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Thread: 101 Guitar Tips - Best tips to improve your playing

  1. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Seattle, WA USA
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    I can already tell that this list is going to be a great reference for me to keep coming back to as I learn to play! Thank you sir!

    Found Number 100(50 on the 2nd list) to be VERY inspiring! I have a minor disability in my fretting hand (left index finger doesn't curl fully or straighten perfectly). This has led me to even consider playing lefty and in the past has allowed me the excuse to put down the guitar (you know---why bother if I don't have perfect joint movement). Any way, watching the video linked to in that tip was a great help in putting my "disability" into perspective.

    Thanks again!
    RIG 1:
    Guitar: Epiphone Ebony G-400 SG "Fast Eddie"
    Amplifier: Peavey Vypyr 15
    Effects: I think the amplifier has a bunch built in....

    RIG 2:
    Guitar: Epiphone Ebony Dreadnought "Cinder"
    Amplifier: Big Hole in Center of Guitar
    Effects: Various Picks & Gnarled Fingers


  2. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Sherwood Forest, Nottinghmshire England
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    I am new to this site and it is my first thread, so be kind to me.
    Thanks spudman, I am a 61 year old learning guitar and I will bear the things you said in mind.
    I will try the finger excercises, to help strengthen up my digits.

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Camrose, Alberta, Canada - used to be Umea Sweden.
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    Welcome gitch, you should introduce yourself properly in the Fret Players forum. Good to have you here!
    The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.
    Master Guitar Academy - I also teach via SKYPE.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman View Post
    101 Guitar Tips

