Hello, and welcome to my new Guitar World instructional column. In the coming months, I’ll share with you some of the guitar-playing concepts and approaches that have helped me develop my technique and overall playing style. I’d like to start off with an examination of ascending scalar shapes that, by design, cover the majority of the fretboard.
If you ask some people in these parts, 2014 wasn't a great year for music. I disagree. I think it kicks 2013's ass. Mind you, my tastes have veered way over into the roots-rock, rockabilly, non-horrible-country arena. Luckily, Sturgill Simpson, Whitey Morgan and Reverend Horton Heat provided me with plenty to listen to.
Like any practice, you actually have to practice in order to learn anything. This is one of the biggest challenges with any skill you want to learn. As soon as we try to start a new habit, all sorts of resistance pops up and creates obstacles to sticking with it. Being masters of rationalization, it’s easy for us to come up with reasons to skip practice. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t know what to practice.”
Winter. I’m not big on it. If you play any instrument that involves dexterous finger work, you probably aren’t big on it, either. How many times have you started playing a fast riff or lick onstage and quickly realized your fingers weren’t moving as fast as your brain?