Kamis, 13 September 2012

How to Diversify Your Guitar Playing

I get it, you've spent countless hours hunched over your guitar, sweating blood and tears working on those difficult techniques and now you feel very proud of yourself.

Awesome.

The chances are that you are also quite limited to one musical genre. This could be a problem in the long run.

Why is this so? I'll explain.

When we focus on one particular genre, over time we can become very proficient in that area. For years I focused mainly on the metal genre and to be honest i became pretty darn good at down picking, string skipping, fast scalic solos and creating riffs that any metaller should be proud of.

Eventually though I came a little unstuck when I joined a post hardcore band and I realised I felt very awkward playing with these guys. I had to restrict my natural instinct to play metal and when it came to writing songs, well, I felt like a fish out of water.

If you want to have a career in music, whether that is in an original band, covers band, session player, guitarist for hire or a teacher. There will always be occasions where your ability to change your playing styles will arise, and if you're not ready you may not get a second chance.

So how to we do this?

Sharing my experience, I simply picked out songs that I liked from other genres and set about trying to learn them. I can tell you that when you have played a certain way for a length of time, changing can be a struggle. But I kept at it and over time it became easier.

I learnt a few Red Hot Chili Peppers songs which taught me that distortion is not always necessary. I played some Rodrigo Y Gabriela songs which taught me the basics of flamenco style playing. One of the best new techniques to learn is finger picking. This particular skill can be used across most genres and it's amazing how many songs you already like, that were finger picked.

On the flip side, if you play Blues guitar, or Jazz then see how you get on playing something a little heavier. Try learning some 3 note per string scalic solos or learn some Country techniques.

The point is, try to mix it up and to keep your mind and your fingers guessing. Learn new scales and improvise over different backing tracks from genres you are not used to.

The more versatile you are, the better all round musician you will be and you will also find that you will love the guitar even more than ever before.

Visit Jamie Flexman's website guitar lessons bournemouth for more tips and lessons.

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