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25 Tips to Boost Your Guitar Playing in 2023

by Guest Author on January 20, 2023

 

Happy New Year chuggers, strummers, pickers and shredders. 
It's the start of a new year and what better way to kick it off than by thinking about ways to level-up our guitar chops this year? We thought we'd get the inspiration going by giving you a few things to think about exploring this year.
 

  1. Experiment with different techniques. Experiment with fingerpicking, flatpicking, and strumming to see what you enjoy the most and what suits your style. Find your favorite song that has a unique sound you want to recreate or uses a specific technique for inspiration.  Incorporate different techniques into your playing in new ways, this will help you to find your unique playing style.

  2. Jam with other musicians. Playing with others is a great way to learn new techniques and improve your skills. Nothing can replace the experience and connection made by playing with other musicians. It’s almost impossible not to improve as a musician when you play with other musicians - especially in a live setting.

  3. Learn to play by ear. This will help you develop your listening skills and improve your ability to improvise. Try playing along with songs you like, and try to figure out the chords and melody by ear. 

  4. Evolve your knowledge of music theory. Don’t let the word “theory” scare you; yes, music can be infinitely complex, but the basics are simple to grasp with the right teaching tools for you. The investment in time will help you understand how songs are put together and improve your ability to write your own music. It will also help you to communicate better with other musicians.

  5. Experiment with different tunings. This can open up new possibilities for your playing and add a unique sound to your songs. Try a few alternate tunings and see how it affects the sound of familiar chord shapes and scales.

  6. Keep a guitar journal. Write down the songs you learn, techniques you've picked up, and progress you've made. This will help you track your progress and set goals for yourself. Reflect on your playing and practice habits regularly, and make adjustments as needed.

  7. Take online guitar lessons or guitar classes. This will give you access to experienced teachers and help you learn new techniques and concepts. Look for teachers who specialize in the style of music you're interested in, and make sure to ask questions and participate in class discussions.

  8. Learn the basics of music production. Understanding how to record and produce your own music will help you take your playing to the next level. Try recording yourself playing and listen back critically to identify areas for improvement.

  9. Learn to play with a backing track. Playing along with a backing track will help you improve your timing and develop your sense of groove. Start with simple backing tracks, and gradually increase the complexity as you become more comfortable.

  10. Focus on your posture. Good posture will help you play more comfortably and avoid injury. Make sure to sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed while playing.

  11. Play in different keys. This will help you develop a wider range of skills and make it easier to play with other musicians. Try playing songs in different keys, and practice transposing on the fly.

  12. Practice your scales and chords. I know. I know. We all hate practicing scales even if we've never practiced scales because we heard that it's not fun to practice scales. But learning scales and modes will not only unlock a new dimension in your intuitive understanding of music theory, it will arm you with the dexterity and confidence of moving from string to string effortlessly.

  13. Learn to play with a slide. This will add a new dimension to your playing and open up a whole new world of sounds. Start with simple slide licks and work your way up to more complex patterns.

  14. Study the music of your favorite guitarists. Try to understand what makes their playing unique and incorporate some of their techniques into your own playing.

  15. Experiment with different effects pedals. This will allow you to add new sounds and textures to your playing. Start with a basic set of pedals and understand the principles of the signal chain, and how to use each type of pedal. Learning how various effects hardware impacts the sound will unlock greater understanding of how familiar sounds are put together and how to create your own sound.

  16. Take a break when you need it. Practice burnout is real and it's important to listen to your body and mind. Take a break when you need it and come back to practicing refreshed.

  17. Try to play different instruments. This will help you to understand how different instruments work and give you a new perspective on music. It will also help you to develop a better sense of rhythm and timing.

  18. Learn to play solos. This will help you to express yourself musically and improve your improvisation skills. Start with simple solos and gradually increase the complexity as you become more comfortable.

  19. Learn to play fingerstyle. This will help you to develop a different sound and increase your dexterity on the guitar.

  20. Have fun! Remember that playing guitar should be enjoyable. Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the process of learning and improving.

  21. Use a metronome while practicing. This will help you to develop a sense of timing, and it will make you more aware of your tempo. You can get the BPM and keys of your favorite Spotify song at Tunebat.com. 

  22. Play in different keys. This will help you develop a wider range of skills and make it easier to play with other musicians. Try playing songs in different keys, and practice transposing on the fly. You can even use free tools like Audacity to change the key of song files you want to play along to. 

  23. Learn to play songs from memory. Start with one. This will help you to internalize the song and play it more naturally. It will also make you a more confident performer.

  24. Try to play different instruments. This will help you to understand how different instruments work and give you a new perspective on music. It will also help you to develop a better sense of rhythm and timing.

  25. Explore creative uses for a tuner. A guitar tuner isn’t just a great tool to keep your guitar in tune, it can help you learn the fretboard.  Seeing the notes that you are playing can help map your mind and fingers together as the intuitive understanding of which notes are being played develops.

We hope these tips have inspired you to try new things and expand your skills on the guitar. Remember, the journey of becoming a better guitar player is ongoing and should be enjoyable. So, take these tips and make them your own, and don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Happy jamming, and see you all at the top of the guitar playing game in 2023!