Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Ja­son Sid­well pon­ders on the myr­iad ways to ap­proach the lessons in this and every fab­u­lous edi­tion of Gui­tar Tech­niques.

We of­ten get asked, ‘How can I get the most out of an is­sue?’ Well, con­sid­er­ing each one’s con­tent rep­re­sents any­thing from six months to over a year of tu­ition for an av­er­age gui­tarist (what­ever that is) you’re go­ing to need a lot of time and con­cen­tra­tion. Time to read, ab­sorb and prac­tice; and con­cen­tra­tion to cri­tique, ap­ply and ex­pand on what you’ve learnt.

One way to use GT is the pop­u­lar ‘one page at a time’ ap­proach, work­ing through each page un­til you’re sat­is­fied (or fa­tigued!). This is the com­pletist’s pref­er­ence. Or you may want to go straight to your favourite ar­ti­cle and pore over every de­tail un­til the next is­sue ar­rives. This is the niche ap­proach. Or you may look through the whole is­sue with an an­a­lyt­i­cal eye, cir­cling in pen­cil ev­ery­thing that in­trigues from, say, a har­monic (eg jazz walk­ing basslines, Exs 2 and 3, page 73 and 74) or a tech­nique per­spec­tive (Hard Rock, Pen­ta­tonic legato, Ex 1, pg 69 or Wood­shed’s fourth fin­ger string bends, page 89). In many ways, this last op­tion is very ben­e­fi­cial – you’ll spend pre­cious time con­cen­trat­ing on all the specifics that con­cern you. It’s a be­spoke ap­proach that you can keep track of and re­visit each time, all thanks to your high­light­ing pen­cil that keeps you fo­cused. What­ever ap­proach(es) you choose will de­pend on the re­sults; if you’re mov­ing along ad­mirably (broader vo­cab, more pre­cise fret­ting, ver­sa­tile pick­ing) then your choice is work­ing well. If you think there’s more mileage to be had though, try an­other ap­proach and see if you gain more. We all de­velop at dif­fer­ent rates us­ing a whole va­ri­ety of ap­proaches; there is no one size that fits all. Your task is fig­ur­ing out what works best for you and then reap­ing the re­wards. En­joy the is­sue!

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