So you want to play ripping solos, and perform aerobic-like moves across the fretboard to impress people? Dreaming about being a master writer of riffs like James Hetfield or lead guitar extraordinaire like Marty Friedman? There are many factors that will contribute to making yourself an excellent musician of that caliber.
The 4 things you need for excelling at guitar
1) You have to be dedicated to the craft of playing your guitar. This means skipping TV time, idle internet surfing time, avoiding the typical Netflix series binges. You know how that goes right? We’ve all done it…
2) You are passionate about playing your instrument, so much so there is nothing else in this life you would rather be doing. You would be doing this for free if you could. I won’t lie to you, typically at the start of a hopefully long, and successful career in guitar playing this will be the case. Memories of 25 cent noodle packets come to mind in my case.
3) You must follow the old adage of practice, practice, practice. You may have heard this phrase a couple of hundreds of times, but the importance of this cannot be stressed enough. This is how you get good at playing and communicating through your instrument, whatever that instrument may be.
4) Develop a good stretching routine.
The Stretch and The Practice
Don’t take point #4 lightly. Stretching before and after is extremely important. Furthermore, warm-up routines are so essential to having effective practice time. Without the warm-up routines, it will take much longer to play tight riffs / solo passages, arpeggios, string skipping sequences, OR JUST GETTING BETTER AT PLAYING!
I am providing one PDF example of a Finger Twister #1 that I’ve put together; it was influenced by watching Kiko Loureiro’s youtube channel – one of my favorite guitarists btw and a true master at his craft.
Playing Guitar with Minimal Effort
He covers some very practical concepts of warming up, practicing, and minimal effort concepts which I’ve included in the link above. The minimal effort concept is such a practical, easy to apply concept which I did not ever really think of, prior to seeing this video.
I’ve come to realize that I do it on some level subconsciously, but never thought of it as being in the forefront of my mind and always being presently aware of it. It is sheer brilliance in my eyes from a guitarist’s point of view, one who is always looking to up his game, in the guitar skills department.
Playing like the Pros
The reality is that you need to treat your guitar warm-up routines just like an athlete warms up for their competition runs which in turn, they hope will improve their performance gains. Whether this is a track run, weight lifting competition, or prepping for a basketball or football game.
Whatever the activity is, you would never catch any of those pro athletes getting out there without having their warm-up time, visualization sessions as well as all the good luck routines they believe in, that they hope will bring out the best performance in them. The same goes for professional musicians anything that brings their performance to a new level is what it’s all about. It’s all about bringing out your A-game!