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Critical keys to better guitar playing

By: Dave Lloyd

What grooves you? Why do you want to improve? Regardless of your intentions - whether to get started playing, learn a few licks of your favorite tunes, or want to expand your repertoire to include blues, funk, or rock and roll music, on your way to recording yourself, there are resources out there that can help you. Here are a few ideas that may help you better understand your guitar playing and some solutions you can consider.


Guitar videos
You can purchase guitar playing videos, either for home or computer watching, that include hand position, strumming technique, rhythm and timing, and finger exercises that take through various type of songs. Essentially these become a mirror for you in learning to play as you mimic what you're watching on screen and then reproduce this on your own. With commitment and determination, this can be a good one to go - especially for the visual learner who likes to learn primarily on their own.


Guitar lessons
You can find a community of guitar instructors in your surrounding area who are either private tutors or work through a community college. You'll want to consider their expertise, the type of students they work best with, their flexibility with your schedule, success stories, and of course their fees, in considering working with them. In pursing guitar lessons, you can either do one on one or group - both have their plusses and minuses but either can work for you.


Playing partners
Find someone in your local community who plays. You can do this through asking the local community college, posting online to a resource like craigslist, or asking the guitar shop. The idea is to develop a friendship with someone who is a bit better than you who wants the accountability of practicing weekly. What you can provide is the commitment to meet up with them weekly and practice. In return, you can learn from their techniques or methods what works. Of course, you always need to be aware of learning bad habits in situations like these, which is why it's important to have a foundation in guitar technique before starting.


Guitar theory
Related to guitar technique is developing a basis in guitar theory. Chord patterns, minor and major chord progressions, note scales, and overlap with piano and percussion instruments can all give you a basic structure upon which to layer in the knowledge and technique you gain in your guitar playing.


Playing guitar can be a wonderful expression of one's musical and creative talent. And with a commitment to constant improvement, it can provide a lifetime of enjoyment for yourself, friends, and family.

Dave Lloyd has written an online guide to playing guitar at https://www.improvemyguitar.com

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