1. Get InspiredThe first step to growing as a guitarist is to get inspired.
Try something new. Go to a concert, listen to some new music, watch some good music dvds.
One of the best ways to get inspired as a musician is to play with others. You can learn so much just from jammin’ with other people and it will inspire you to grow.
2. Educate Yourself
The internet is a great learning tool for guitarists. You can find help on all styles of guitar playing and there is a multitude of videos which demonstrate how to play almost every song ‘under the sun’!
When educating yourself, nothing beats an actual ‘face-to-face’ guitar lesson. You can grow so much faster when someone is there to show you the way. Make sure you choose a good and recommended guitar teacher. It may cost you more, but you will become a far better guitarist because of it.
3. Practice until your fingers bleed
If you are getting lessons, your teacher will love you if you practice everything they give you, and come to the next lesson ready to learn more. There is nothing worse than turning up for your next lesson without practice, and your teacher has to take you through the same thing that they taught you last week.
4. The famous music humpAlmost every guitarist will go through a stage of frustration where you feel like you can’t break through. Trust me, if you keep practicing and following what your teacher says, you will break through the music hump, and have an “ahh” moment.
One thing to remember in these moments of frustration is to enjoy the journey. You will spend the rest of your life continually learning and growing, so just enjoy it.
5. Surround yourself with better guitaristsThere is a quote that says, “Who you hang around, you will become like”. When playing with other guitarists, try to find someone who is better than you. This will help inspire you to practice and become better.
There is no better inspiration than watching a really good guitarist play. You will realise just how much more you can improve.
6. Be PreciseOne thing you’ll notice in a really good guitarist is the attention to detail. They will hit the exact notes with just the right strength, and it just sounds amazing.
If you practice very slowly with 100% concentration, you’ll become ten times faster and better; so when you practice, do it slowly and concentrate.
7. Learn Chords & TheoryLearn as many chords and inversions as you can. Become familiar with how they sound and why you use them. Even if you aren’t playing jazz, (where you would typically hear many of these chords), knowing the notes and sounds of these chords can make your soloing more interesting. Some of the greatest rock guitar solos are actually very jazz-influenced.
Also, guitar tab is a great skill to learn, as it is the guitarist’s form of sheet music. Becoming a great guitar player means learning the ins and outs of quite a few famous guitar parts. You can search google for tabs for basically every well known guitar solo.
8. Play with emotion
As a guitarist you should aim to get to a level where you know the theory, but don’t have to think about it when playing. Often, the more you think while playing, the less emotive your guitar will sound.
Music is a form of communication. You should be able to explain what you feel through your guitar. Remember, the greatest musicians of all time, the ones who are most deeply respected, are the ones who could move others emotionally with their music.