Taking Your Guitar Playing to the Next Level
Whether you are a beginner tentatively banging out chords in an effort to make a pleasing sound or a seasoned pro with years of roadwork behind you, there is always a higher level of musicianship to strive for. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do that can take your playing to the next level and do it at a faster pace. This article goes over several things you can do that will send your talent to greater heights.
Get an instructor if you don’t already have one
This may seem obvious, but no matter what your skill level, you are never going to progress by yourself as quickly or as effectively as you will with a good guitar teacher. One of the best arguments for hiring an instructor is that all players can fall into bad or ineffective habits that can hamper their playing. A good instructor can help you fix these and help you maximize your potential.
Another reason to consider professional lessons is that your teacher will work with you based on your needs and desires as a player. This personalized approach can bring out your very best as a guitarist.
Do more of what you are already doing
Do you practice for 30 minutes every day? Practice for 45, or even an hour. Learning a chord? Learn several different ways of playing it. Do you ask your instructor questions during a lesson? Ask more, he or she won’t be bothered by it. If you are already playing live or studio gigs, strive to get more – no matter what the venue or the pay.
Experts on the psychology of success have agreed that what separates the successful from the also-rans is that, far too often, the also-rans have underestimated the amount of time and effort necessary to succeed and have no plan for achieving even what goals they DO have. The bottom line: Put in more effort, and you will see greater results.
Step outside of your musical comfort zone
This can mean many things. It can mean something as simple as attempting to play a musical piece outside of your preferred genre. It can mean switching from using a plectrum to finger-picking, or vice versa. It can even mean learning another musical instrument.
All of these practices can help in different ways to expand your musical horizons and prevent or cure any kind of stagnation you may feel in your playing at the moment. And in many cases, these practices may lead to new preferred ways and genres of playing. They are all worth trying.
Experience more music
Immerse yourself with music. See more live shows, listen to the radio more. Check out online services like Pandora and Spotify and look for both deep cuts by the artists you love and music from exciting new artists. Check out CDs and sheet music form your local library. Simply put, carve more time out of your day for music. You will find yourself inspired to improve your own playing.
What else can you do?
You will find that, by dong one or more of these suggested practices, your playing will soon reach a new level. Other articles on this site point out still more ways to expand your abilities.