Boost Your Guitar Level
Playing the guitar includes many different skills that make you a good musician. But what are the areas where you can boost your guitar level? In this article I will talk about these areas in details, so read on.
Multiple categories to learn guitar
The basic categories of guitar learning can be grouped in any number of ways. Everyone has a different way of learning guitar and organizing practice content.
For the sake of this article, let’s consider broad categories from the point of view of the player who wants to understand and learn as many aspects of the guitar as possible.
We’ll start with those categories that are essential to all guitar players, and move towards categories that some players may consider optional.
1) Repertoire – List of songs you know
The cornerstone of learning any instrument is a list of the pieces and songs that you know and play well by heart. The practice of repertoire varies from one guitarist to another:
- If you sing: your practice will be on the songs you sing with the guitar.
- If you write songs: your practice will often be limited to the songs you compose.
- If you only play the guitar: then most likely your practice will be on songs that you play completely from beginning to end, and your focus will be on the sequence of chords in the song, the main melody, a short solo in the middle, and there is no objection to improvisation if you are practicing with a band or accompanying music.
- If you play classical guitar: your practice will be on scales and arpeggios, finger style songs, reading notes or TABS to some pieces.
Whatever type of music you play, you will surely spend a good amount of time playing the guitar, reviewing and memorizing songs and increasing the number of pieces you play by heart.
2) Knowing the fretboard
Some consider knowing where the notes are on the fretboard as an essential part of playing the guitar.
All guitarists should learn the shapes and styles of the scales for their favourite type of music and this won’t happen if you don’t know where the notes are on the fretboard.
Yes, you can play pieces and memorize them by heart without knowing the locations or names of the notes. But this would be like trying to memorize a sentence or more from a language you do not know the meaning of the its words!
Knowing the scales, chords, or arpeggio of a particular scale (such as Am) will open the way for you when learning a segment on this scale. You will be familiar with the different shapes and places of the scale or chord, and this will make it easier for you to play and memorize the piece, and will even allow you to improvise.
Absolute fretboard Trainer course
Memorizing the places of notes on the guitar is an endless mountain for beginners or even experienced guitar players.
The solution I found in an easy program that allows you to know all the notes in a systematic and simple way.
Here is the goal of the software: To know each and every note on the fretboard, immediately, naturally, and effortlessly, just like you know the open strings.
The program is called Absolute Fretboard Trainer Course and it is the only programs I use until now to help me keep learning the notes and scales and their locations on the fretboard.
It’s flexible, too: You can learn guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo or any other fretboard instrument you want. You can display right- or left-handed fretboards, choose from various instrument sounds, set personal preferences, use any tuning, etc. It’s a pleasure to use.
There is a unlimited free trial until you decide to upgrade, and then it will unlock all the tools and drills for you.
The best way to understand how the method works is simply to try it out for yourself.
Ok, enough of that let’s keep going.
3) Technique: guitar control
The technique is your ability to control the playing of the guitar.
Think of technique as your physical fitness on the guitar, and this includes your speed, flexibility, strength and knowledge.
It is not something you are born with, nor is it something you cannot have. Exactly like physical fitness, with continuous exercise you can improve it, and get the desired fitness.
Except for the knowledge that can increase day by day, the technique can decrease little by little if you do not practice it for a short time. If you play every day for 3 months, that will sharpen your technique.
But if you spend the whole summer not practicing, know that this will reduce your ability to play and will not boost your guitar level.
However, it is important to know that this rise and fall in technique occurs to the most skilled players, not only in guitars, but in all instruments.
If you suffer from a decline in your level, know that you can get back to it and become even better if you practice hard. The feeling that you have lost your “Mojo” is only a temporary feeling of frustration that you can get rid of if you start practicing regularly.
4) your musical knowledge
Another cornerstone and endless study if you want to be good at playing the guitar.
- Ear Training: Turn what you hear into notes.
- Improvisation: composing music in the moment.
- Rhythm: playing in tempo.
Learning guitar through a music school (such as LONDON COLLEGE OF MUSIC, TRINITY, or ABRSM), all of these schools will give you the opportunity to learn these three skills more deeply than if you studied alone or with private teacher.
The reason why all music schools are teaching these skills and include them in the exam is simple: these skills are very useful and give a great advantage to the student, I witnessed this myself.
5) Sight Reading
Your ability to play musical notes at first sight is an incredible ability because if you pay attention to it and take it to a high level, you will be able to increase the pieces you play to hundreds or even thousands!
Because that means you can take a sheet of music and play it without ever having heard or seen it before – and if you’re good at it, no one will feel like it’s the first time you’ve seen the music!
If you really want to boost your guitar level and take your sight-reading seriously, then I strongly recommend that you read this article about Sight-Reading for Guitar: The Keep Going Method.
Knowing your guitar skills, strengths and weaknesses, will make you boost your guitar level. Yes it may take some time but at the end you will become a better guitarist/musician.
Choose a category that you have been avoiding or neglecting, and start improving it today and you will be amazed at your improvement.
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