We all know that being a musician is a labor of love. There is no magic potion that takes you from barely knowing an A chord to shredding Van Halen in a day. There are no shortcuts! So why am I offering ways to “instantly” get better? Is it even possible to help you play better by reading this article? Why, yes it is.
Playing better doesn’t mean skipping steps. It doesn’t mean going from beginner to advanced in 3 short days. "Better" means using what you have as a musician currently and making it sound the absolute best that you can. These “tricks” can be adapted for any level of musician and work!
Take 2 minutes to warm up to your instrument. Take a moment to get in the game and get ready to perform or practice. You’re not going to play your best the moment you pick up a guitar. Go through an exercise or hit a few chords. Once your hands have warmed up to your instrument you are ready to play better than if you had just grabbed it and started jamming.
Often times we forget about dynamics. You control the volume more than your amplifier does. Generally we start crushing the drum kit or play chords as loud as we can as soon as we start learning to play. But your accent notes can get lost in the loudness. If you want people to hear your chord changes, you can make them louder but also make the other notes quieter. Put yourself in control of the volume and you’ll add so much more to your playing.
No. I am not asking you to play at 1 beat per minute. It’s just a natural tendency to speed up once you’re grooving, especially if you’re with a band. One person speeds up, and everybody else does. Another person speeds up and a song that started at 120bpm is now 150bpm. That sure is a huge difference! Pace yourself and let your songs "breathe"... so to speak. Nobody wants to hear the faster, 3-minute version of Stairway to Heaven.
Play With Emotion
No matter how technically proficient you are, if you’re not feeling the song, you are missing the point! A sad song never sounds better than when you are sad yourself. Be in the moment with your song. Try and learn to feel the emotion the song calls for...and play into that feeling.
Let that last note ring out
Whether you’re just practicing or you’re on stage, let the last note ring out. That last note means you’ve accomplished something! It’s the last note in your scale exercises or the last chord of a song. Let it sing long as a victory! If you end a song too quickly it may be jarring for your audience. Even if you think you let songs ring out, give it another few seconds to sink in.
So from here on, every time you pick up drum sticks or your guitar keep these in mind and you’ll instantly hear a difference. What’s stopping you? Go grab a guitar now and start rocking! And of course we always love to mention that if you are looking for Guitar Lessons and general Music Lessons in Littleton, CO we are a great place to look! Call us today and we can help you secure your spot. (303) 972-7625.
Our weekly blog for parents is brought to you from the creative minds of our staff who are also parents and understand how you think. Read here for tips on what kids say, what other parents say, or to learn more about our school and how we can serve you, too.