For the last year I have been working hard on improving my guitar playing skills and I am really happy with my progress. I have my good friend and brilliant guitar player Matthew Boente to hank for this because it was him who gave me both the inspiration and the practice tips which I needed in order to take things from basic beginner, to someone who can noodle a bit and play a song. If you have been trying to improve how well you can play the guitar or perhaps you have been learning from scratch and you want to accelerate the process, here are some handy tips on how you can do just that.
It may sound ridiculously obvious but I can’t stress enough just how important it is that you get enough practice in, and that looks like at least 1 hour a day if you really want to get good. I realize now that playing for an hour per week just wasn’t enough for me to get better, and the increase in practice time is 100% what has made the difference for me.
Learning to read sheet music isn’t really worthwhile if you are only going to be playing the guitar which is why it makes sense to learn how to read tablature which is like sheet music only much easier to read and it is purely for the guitar. If you want to learn your favorite songs then this is the way to do just that, easy and simple to understand.
There are a great many blues scales which you can learn that are going to greatly help improve the movement of your fingers. Normally these are just 12 or 16 single notes which can be played in any order. Take the pentatonic scale as a great place to start, it forms the foundation for a great many blues numbers and you can play the scale at any pace that you like. Start off slow and then build up the speed once your fingers feel more dextrous. I promise you that if you start playing licks like this you’ll find it infinitely easier to play songs once you get learning them.
Something which I was certainly guilty of in the past was only focusing on the hand which played the fretboard, and not the hand which played the strings. Each hand is just as important as each other and it is essential that you are able to grasp how to play rhythm on one hand and the notes on the other. There are many finger picking and strumming exercises which you can find, make sure that you spend a good chunk of your hour’s practice learning how to make both hands just as good and strong as one another.
Keep these tips in mind and I can assure you that you will improve, as long as you keep practicing.