Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting the Most out of Guitar Practice: Variety is the Spice of Life

Since my blog theme is aging wannabe rockers making up for lost time, many of my posts focus on maximum results in minimum time. Variety is an effective tool in this theme.

I thanked Guitar World in a recent post for getting me ramped up on fingerstyle acoustic in their Holiday Special. This was a break from my single minded pursuit of heavy blues and rock. Since then I have continued practicing the version of “Silent Night” featured in the current issue and begun a journey into the acoustic guitar.

The journey now has me learning the intro to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. A guitar player friend of mine just recommended I explore the catalog of Beatles acoustic work such as “Blackbird” and “Yesterday” so I plan to do that next. Instead of a detour from blues and rock though, this is turning out to be a way to get more out of my practice sessions.

This confirms how much technique and theory you pick up by learning songs, regardless of genre. By working on fingerstyle acoustic I’m learning a lot about chord formation and relationships to scales that gives me new ideas for improvisation in blues and rock.

Do not be concerned about exploring other genres of music in your guitar playing. It helps you achieve maximum results in minimum time by broadening your exposure to theory and technique.