The 25 Things Every Guitarist Should Know
Enjoy (and use) these 25 tips that you—as a guitarist—can't afford to ignore.
16. As soon as you learn something cool, apply it immediately to a real-life musical situation
Many guitarists learn tons of licks that sound great when played in the practice room. But the minute they get on stage, they have a hard time integrating this new material into their playing. Before you learn something new, you should have an idea where you could fit it in.
17. Learn as many melodies as you can
Not only does learning melodies to tunes (any tunes) increase your repertoire, it also (subconsciously) gives you an incredibly distinct edge in developing your phrasing. Ideally, you should be able to duplicate any melody you hear.
A. Listen to how singers interpret melodies and try to mimic their phrasing on the guitar.
B. Try to play back any, and I mean any, melody you hear-be it a TV commercial, nursery rhyme or the Mister Softee ice cream truck theme.
C. Always learn a melody on more than one place on the guitar neck. You want to play the melody, not have the melody play you.
18. Know your place
When a bandleader asks you to play something a certain way, smile and do it! Don't argue. Don't pout. Don't think you know better. Don't be an asshole. You'll have plenty of time to be in charge when your three-disk epic rock opera adaptation of The Jeffersons gets picked up.
19. Contrary to popular belief, taking lessons and listening to other styles of music doesn't hurt
It never hurts to broaden your scope, no matter how great a player you already are or how much you think you've already learned all there is to know. Opening your mind to other styles and techniques makes you a better, more well-rounded musician. Period. A great teacher can inspire and enable you to develop as a creative, exciting player.
20. Learn as many tunes as possible, from start to finish
It doesn't matter what style you like to play in, the more tunes you know, the easier it is to get a gig or kick ass on a jam session. And there's no excuse for not doing it-even if you're not at the point where you can learn tunes off the recording, you can avail yourself of the hundreds of transcription books out there. Heck, you can learn five new tunes a month just by reading Guitar World!
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