Get every ounce of energy out of every note.  This is how you truly make yourself sound good as a guitar player.