Sweep picking was invented a long time ago, and it's been used in many amazing solos. Where would the Eighties be without sweep picking? Where would metal be without it? Sweep picking isn't a very surprising sound anymore. So when you're crafting a solo and trying to make a lick that will give the same wonderful feel of sweeping, try these “2-1's” instead. They'll make you jump.
I often think of a “tough love” quote from an old teacher of mine: “People at venues have their food to eat, drink to drink, friends to talk to and every other venue in town to go to. Can you keep their attention?” While that seems a tad harsh, it is good to some extent, as long as you use it to challenge yourself and surprise yourself with the music and guitar parts you come up with.
This week, it's all about making the guitar sound as beautiful as possible. For me, the masters of this are Eric Johnson and Tim Miller (who was actually a teacher of mine at one point). We'll get to what they both do that sounds very unique. We'll also go over ways I like to doll up some otherwise normal-sounding guitar parts.
It's common to hear the idea that guitarists need pitch and drummers need rhythm. These are both half true, as guitarists and drummers need both pitch and rhythm. Could you imagine what a duo band like the Black Keys would sound like if Dan Auerbach had bad rhythm? Not so great. Playing great riffs out of time is sort of like driving a Ferrari into a wall.
Practicing ear training can be very tedious and nowhere near as fun as cranking an amp to 11 — or stage diving. While I'm not going to tell you that if you don't develop your ears you'll never be a good guit-artist, I must say there's nothing cooler than hearing a song and being able to play along with it or even learn it by the time it's done.
Sometimes you find yourself going over something again and again as if your brain won’t allow you to take in anymore information for the day — and then you get frustrated. Around this time, you start screaming to your ceiling/roommate, “Why can’t I just be a prodigy?” I can’t make you one, but I can give you tips on how to learn/retain a little faster and understand what you’re playing.