Five Incomplete Questions Guitar Players Often Ask And What You SHOULD Be Asking Instead
By Tom Hess - 02/15/2016 - 02:56 PM EST
Tons of guitarists ask all the wrong questions when trying to make faster progress in their playing. These questions all are built on misconceptions and misinformed ideas that are
commonly accepted as “correct” among mediocre players. If you ask yourself these same questions, you will struggle massively to make any progress at all.
These are five common examples of incomplete questions I see guitar players asking and what you should be asking instead to massively speed up your own progress on
Common Guitar Playing Question #1: How Do I Play Guitar Faster?
Guitar speed will only come to you once you’ve learned and mastered many techniques that are fundamental to fast playing. Gaining speed will be extremely hard unless
you master them.
The entire question you should be asking yourself is: “Which elements of my guitar technique are keeping me from building speed and how do I master these elements to
make my playing fluid and seamless?” Here is a tip: simply moving your hands faster is almost always not the answer for how to gain guitar speed.
Many guitar players use way too much tension in their playing. This is an example of a flaw in technique that holds them back. See the video below where I guide one of my
students through the process of identifying and getting rid of extra tension so he can play guitar faster:
To discover all the other factors that go into building guitar speed, download this resource about learning to shred on
Common Guitar Playing Question #2: Where Can I Find Neat Guitar Licks To Add Into My Guitar Solos?
There is a false conclusion rooted in the foundation of this question, and it is that playing good guitar solos requires simply using the right notes of licks. Truth is, you can play
awesome guitar licks and solo ideas just by knowing how to play any licks/ideas you are already familiar with in much more expressive ways. Improve your guitar phrasing and you will
always have tons of options when it comes to creating interesting guitar solo ideas.
Here’s a couple ways to do this:
1. Make up a small guitar lick and practice transforming it into 12 or so guitar phrasing variations. To really get as much emotion as possible out of every note choice, utilize
guitar techniques such as vibrato, bending or legato to intensify specific notes in every variation.
2. Try to play highly memorable solos by thinking like a singer. This can be done by improvising a slow vocal-like melody and putting bursts of fast notes in between to connect
each melody to a new one.
Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #3: How Do I Get Over Stage Fright?
Stage fright is a symptom of a deeper, but very preventable problem: you are not practicing enough for playing in live situations outside of your bedroom. Once you practice
becoming consistent in any live situation, your stage fright will begin to disappear.
Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #4: How Do I Get Motivated To Practice Guitar More So I Can Become A Great Guitarist?
Know that lacking motivation for guitar practice is a symptom, and sign of a greater issue. The issue in this case is that you aren’t getting much results from your guitar
practice. To solve this core issue, you’ll need to practice guitar more efficiently. Once you can observe and track your guitar playing progress, you will become infinitely more
Here are a couple of approaches you can use to become more motivated by making your practice a lot more effective:
1. Only use the most effective guitar practice schedule. This way you will make much faster progress, even if you only have a little bit of time to practice each day.
2. Frequently track every single area of your guitar playing progress. Once you understand which elements of your guitar playing are keeping you from moving forward, you can
quickly change your practice to speed up your musical progress.
Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #5: How Long Will It Take To Achieve _______ (Insert Specific Musical Goal Here)?
There are two key problems with this question:
Problem #1: You can’t really answer this question. Why? Guitarists will always progress at different rates. This applies even if they start with the same skills,
knowledge, tools, materials and level of support for accomplishing their goal. You could study with the best guitar teacher alive, but 50% of your progress would come from your teacher
and 50% through your own dedication, work ethic and desire.
Problem #2: This is an extremely hazardous question to be asking yourself. Thinking too much about the time you will need to accomplish a goal takes your focus off of
the work you must take to actually reach that goal.
This what you should do to achieve all your musical goals as fast as possible:
1. Don’t waste your time trying to learn guitar alone. You will make much faster progress by finding a great guitar teacher who understand how to create a strategy that
YOU can easily follow to reach your musical goals. By focusing intensely (and only) on what is needed to reach your goals, you will become better at guitar in much less time. But
don’t study with just any guitar teacher – search for one who has a solid reputation of helping guitar players just like you.
2. Make sure you do exactly what your teacher tells you to do, then do it consistently for a long period of time and you WILL see great results. Give everything you’ve
got to this process and don’t allow yourself to become distracted by things that don’t really matter.
By doing both of these things, you will achieve your musical goals in the least amount of time possible.
To find out how to apply the ideas you learned in this article to make much faster musical progress, get this free resource on the topic of how to shred on guitar.
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