9 Tips to Help You be a Better Guitar Player

I got an email from Marty Schwartz at GuitarJamz where he laid out 9 great tips that will help you play guitar better.


1.   Use only enough pressure to make each string sound good. No need to strangle the strings or suffocate the guitar neck!

2.  Realize that there’s more to learning solos than merely running up and down a scale.

3.  If you’re just starting out, begin by slowly strumming each string.  If a string sounds odd, adjust your finger position.

4.  Never forget that what you’re doing is a fairly complex skill.  Anything new won’t come automatically right away. This means that patience will reward you greatly . . . and that it WILL become second nature and easy if you master the smallest parts first.

5.  Less is sometimes more. I see this all the time: A student learns a scale, and then proceeds to try
and dazzle everyone by going as fast as they can and cramming as many notes as possible into the shortest
time span possible. Your licks and solos will soar higher by playing LESS notes, not more.
One way to force yourself to do this is by practicing a lick or solo and having a “rule” that says you can only use three or four notes from the available scales.

6.  Use only the very tips of your fingers.  You’ll move more nimbly that way and get a better sound. Don’t be
hard on yourself if this doesn’t come easily. It will soon enough.

7.  Try changing from one chord to another without strumming the strings.  Repeat over and over until you
can do it smoothly.  Keep at it and you’ll get there.

8.   Once you know what each chord sounds like, try to NOT look at your fret hand. Learn to recognize the

sound of the chord. Learn to place your fingers without looking. You’ll want to look, but later, when you’re performing flawlessly for your friends or need to read music, you’ll thank me.

9.  Mix in some chords with your solos occasionally. As with anything else, you don’t want to overdo this.  Like
Tabasco sauce, a little goes a long way.  Don’t overlay chords on top of every bar, but go ahead and punctuate your single
note licks with chords (or even a fragment of a chord) and you’ll suddenly hear your solos at a new, higher level.


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