Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Build Your Chops - Enjoy Your Guitar Favorites “Unplugged”

I posted an article about how playing an acoustic guitar builds fretting hand strength so your electric guitar playing will seem effortless in comparison. This only works though if you find something interesting to work on. Otherwise the acoustic part of your practice routine becomes boring and you will not do it enough to get the full benefit. One way to add interest is come up with “unplugged” versions of your favorite rock tunes.

This idea struck me while sitting in a coffee shop subconsciously listening to music wafting out of the sound system and realizing it was an acoustic version of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Interstate Love Song” a perennial favorite. The acoustic version sounded great.

A couple Internet searches after returning home I worked out the basics and began creating my own rendition. As this involves experimentation and repetition my fretting hand was numb and fingertips sore after the first day. After a couple days the chops are stronger than ever (strong as post middle age chops get anyway). You can find examples everywhere in our connected world. I checked out radio streams from iTunes for example and ran across an acoustic rendition of 10 Years’ “Through The Iris,” my next acoustic experiment.

Acoustic playing is a great way to keep the chops in shape and keeping the fun up motivates you to put in the time necessary to gain the benefits. Try the “unplugged favorites” approach; you will be glad you did.


Kyle said...

That's so true. The last thing a guitarist wants is to get bored of his acoustic

Rob said...

Hehe I totally agree!

...I thought I was the only person who did this!

Retro Hound said...

I end up playing the acoustic most of the time because it's the one the wife likes best. This is a great tip.

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