Guitarless practice: how to learn without the instrument, and improve your musicality anytime, anywhere

Guitarless practice
(Image credit: Wavebreakmedia)

Unfortunately, all us guitarists have to spend most of life away from the strings. We all know what it’s like to be stuck in transit, itching to get back home and play, or to be sitting at a desk somewhere, staring blankly at our screen as musical thoughts distract us from whatever we’re supposed to be doing. Let’s be honest: most of the time, we’d prefer to be jamming.

This lesson seeks to encourage these tendencies. Or rather, to suggest a few ways to use time away from the instrument for meaningful musical improvement. Below, we sample five areas of ‘guitarless practice’, aimed at expanding your conceptual toolkit, developing your rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic command, and broadening your overall approaches to playing.

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George Howlett is a London-based musician and writer, specializing in jazz, rhythm, Indian classical, and global improvised music.