Want Fast Improvement?
Posted: September 23rd, 2013 by Ashley Saunders
Want Fast Improvement? You’d be dumb if you said no. Of course you want to improve and do it quickly.
You could practice guitar more. You could record yourself playing guitar more often, then listen back and be honest with yourself. Or, you could get out and go to every local jam you can.
Getting up on stage and trying will push you further, harder and faster.
You might have to get over the fear of playing guitar in public (big one!) or the even greater fear of failure (getting bigger) or the 800 pound gorilla that is the fear of public humiliation – quiet a shocking beast.
However, the dirty little secret is this most of the people there have try and failed a million times on that stage and are there to learn from the cats, who are older and/or more experienced. And they do learn lots week after week.
Trust me you’ll learn much faster if you reach out side of your comfort zone and just try. That’s all, it’s just trying.
Also if you seem approachable, you might be offered some gigs or the opportunity to join a band or two.
Some basic rules for Jams
1) Turn up once to check it out, get talking and build some friendships. You’ll be able to size up the people and their playing level and see if you can fit. [There are some jams that are like cliques, you’re unlikely to play at these unless you’re a great player and you know the right people. So, be warned.]
2) If you’re going to play, turn up early, sign up and thank the guys who are running it – they probably aren’t getting paid to be there, so the odd free beer or thanks goes a long way.
3) If someone queue hops, don’t get mad – just sit tight until it’s your turn. No one wants to befriend a person who starts a fight – trust me it will create more problems than it’s worth. Plus it’s just not cool.
4) Get ready to play before it’s your turn. Tune and warm up.
5) Don’t take a load of guitar gear. If you want bring an effects pedal or two, but not the whole system, you want to maximise your playing time not waste time setting up.
6) When playing, listen and try to react to what’s being played.
7) Take short meaningful solos. Don’t get guitar diarrhoea!
8) Never – and I mean never complain about the amps or other gear there. Try your hardest to play your best with gear – even it’s completely dud and moments from death (yes – I’ve been there too!)
9) Spend a moment to talk with and give a complement to every musician who you played with that evening – even if it’s just “hey dude, I loved that turnaround you played into the second chorus”. Something small and sincere – it will go a long way to getting you gigs, students and make it easier for others to want to play with you.
10) Try and pick out the handful of people who are insane players – talk to them and try to learn all you can from them – even if that means becoming their student.
11) Find out who plays in a band and become a fan. We all need fans, even one more fan helps.
12) Stick around for a while after you’ve played. If you leave straight away, it’s like your only there to show off and you don’t care about the hard work others have put in to make it a great night
13) Attend as often as you can.
14) Stay humble, have fun and …
15) Remember, Thanks the organizers
Let me know if you to a jam and if you found this tip useful!