Learning how to play the guitar is the easy part – mastering is where it gets tricky. Most guitarists stop growing after a point in time. Following the right practicing habits and methods are what sets apart those that have mastery of the instrument and those who don’t. If you’re looking to learn how to continue growing as a guitarist, here some of the best tips to master playing the guitar.
Learn from a guitar maestro
There’s nothing better than getting to learn from a master of the craft. Having a mentor who knows every little detail of music and guitars will not only ensure you continue growing but also save you from any wasteful practices. For example, if you’re looking for a reliable and highly skilled teacher, In case if you would like online you should consider trying out guitar lessons from Steve Stine.
An experienced mentor can help you create a plan for your mastery journey, tell you all that you’re doing right and that which you’re doing wrong, what’s necessary and what isn’t, along with insight to avoid any bottlenecks in your practice. If you’re someone wanting to learn at the highest possible efficiency, you should consider getting a mentor.
Picking your style
Jack of all trades, master of none – that’s most guitarists out there. Instead of trying to learn everything, make it your purpose to explore instead and find what best suits you. What style of music do you prefer the most? What’s that one unique element you bring to your music? What kind of music do you aspire to play?
Trying out different styles and genres of music wouldn’t hurt your progress, rather help you find your style. However, trying to devote time to all of them together doesn’t help. Pursue one and if you don’t feel like it’s what you like, leave it and move on. Find another style to pursue and repeat the process until you find your interest. Don’t aim to master the first thing you come across either. Be mindful of your inclination towards it. If playing lead isn’t your thing, then don’t force yourself to master it.
Progress towards your goal
Once you’ve found your style, its mastery becomes your goal. Going all out with your practice isn’t the answer, not entirely at least. When you put your hard work and diligence behind a plan, you’ll be much more efficient and reach your goal faster. Here’s how you do it.
Look at your end goal and trace a path back to you. Know where you currently stand in terms of skill and where you want to be. Then start dropping down milestones along the way. These milestones would determine your skill improvement as a guitarist. Rationally set milestones that motivate you to progress and also help you realize when you’ve gotten stuck. Look at your milestones again and remove those that you think are unnecessary. Anything that doesn’t contribute to your mastery of that one guitar skill needs to be taken out. That’s a task for another day.
Fix your bottlenecks
Once you’ve charted out your path to mastery, it’s inevitable that you encounter difficulties and hiccups. These obstacles are reduced by a proper plan but aren’t eradicated altogether. Making mistakes and getting stuck only to break out contribute to your growth and expertise as a master. So finding these growth stoppers or bottlenecks are necessary to avoid letting yourself get stuck.
If you are great with your chord shifts but lack the skill to smoothly transition into a lead, then that’s a bottleneck you need to break out of. Find ways to practice the transition more often. Don’t restrict it only to one song but keep practicing different songs that have varying transitions. This way, you’ll massively improve the skills you haven’t mastered. You’ll keep getting such obstacles throughout your time as a guitarist. Keep a learning mindset and keep improving these specific skills.
Have a reliable feedback system
Having a reliable feedback system here refers to any source of reliable feedback, which would include your mentor and even your parents. Music is both about technique and feel. Maybe your friend or a family member has some valuable feedback. However, how reliable their feedback is depends upon their experience with the guitar and with music.
Relying on your mentor for this purpose or someone close with a ton of expertise is most recommended. Talk to this individual and work on yourself based on their feedback. You can even share your milestone plan with them to make it easier for them to understand your end goal.
Mastering the guitar will take time, patience and a lot of effort. While you will continue to find new ways to improve yourself, following these tips will enable you to maintain consistent growth.