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78

You will always make mistakes, so the key is practicing in a way that eliminates mistakes. "Practice makes perfect" is a Big Lie. If you don't practice in a smart method you will never get that good -- so what is important is not just practice itself, but good practice technique. When practicing a piece of music or song, there are really two modes I ...


46

Do you transcribe other players' solos? I find this helps me a lot, especially when I transcribe non-guitarists' solos. The clich├ęs and idioms on other instruments are simply different than they are on guitar, so that can help to see melody from a different perspective. Trumpets and saxophones, in particular, sit in a similar range to the guitar but have ...


41

One thing I often do in that situation is pick a scale and play it in different positions on the neck. Or vary it further by double-picking or triple-picking each note, or using hammer-ons/pull-offs. This video has Joe Satriani showing a few exercises that would fit well in the short time frame as well. Last but not least, if you have a song you're working ...


37

Learning another instrument will not necessarily make you a better guitarist; since the time spent learning another instrument is time that your spending not building your technical ability on the guitar. It will however probably make you a better overall musician; since playing/learning a different instrument encourages you to think about your preferred ...


34

Learning the piano is the best way to learn about music in general. Its orderly, logical keyboard layout reinforces music theory concepts that can be otherwise difficult to learn and appreciate. Plus, the ability to play bass, melody, and chords simultaneously make it a great way to learn how all the different parts of music work together to make a whole ...


33

What's better: pick up a guitar every day for a few minutes or play more rarely, but having a longer session? Neither. It's not length of time, but what you do with it when you have it. If you spend your time playing the same three songs over and over again, you'll not likely improve save to be able to play three songs endlessly. That's a ...


30

I think your best bet is to get something with a headphone out. Some amps will have them, although probably only solid state ones. A lot of the digital modeling /fx units will have it too (like Pod). Just don't blow your ears out!


24

Make Sure it doesn't become a crutch: The most important thing about practicing with a metronome is to avoid becoming dependent on it. It is a tool that can be used to strengthen your rhythm and time when used properly, but if you overuse it, you might become uncomfortable playing without one because the machine is creating the pulse instead of you. As a ...


23

Yes, unfortunately it's all about practice. But there are some things you can focus on to speed up the process: - Learn the notes on the neck by heart, and the associated intervals. That is, learn the notes on the low E-string and the relation between those notes and the notes on the higher strings so that you without thinking can fret a certain interval. ...


22

DISCLOSURE: I'm also a full-time programmer but I got my degree in music. I'm finding the best way to make it work is to be disciplined and schedule specific amount of time. This is a skill I learned in school, as I was a composition major so I had to have a concentration instrument (which for me was the double bass), pass piano proficiency, pass ...


22

Begin by learning the open strings. Then picture the relation of each string to the next string (ie "-5" frets and "-4" between G and B). Picture an octave on two adjacent strings ("+7" frets or "+8" between G and B), and then on two strings a string apart (ie "+2" frets "+1" string except, you guessed it, where G and B are involved). Then learn fret 9 or ...


21

I write from personal experience -- I now always wear earplugs as an audience member in big gigs. When music is very loud, it impairs your ability to hear detail. Pitch and even rhythm become difficult to discern. At a certain level of loudness, your brain "fills in" the detail. This is why it's a good idea to play demo tapes loud to A&R men, but keep ...


19

Two aphorisms: "Perfect practice makes perfect permanent." - Me "Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong." - Lewis Carroll?


19

I think this is a common problem with guitarists, we all at some point or other run across this. Some of the things I have have learned to push past this are as follows. String skipping String skipping is a good way to mix up your scale runs, its a good idea to find a pattern you like the sound of and try moving it around, applying this to arpeggios is ...


19

You need both ear training and music theory. Ear Training By "ear training", musicians mean the ability to identify musical intervals, chords, scales, etc. It means developing your relative pitch as opposed to perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to hear a tone and be able to identify what note it is ("is it a C# or a Bb?"). Relative pitch is the ...


18

Practice makes perfect. Really, there is no magic to it. Just keep practicing so that you won't make that mistake again. Practice or practise (see spelling differences) is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". ...


18

Yes. The key signature of Db has a Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and a Gb. Those notes are flat unless otherwise noted no matter the octave. For any key signature on any staff, you will only ever see the accidentals written once in a typical pattern. The octave the accidentals are in are entirely based on the clef used, but apply to all octaves. You can think of the ...


17

This depends completely on your skill level: Beginners - If you are a beginner, consistent playing is far more important than the length of time. 10 minutes a day is much better than one practice of 70 minutes. Moderate to Advanced - Sometimes 10 minutes just isn't enough time to get warmed up and wrap your head around more complex riffs, chords, ...


17

You need to understand, that there is a reason, why many good books, teachers and methods put so much theory into their teaching. A good foundation of music theory will give you freedom, to play whatever you like. There is nothing more exiting than to have a full set of tools on hand and to know how to use them. I think that it is not so hard to learn 4-6 ...


17

This is common for mainly two reasons: Most musicians are clueless about gain structures, electronics, and acoustics. It is easier to turn one knob up than every other knob down. The solution: Wear ear plugs, use in ears, or just live with it. Chances are you can't change these people. If you feel you can then try to reason when them. The situation ...


16

Here's a book for you: The 10 Minute Guitar Workout, by David Mead. It contains a set of simple exercises for everyday practice. Each exercise is exactly two minutes long; day after day you increase the speed of the exercise until you switch to a new set. The book is also packed with all sorts of good advice, I really recommend it.


16

Most of the time I practice my electric guitars with out having them plugged in. I know a lot of guitarists that do this (even famous ones) You can practice all styles like this - even metal. Distortion and amplification isn't necessary to learn the guitar.


16

If you don't have a metronome, get one. They have phone apps for them now so it is pretty easy to get one. Start with a very slow speed. Once you are able to perform it ten times in a row at that speed, increase the speed by 5 beats per minute. Once you can play it ten times at that speed, increase again. Do this until you reach the speed it is to be ...


16

YES! Of course. That's the best thing to do. Every time you can't play a song at its normal bpm / speed (tempo), decrease the speed to a point where you feel comfortable with, and practice it there. After some practice, you'll be able to increase the bpm/ speed and after a while, you'll be able to play it at its normal speed. This is good practice for ...


15

I often start my warming up like this: Take a deep breath and sigh/hum softly and gently. Repeat this a few times. Repeat the exercise with the mouth opened, but not with more effort, for a few times After a while, you should have found your "ground tone", which is the tone you can sing without straining. This tone is the basis of healthy singing. Take a ...


15

I'm quite used to it by now, my point being that at one point, you can sort of feel this rhythm patterns. However, when you start a new time signature, it's good to break the bar up in smaller pieces. For instance, you can count a 7/8 as 2 times 2 and 1 time 3. Just tap your foot on the 1 when counting in your head the following pattern: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3. ...


15

These are all good points, and the question of appropriateness of practice here is valid. I'm going to share some views here that hopefully yourself and other amateur (that is, non-professional, not lacking in skill) musicians can adopt in their attitude and approach to their instrument. Be Patient. Any musician worth their weight in salt will agree that ...


14

I think learning other instruments can give you great new perspectives on music and how it's made. Take the piano for example: a radically different approach to music creation. Very linear. There's only one place to play a C3 on the piano. There can be multiple places to play the same note on the guitar. That may make certain musical expressions and ...



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