    If youíve become stagnant in your playing or you are new to guitar, here are some tips that might light your fire. One hundred and one of them to be precise.
    1. Learn a blues scale and then learn how to improvise with it.
    2. Learn different picking patterns. One of my favorites is Travis Picking.
    3. Learn different rhythms. Reggae is a poplar one to learn.
    4. Learn how to do palm mutes. This is also referred to as dampening. A dampened sound can be created by resting the strumming hand on the strings while strumming. This sound is achieved by resting the fleshy part of the hand close to the bridge.
    5. Learn bar chords and bar chord patterns. Altering the pinky on a bar chord you can make lots of different chords, Like sixths and sevenths.
    6. Learn to hammer on. A hammer on refers to the technique of sounding a note without actually picking it. The sound is produced by striking the string with one of the fingers of the fretting hand.
    7. Buy a capo. Capos can be great if you get bored of playing in standard position all the time.
    8. If you get bored of standard tuning, then learn an alternate tuning.
    9. Always tune your guitar before you practice or play.
    10. If you really want to learn a song correctly put some headphones on when your playing and adjust the volume level so you can hear the song and yourself playing. Works well with an iPod.
    11. The web has about 1 million trashy and spammy guitar sites, (believe me Iíve looked at thousands). If you find a good guitar site you like, bookmark it, odds are if the person has published good content in the past they will publish good things in the future. Note: I went to search other sites for inspiration for this post and found practically nothing! The good stuff that I did find the websites lacked good navigation and layout. I realized how many trashy sites there are. I will try and do a top 5 or top 10 guitar websites in the future, I know of at least 5 great ones.
    12. Search social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Odds are if hundreds or thousands of people have bookmarked a website or guitar article it will be a good one.
    13. Try visiting Heartwood Guitar. Itís one of my favorite guitar websites and it as a wealth of information put together by someone who is passionate about guitar and isnít just trying to sell you a product.
    14. Use Google or Yahoo! to find your favorite guitar tab. There are hundreds of guitar websites. When searching search for ďSong Name Guitar TabĒ. If you do it with quote marks around it you will get better results.
    15. Read interviews with your favorite musicians, this could give you inspiration.
    16. Go to lots of live shows. Big and small. Small shows can be great as you can view what the musicians are doing up close and personal.
    17. If you like to go camping and get drunk, and you have a couple of guitars, consider taking your beater. Same goes for the beach.
    18. If you canít afford any guitar books, get a library card at your local library. I have often found the library to be a better source of information then the internet; especially when it comes to quality. I know first hand that most large libraries have a huge selection of guitar related books, CDís, DVDís and magazines that you can borrow for free.
    19. If you are a really tense person you may want to try some relaxation exercises or going for a walk before you sit down for a session. Being relaxed when your playing is one the best lessons you can learn and goes a long way to becoming a great guitarist.
    20. Wipe you guitar down with a clean cloth before you play. Your fingers transfer all kinds of grease and dirt onto the strings. Often times you can even see it. Likewise make sure your hands are clean before you play.
    21. Clip your nails. I know some finger pickers prefer to keep their fingernails long, but for your fretting hand they should always be well clipped.
    22. Memorize full songs, not just the parts you like. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
    23. Download lots of music. Anything you like really. The more you are exposed to the better.
    24. Keep an open mind when someone else is showing you a new form of music. Likewise if they are playing in a style that you donít particularly like, you should still pay attention. You can learn as much from things you donít like as you can from things you like.
    25. If you like to play with an amp, but canít do so all the time because of noise considerations, then consider getting some headphones so that noise isnít an issue.
    26. When shopping for a guitar try out as many different ones you can. Even try out some outside of your budget. You may reconsider buying a cheap guitar once you do.
    27. When buying a guitar avoid pawnshops or newspaper ads if you donít know how to determine the value of a guitar accurately.
    28. Download guitar learning software and DVDís from the internet. If you donít like the stuff you download, uninstall it and search for more.
    29. If you can find close up footage of a guitarist you like you may consider watching it in slow motion to see what the guitarist is doing. This works if you want to tab out a song as well. I have found this extremely effective when learning a really complex song.
    30. Learn to transpose a song to different keys. Learn to transpose with a capo.
    31. Teach others. My friend came over a few weeks ago for a couple of pointers and it opened my eyes to alot of simple things that I had forgotten about.
    32. Avoid websites like Wikipedia. It is full of technical detail and will bore you to death. Although a good source for technical data, the site is barely written in english, and doesnít offer alot of practical exercises or advice. It can be good for learning theory though - just make sure you put on a full pot of coffee first.
    33. Donít make your sessions so long that you become bored. When you are starting out you may want to try and practice for 45 minutes to an hour.
    34. If your fingers really hurt alot when you are starting out - donít fret, you will eventually develop calluses.
    35. Adopt a positive attitude. Donít think just because you arenít great right away that you wonít one day master it. Itís more about working really hard then having natural talent.
    36. If you are feeling good about what you are doing, share it with others. Either in person or on YouTube. If you get alot of negative feedback donít let it get you down.
    37. Own multiple guitars. Playing a different guitar can inspire you indifferent ways.
    38. Buy a classical guitar and learn to play it.
    39. Learn songs by your favorite artists. This will keep you motivated and influence your own sound.
    40. Buy a guitar bag that you can wear on your back. This way if you feel like going out into public or down to a beach for a day itís easy to bring your guitar along. Playing in a different space once and awhile can throw new light on what you are doing.
    41. If your feeling bummed out about your progress read some inspiration musical quotes.
    42. If you are having problems, try slowing down. A great guitarist once said, ďThe slower you go, the faster you will get thereĒ.
    43. If you are more a more advanced player and playing with someone else, play songs that is within their ability.
    44. If you want to play live look around in local classifieds for Open Mic nights. Most cities have many.
    45. Learn a Chromatic Scale.
    46. If you are going to buy a guitar, you may want to read up on how they are built and what the differences are. Knowing how a guitar is constructed and a little bit of the history behind the different manufactures will enable you to make a good decision.
    47. You probably wonít learn alot from playing Guitar Hero, but it may help you get inspired.
    48. Join a band or jam weekly with other musicians.
    49. Learn as much as you can about different chord progressions.
    50. Always keep in mind, it doesnít matter what your past is or if you have any type of disadvantage, anyone can play guitar.
    51. Keep playing as much as you can. Be patient and you will progress before you know it.

    Also, I'd add - play & improvise as much as possible - with other musicians and with jam tracks. Jam tracks are a fun way to learn specific scales etc, zooming in on stuff in your own time...... make your own or find them on youtube etc... I recommend ..completely free jam tracks in lots of different keys, styles, etc..

    nice one!

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