Music editor Jason Sidwell introduces yet another thrilling lessons section.
We’re still relatively fresh into 2018 and for countless guitarists it’s a year of new challenges and aspirations. For them, it’s about development as a musician, keen to tackle new areas as well as to expand on what they can already do.
For some, development is about their relationship with a metronome, honing technical precision and tempo versatility. For others it’s about repertoire, getting more songs memorised to play with mates and to audiences. These are topics with a specific start and end point; alternate-picked 16th notes at 160bpm; or play the whole version of Sweet Child O’ Mine. Tackle, develop and achieve then onto the next task.
Recognition of development can be elusive though. There is a whole open field to be explored that involves ambiguous start points and maybe no endings. It’s about musical vocabulary flexible enough to accommodate all manner of styles and scenarios. It can involve scale and chord knowledge, lick formation, ability to solo with flair, read from a chord chart (if not a full score) and various other enriching pursuits. It’s about investing in your personal musical toolbox so it can champion you, not fail you. How does one acknowledge development in these areas? Are we ever really done with playing over a dominant 7th infused blues? Do we ever voice chords sympathetic enough for a jazz standard? Why are X, Y or Z player’s licks more exciting than one’s own? And how do they make ‘wrong’ notes sound perfectly suitable in a solo? These are too big to cover in this editorial but if you’re anything like us or our friends and colleagues, curiosity and development will never end. It’s hard wired in all of us that desire progress. That’s a good thing in our books. We figure it is with you too. That’s why you’ve got Guitar Techniques in your hands now; the world’s most diverse and stimulating guitar tuition magazine. So here’s to an outstanding 2018 and lots of focused development time with your favourite guitar and your essential guide: GT!