Saturday, January 28, 2006

How To Improve Your Guitar Playing

Critical keys to better guitar playing

By: Dave Lloyd

What grooves you? Why do you want to improve? Regardless of your
intentions - whether to get started playing, learn a few licks
of your favorite tunes, or want to expand your repertoire to
include blues, funk, or rock and roll music, on your way to
recording yourself, there are resources out there that can help
you. Here are a few ideas that may help you better understand
your guitar playing and some solutions you can consider.

Guitar videos You can purchase guitar playing videos, either for
home or computer watching, that include hand position, strumming
technique, rhythm and timing, and finger exercises that take
through various type of songs. Essentially these become a mirror
for you in learning to play as you mimic what you're watching on
screen and then reproduce this on your own. With commitment and
determination, this can be a good one to go - especially for the
visual learner who likes to learn primarily on their own.

Guitar lessons You can find a community of guitar instructors in
your surrounding area who are either private tutors or work
through a community college. You'll want to consider their
expertise, the type of students they work best with, their
flexibility with your schedule, success stories, and of course
their fees, in considering working with them. In pursing guitar
lessons, you can either do one on one or group - both have their
plusses and minuses but either can work for you.

Playing partners Find someone in your local community who plays.
You can do this through asking the local community college,
posting online to a resource like craigslist, or asking the
guitar shop. The idea is to develop a friendship with someone
who is a bit better than you who wants the accountability of
practicing weekly. What you can provide is the commitment to
meet up with them weekly and practice. In return, you can learn
from their techniques or methods what works. Of course, you
always need to be aware of learning bad habits in situations
like these, which is why it's important to have a foundation in
guitar technique before starting.

Guitar theory Related to guitar technique is developing a basis
in guitar theory. Chord patterns, minor and major chord
progressions, note scales, and overlap with piano and percussion
instruments can all give you a basic structure upon which to
layer in the knowledge and technique you gain in your guitar

Playing guitar can be a wonderful expression of one's musical
and creative talent. And with a commitment to constant
improvement, it can provide a lifetime of enjoyment for
yourself, friends, and family.

About the author:
Dave Lloyd has written an online guide to playing guitar at http://www.improvemyguitar.

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