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Learning Blues Guitar – Breaking Through To A Higher Level | Teach Yourself Guitar Now

Learning Blues Guitar – Breaking Through To A Higher Level

Don’t get in a flap – it’s normal for your learning curve to become sluggish from time to time. Every musician, no matter what their style, knows the feeling. One day you see that you’ve practiced the same song for a long time, and you’re not improving. On top of that, you’re not trying to add other tunes to your repertoire. What’s happening? You’ve hit a full stop, reached your level, you’re blocked, doomed never to get better and reach your goal, to become the best guitarist ever to draw breath.

Is there anything that will help?

Well, of course there is. At least, let me confide in you some idea of what has an effect in my own playing. As one might possible guess, the problem is based in the mind, unless you are just playing so much that you’re physically fed up of doing it! Some blues guitar masters, like BB King, don’t practice for hours, and just perform. In passing, he also recounted that he gets stage fright every single time, thinking that ‘it won’t work this time’ and ‘people will realize that I’m not very good’.

Try and leave it alone!

Obviously a tough thing to do for us guitarists. Almost all the greatest players tell us that they practiced riffs and pieces a hundred thousand times to be the best (and I believe them), so we have to practice until we’re exhausted, don’t we? Right and wrong.

We know that we are improving and training the muscular skills by putting our hands on the right strings repeatedly, but if we do this mechanically, with no passion, then it’s not productive. Get your mind right first – why are you learning guitar? Because it’s your passion.

Don’t play for a while. Forget that complicated song you’ve been learning. After several days not playing, you’ll without doubt find that the music just appears naturally.

Its sometimes good to go back to the first steps

Inevitably, as we improve in our playing, more basic things that we do are taken as learned as we improve our skills. As we progress, we can become a little loose in the basic ways of playing, which can be very pleasurable to play. Return to them and go over them again. Listen to the old guitar legends and understand how their playing styles were grounded in rock-sold basic techniques.

Practice really basic techniques for a week or so, but play it with a conscious approach and give attention to the smallest detail.

Get Comfortable With Your Music.

If you are at ease with the music, then it flows and appears naturally. Every one can progress, but its obvious that every one has their limit of capability. Recognition of this and acceptance of it, will help you relax. Say this to “it may be that I won’t improve further – let’s make the music I do play as good as I can make it.” Once you get into this state of mind, you’ll improve! It’s almost supernatural!

There are many levels of playing guitar, and not everyone can be at the top of the tree. Someone once said “if just the brightest were allowed to sing in the woods, it would be a be very quiet place indeed”. Know your level and be at ease with it. We are all different and will produce unique music. Eric Clapton is revered as a super blues guitarist, but when playing acoustic style, Tommy Emmanuel makes him seem merely competent.

We All Know That, It’s All To Do With the Way We Think.

I’m not sure where I’m headed giving this tip, but let me tell you a little story. When I was a young man, I played guitar with a friend of mine, who was not quite as good as I was. It was because I played much longer than him back then. I loved ‘Police Dog Blues’ by Blind Blake but I always found it was too tricky to tackle.

My friend moved abroad and perhaps 11 months later, while chatting on the telephone, he casually informed me that he had learned how to play ‘Police Dog’. The idea that a ‘lesser’ guitarist had learned this tune was more than I could bare. I grabbed my instrument and learned how to play the piece in about three days. This is not a testimony to my talents, but rather more a comment on my faulty way of thinking. Most musicians have quite a lot of of arrogance, and quite a sizable ego.

This needs to be understood, controlled and used for good!

Jam With Other Musicians – One Of The Most Important Blues Guitar Lessons!

It’s good to play along with other guitarists from several of points of view. For one thing, it’s great fun. There’s nothing quite like swinging along with like minded people, even if it brings along a sense of competitiveness. This competition urge you to get better. While playing in a group, musicians become aware of each others capabilities. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses, and the the best kind of musician counter points your strength with his own. He can also cover your own weakness, and the overall sound can be a great example of synergy – this means that the result is worth more than the sum of all it’s parts.

If the guitarists are more experienced than you are, then this will gently stretch you, giving you new ideas and helping you to improve.

Move Outside Your Style.

I go for this one, because it’s a lot of fun. If you normally play classical, then learn some jazz. If you are a picker, then become a temporary strummer. I think you know what I mean. Now and again we get fixed in a rut and say that we are this or that kind of musician. All we do is pick the guitar and becoming acquainted with a variety of musical techniques will only aid us to make higher standard.

Take It Easy.

Relax. It’s not that important. You can’t play great guitar if you are too tense or too serious. Many present day blues guitarists can be a tad intense and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because we want to be the same as the classic blues players and that kind of outlook goes with the style. Don’t bother with that kind of thinking. You can’t be that legendary blues man, as the way we live is radically different. Be who you are, that’s all – everything else will follow.

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