Mu­sic edi­tor Ja­son Sid­well in­tro­duces an­other demi-semi-tas­tic lessons sec­tion.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Prac­tis­ing gui­tar is not a ‘one size fits all’ pur­suit. One hour a day, di­vided up into four 15-minute seg­ments of warm-up ex­er­cises, scale, arpeg­gio, chord prac­tice, reper­toire and im­pro­vi­sa­tion is not go­ing to work for ev­ery­one. This sce­nario, while log­i­cal and bal­anced, as­sumes every guitarist wants the same re­sults. They don’t, as we’re all dif­fer­ent. If you’re a classical guitarist, im­pro­vi­sa­tion may not fac­tor into your play­ing. If you’re a song­writer, scale prac­tice could fall away in or­der to ex­tend your time im­pro­vis­ing with chord pro­gres­sions and melodies. If you’re dead set on solo­ing over Giant Step changes, broad reper­toire study won’t fac­tor large; you’re dig­ging down deep into one piece’s slalom of chord changes.

Prac­tis­ing is a hot topic with many; we get a lot of cor­re­spon­dence about it and how best to in­vest your time. Our usual re­ply is; be­gin with the end in mind. Where do you want to go with your play­ing? When you’re start­ing out, ‘Get­ting good’ is a typ­i­cal re­ply as you don’t know what you re­quire yet. With a lit­tle more play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, is­sues such as ‘Play­ing nice licks over a Mi­nor blues’, ‘nail­ing the in­tro to Sweet Child O’ Mine’, ‘solo­ing with the Mixoly­dian mode’ and ‘im­prov­ing fret­ting­hand fin­ger in­de­pen­dence for bet­ter legato’ be­come re­alised. With specifics like th­ese, you’re then bet­ter fo­cused. Spe­cific re­quire­ments are hugely use­ful if re­ceiv­ing gui­tar tu­ition, as your tu­tor will have your is­sues and their own ob­ser­va­tions to drive the lessons. Fur­ther­more, your mu­si­cal savvy will en­hance your en­gage­ment with GT; sure it’s great to pe­ruse each is­sue and tackle what looks in­ter­est­ing, but if your ob­ser­va­tions are fu­elled by specifics too (nail­ing that mode, im­prov­ing fret­ting-hand legato, etc) you’ll find your­self much more ful­filled. As GT is crammed with so much great mu­sic, across many styles and var­i­ous abil­ity lev­els, de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing a fil­ter­ing process based on ‘in­ter­est’ and ‘ben­e­fit’ is im­per­a­tive to pro­duc­ing no­tice­able re­sults. En­joy the is­sue!

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