7 Hacks to Improve Your Guitar Playing

Guitar is, by far, one of the most accessible and engaging instruments out there. What's more, you can take it almost anywhere with you and jam with your friends, even if it's an electric guitar. What's more, when the instrument is paired with different pedals and other devices, new expressive possibilities show up. When you get a hold of it, there's barely any other instrument that's as fun to play compared to the guitar.

But that's the problem – getting a hold of it. Look, the guitar is generally really easy to learn. It's not that hard to learn basic chords, some riffs, licks, and go on and jam along to your favorite songs. However, things become really difficult if you want to take things to an advanced or professional level.

In case you're feeling like you're repeating yourself or are just having a hard time advancing on the guitar, we decided to help you out. In this simple and brief guide, we'll reveal 7 hacks to improve your guitar playing.

1. Learn music theory

If we're talking about "hacking" something, we need to know the topic to its core. And just like actual hackers need to know how to code, a musician needs to know music theory. This is the best way for you to "hack" any instrument or music genre. By learning all these rules and finding ways how to implement them in practice, you'll be able to apply different musical elements to fit the context of a musical piece. This goes both for your original stuff and any kind of improvised solos.

2. Practice with a metronome and slowly increase the tempo

Look, using a metronome has to be one of the most boring and tedious things for a musician. But at the same time, it's one of the crucial things every guitar player, or any other musician for that matter, should do. But the best idea is to perfect a piece at a slower tempo, along with all of its nuances. Then build up the tempo by 5 or 10 beats per minute at a time, and then perfect it in this new area.

Although this entire process does sound tedious, it's essential if you want to become good at any instrument. In some cases, when you reach a higher tempo, try and push it over the limits, and then go back to the normal tempo. This is also a great method, but only when you've already achieved picking dexterity and overall precision.

3. Improvise

Seriously, just play anything on your fretboard. Break out of your routines, don't think of any scales and geometrical patterns that you're used to. Just play in any tempo and you'll find out what your mind is capable of. As a result, you won't only get rid of old habits, but will also explore new territories and will think of your instrument in a completely new way. After a while, you should also check out different patterns in the already existing scales, and then using the music theory knowledge, you'll be able to apply it to your music.

4. Sing what you're playing

Whatever you're playing, just try and sing it. This is the best way for any instrumentalist to connect what they're playing and what their hearing. After all, music should be more than just a soulless mechanical work involving your hands and the instrument. It's about what you hear in your head and how you're supposed to translate it into music for other people to hear. And one of the best ways to learn this is to sing what you're playing.

5. Try to learn music by ear

And another way to go about it is to start learning music by ear. This way, you'll start realizing how important music theory is. You'll recognize all the intervals, chords, scales, modes, and all of those things that you never thought you'd use. It might be difficult at first, but just keep being persistent since this is one of the essential skills you'll need if you want to become a good musician.

6. Think about dynamics

Knowing how to "paint a picture" using dynamics is a trait of every great guitar player. And by using great amps, pedals, and guitars, this skill will be even more pronounced. This is one of the things that differentiates beginner players from professional ones.

7. Learn different pentatonic scale fingerings

And if you're just looking for a quicker way to sound good, you should learn different pentatonic scale patterns on your fretboard. After all, the minor pentatonic scale is what fits most of the modern music these days. And by knowing how to play it in every key and in every part of the fretboard, you'll become a real rock guitar master.

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