7 Things Every Guitarist Starting Out Should Know
Great Feel Goes a Long Way
One of the best assets you can have as a guitarist is great ‘feel’. It allows your personality to shine through your playing and contributes massively to the music. It’s one of the things that connects the music to your audience and they ‘feel’ or ‘dig’ what you are playing. Record yourself playing different styles and techniques with feel so you can hear how well your ‘mojo’ is doing.
Be Musically Aware
When you are in a band there is nothing worse than having someone who is in their own world and doesn’t communicate with the rest of you. Don’t be that guy. Listen and try to connect musically to what others are playing and be the part of the band rather than a musical outsider.
Play with People That are Better
Playing with musicians better than you will expose you to new ideas and abilities. It’s a great way to get inspiration and motivation to help improve your playing. It’s also valuable experience that will help you become a more rounded guitarist and performer.
A lot of guitarists struggle with their image. It’s the one thing that could set you apart and land you that amazing gig. Do some research into what styles might suit you. Check out what clothes to wear and any accessories to get the look you are trying to achieve. It’s also worth hiring a professional photographer to get some awesome photos for your promotional material.
Take Care of Your Own Business
One bit of advice passed on to me from a friend of the late Peter Grant was to take care of your own business. When you make a living in music there are a lot of people that will want a piece of your pie. It’s not that everyone is out to get you but you will need to know what’s going on so you don’t get taken for a ride. The more you understand how the business works the better you can take care of it.
Always Learn New Stuff
A lot of guitarists will get to a stage where they can play most stuff they need for what they do. In a lot of cases they reach a bit of a plateau and can get stuck musically. One of the best ways to avoid this is to keep learning new things. It might be a new style, technique or even how to use a weird FX pedal. The idea is it gives you a way to try new ideas and implement them into your playing which will help you grow as a guitarist.
Know Your Theory
Music is a language and music theory is how it all fits together. The more theory you understand and can use in your playing, the less limitations you will have when you are trying to express your musicality. It’s like trying to describe a detailed experience to someone with only a handful of words. They won’t get the full story.