This one seems obvious, but I don’t mean just practice. I mean, play! You got into this because it was going to be fun, so make sure it is! Play your favourite songs every day. Find a friend to play with. Go to a local BUG (banjo, ukulele, and guitar) night and meet other players. If it feels like work, you won’t practice as often, so make sure it feels like play.
Not only will you sound like a pro, but learning solos verbatim will push you out of your comfort zone, and teach you skills you might not have thought to learn. Here's one of our favourites!
Taking a few lessons, now and then, can really take your playing to the next level. Most music stores offer a variety of skill specific lessons for you to choose from. Don’t have time to attend classes? Try online lessons! We like TrueFire for its variety of skill levels, styles, and featured instructors like Steve Vai, Pat Martino and Dweezil Zappa!
Keep a record of what you practice during every playing session, and track your progress. This might seem like a lot of work, but it only takes a few minutes, and it can be a real motivator. Over the course of weeks to months, you’ll be able to tell in which areas you’ve improved, and where you still need work. Create your own log sheet, or save and use the one below, via GuitarWorld.com.
Using proper playing position can improve your playing and comfort, so you’ll be able to play for longer periods. For right-handed players, rest the waist of your guitar on your right leg. Sit comfortably on an armless chair or stool with your left foot flat on the floor, and your right foot slightly raised on a foot rest, to support your guitar. (Switch sides for lefties!) Keep your back straight and lengthen your spine. Avoid hunching over your guitar, as this can cause neck and shoulder pain over time. Take regular breaks to release tension in your body.
Do you have any tips you’d like to add? Leave them in the comments!
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