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Start to "Fill In" the Gaps in Your Playing!

By this time, I’m sure you’re developing as a player, which also means you’re experiencing certain “low points” or even “gaps” within your playing. Don’t let this get you too down, because not only do we all experience this, but it’s really just another part of your natural development as a guitar player.

Filling in the “gaps” of your playing as a guitarist is really another way of saying you should start opening your ears to more styles, techniques and musical genres. I know that my wonderfully “hybrid-ed” style of Blues, Country, Rock, Jazz and more is all the result of falling in love with many styles of music all at once, and letting it all “assimilate” over time. For example, when I first fell in love with Blues, I was already playing classical, which automatically lent my finger style to it, and then as I fell in love with Country, my string bending took on a whole new meaning. Yet, this was all done in a natural, albeit pretty rapid-fire way, due to the fact that I was learning as I was pursuing my profession as a performing and recording guitarist.

You may feel as if you’re stuck in a “rut”, but digging out of that rut may be as simple as finding a new little twist or turn at a certain juncture on the fret board that can open up a whole new world to you! It can be as simple as taking a position that is well-known to you, being played by the third finger perhaps, and suddenly playing that same note with the first finger instead! Believe it or not, that alone, which is also often done mistakenly, could turn the entire passage or position into a whole new opening of possibilities for you!

I am firmly convinced that many times the mistakes we make can, if we listen and are “tuned in”, turn into new major learning experiences. I can totally attest to this, since I am totally self-taught, and “trial and error” was something I was always forced to learn through!

Also, another thing I did a lot in my learning process was to substitute certain techniques and styles for others! This, as I’m sure you’ve seen is also something I advocate through my teaching. Let “slides” and “hammer-ons” become “bends”, “pull-offs” become bend “releases” and on and on……think double-stops instead of always single-note playing and so much more! All this will open up new doors for you, and most of all, don’t shut yourself off from any style just because you don’t love the music! Even Heavy Metal players, wish they could play hot and fast clean Country guitar!! Best of luck!

Posted: 5/31/2011 11:16:45 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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