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Guitar Practice: Top 10 Guitar Practise Methods You Need To Know.

Single Note Play Along.

Here's a great way to practise as a beginner. ‎
‎It's simplicity allows you to play along with any song no matter how complicated the song is. ‎
‎You can play along with your favourite songs right from the start.

The key here is to play notes to offset and enhance the vocals which is easy to do, yet sounds effective. ‎

‎You can choose your favourite songs and build a repertoire to play along with even adding your own licks and fills in between vocals to give it your own character. ‎

‎How to:- Listen to a song and choose a note that fits the chord being played. ‎
‎Each note represents the change in chord. Try to avoid the note being sung by the vocalist. ‎

‎Set your song playing and pluck along with it. Start with easier tunes with the least amount of chord changes. Then gradually work your way up to more complex stuff.

Example Single Notes.

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Example Of Single Note Play Along

Double Note Play Along.

Similar to the first method of single note playing, but as the name suggest using two notes. ‎

Both notes are harmonised with the vocal of the song and give your playing more depth. ‎
‎You can even choose notes that are not part of the chord adding a different colour to the song. ‎

‎The key is to experiment on your own until you find something outstanding, something that embellishes the song and makes it even more special. ‎
‎Alternatively you can just keep it simple and play along as one of the band. ‎

‎How to :- Choose the first set of notes to play along with as you would in the single note method. Then start again and choose different notes that can be played along with the first set of notes. ‎

Double Notes.

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Examples Of Double Note Play Along

Super Chord One Man Band.

This is ideal for a playing as a busker or being a singular karaoke backing orchestra. ‎

‎Practice using all six strings of the guitar to play chords and rhythm backing to any vocalist. ‎

‎Using polychords and open strings can create a beautiful wall of sound to any tune. ‎

‎No matter how technically gifted someone is on the guitar someone who can woo an audience with the simplest of tunes will always be a crowd pleaser. ‎

‎The internet is a guitar chord finding paradise when searching for a particular song, especially if you can transcribe it into an open string chord or use poly chords (a part of one chord played over a part of another chord). ‎
‎You can slowly build up a great repertoire of tunes to play at any occasion. ‎

‎How to:-‎ Once you've got the chords to a song, you want to make them as big as possible. Make as many of them in an open string position as you can. For example. if it is in the key of Eb either move it down three frets to C, or move it up a fret to E. Then move all the other chords accordingly.

Guitar Solos.

‎This method is aimed at someone wanting to learn guitar solos by their favourite guitarists. ‎

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‎There are several ways to execute this method. ‎

‎The first is obvious. That is to listen to the solo and then find each note by ear until you have written down the entire passage. ‎

‎The other way is to find the musical tablature for the solo in a book, from a magazine or on the internet. ‎

‎There are many YouTube videos of guitarists teaching you how to play solos from records. ‎

‎Once you have the notes you can learn it by heart and play along with the record or you can play it at a fraction of the speed. ‎

‎Learning to transcribe solos is a hobby all on its own and there are many ways to go about it it. ‎

‎How to:- The way I do it is learn to sing each phase and turn it into a sentence. ‎
‎I can sing, for example, the opening notes of Hotel California's solo..." A little bit of bend... at the start." ‎
‎Once you can sing it then you can pick out which notes are to be played. ‎

Solo Transcribe.

Scales And Modes.

‎Learning scales and modes that stem from each scale is without doubt dull, but if you want to play solos, improvise and compose songs it is something that is massively advantageous to understand. ‎

‎Practice with the root note drone and play the many different scales and modes associated with it. ‎

‎Get used to the fingering of each scale up and down the fretboard and in each position. Then work towards connecting each position. ‎

‎You will soon get used to finding your way up and down the neck with each scale in each key. ‎

‎There are many books, instructional videos and internet sites that will show you the different scales and how they work. ‎

‎How to :- Begin with the most common scales. Major, minor, minor pentatonic, major pentatonic, blues, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales. ‎
‎Learning all these scales will help you nail all the other methods outlined here.

