Growing up I always wanted to be able to play the guitar and whilst I learned on my own to play the odd tune, I never really mastered the art of playing the guitar properly, at least not well enough to entertain anyone. My next door neighbor and my very dear friend picked up the guitar a little later than I did, about 15 years later in fact, and yet after just a couple of years he had really mastered that thing. Bharat is one of those annoying people who can turn his hand to just about anything and despite having started first, I went to him with my cap in hand asking to give me some tips on how to improve. As it happened Bharat’s tips worked incredibly well and so I wanted to share them with you, perhaps they’ll help you too if you are trying to learn the guitar.
Unless you are trying to become a virtuoso there is little point in learning about how to read music when you are learning to play the guitar and tablature gives you a very better chance of picking up songs. Tablature is basically a 6 line image with a number on each line, every line represents a string and the number is which fret you should be playing, very simple. Online there is a wealth of tablature available for just about every song that has ever been written, so once you cracked the tablature, you can crack the songs.
It may sound a little basic but if you are not practicing each and every day you just aren’t going to progress in the way that you want to. Bharat told me that even Slash practices everyday because he is scared that if he doesn’t, he will lose he ability to play the guitar at all. If daily practice is good enough for one of the greats like Slash, then it should certainly be achievable for mere mortals like you and I.
Hitting the Licks
Something which is brilliant when it comes to increasing the dexterity of your fingers is to play blues guitar licks and scales. You can find many of these in books and on the internet and once you have learned them you can alternate speeds, change the key and mix up the notes within the scale. This can help speed up your fingers and help you to hit the notes better.
If you are able to then practice on an acoustic guitar first. When you play an acoustic it is much harder for you to put the pressure on the strings for chords and notes, and there is no room for error. When you switch to an electric after playing an acoustic you’ll find it far easier to play than going the other way.
Bharat’s tips really helped me out and I have no doubt that they can help you too.