‎Chord Melodies.

With chord melodies you can practice any tune you like. From rock and roll to grunge, from jazz to country and from ‎‎1960‎‎s to the ‎‎2020‎‎s.‎
‎The musical world is your oyster. ‎

‎Essentially using three and four note harmony with passing notes to play anything you want. ‎

‎Start simple with easy melodies and gradually work towards more complex harmonic tunes. ‎

‎This style of playing is advantageous to those who don't have a great voice, because the weight of the melody is carried by your fingers adding notes to the chords. ‎

‎How to :- Use the chords of the song and add notes to imply the melody. ‎
‎You don't need to play every single note of the tune. Just enough that the song is recognised by the listener. ‎
‎As with all of these methods start with the simplest of tunes.

Chordal Melodies Examples.

Melodic Rhythm.

Melodic rhythm is a fabulous way you can enhance your playing. A beautiful way of making ordinary chord progression sound so much more sophisticated.

The approach is so simple but very effective which can mix accompaniment with melodic playing. (Think Jimi Hendrix Little Wing).

There are dozens of ways of making the same chord progression sound different each time you play.
Hundreds of licks you can play.

Listen to how other guitarists have played them and build your own library of melodies to suit any tune.

You can even listen to other instrumentalists too. Keyboard players, saxophonist, string and brass players as well as guitarists.

How to:- The method is simple.
You are going to use two notes of the chord played. In the example..G.
Eg. 6th string 3rd fret..5th string 3rd fret. Pluck them simultaneously
Then while letting the sixth string ring, immediately hammer on the the 5th string 5th fret.
Start with simple music to begin with as always. Then gradually work your way up to more complex melodic rhythm as you progress.

Here Are Some Shapes To Get Started With

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Here's Stevie Ray Vaughan Demonstrating The Technique To Great Effect.

Box Soloing.

This is a fabulous way of learning to improvise a solo over any song or piece of music, no matter how complicated it maybe.

You can solo over any song using scales and modes to play over any chord and it will sound incredible.

As with all methods it's best to start simple then slowly progress toward more sophisticated lines.

Listen to as many guitarists as you can to give you ideas about constructing great solos.

As you practice more and more, playing your own solos will become second nature.

How to:-Use small boxes of selected notes which can be played over a chord or bar of music.
When the chord changes there is a new selection of notes. This continues throughout the passage.
You can use as little or as many notes as you want.

Guitar Magazine Exercises.

We use a simple bitesize method to practice exercises from guitar magazines.

This cannot fail to help improve your playing.

Simplistic in its approach and allows you to play any exercise your way.

Guitar magazine exercises are an absolute treasure for learning to play passages of guitar music in many styles.

You can choose which exercises you like the best and then incorporate them into your own repertoire.

Practicing these exercises you'll find little nuggets that you perhaps wouldn't be able to discover on your own or just listening by ear.

It could even be a piece you've never been able to play, but find the notes and fingering right there in a little exercise.

How to:- Obviously a guitar magazine is required to obtain the exercises you want to try.
Having the audio is a great help, but not absolutely necessary to learn these gems. You begin by learning two notes at a time.
You may find you have to change the fingering to suit your way of playing, but that's ok.

Radio Improvising.

This is a way of using many of the above methods to improvise along with whichever tune is being played on the radio.

The aim of practising is to give you the tools to play the guitar in any situation.

Auditioning to join a band, playing at a party, taking part in an open mic night, jamming along with friends or just playing for yourself.

With the radio you never know what they are going to play next and this can help you improvise on the fly.

There are many stations to choose from. There are country music stations, folk, pop, rock, jazz, soul, blues, 60s ,70s, 80s and many more.

Many opportunities to play songs you're familiar with and some not so much.

How to :- Turn on your favourite radio station and begin playing along with whatever song is being played. You can use any of the above methods or a mixture of them together.

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