One of the most valuable things that I have learned about playing guitar is that what separates the newbies from the experts is an expert knows to practice simpler things. Let me explain what this means.
During the days when I was first learning the guitar, I didn't care to play anything that wasn't extremely difficult. All I cared about was mastering the most technically challenging pieces that I could find (which is still something that I enjoy doing).
As time went on though, I realized that great guitar playing doesn't always necessarily mean playing the most difficult thing. In fact, what sets the great guitarists apart is often found in their subtly. It comes from the time they spent learning and mastering the basics before they moved on to anything else.
As a teacher, I am able to see first hand the difference that subtle changes can have on my guitar students playing. Often the best sound comes from knowing and practicing a few simple but important skills. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will start to actually feel good about your playing.
What do I mean exactly about "the basics"? Well there are a few things that are going to have the biggest impact on your sound as a guitar player and they are:
1. Developing a good vibrato
2. Keeping solid time throughout your playing
3. Playing bends that are in tune
While you can look forward to videos coming out on all three of these very important aspects, today we are going to be focusing on the last one. I can promise you that by taking the time to practice playing your bends in tune, it will make a world of difference in your sound.
I know that some of you are going to try to tell me how bending out of tune applies to certain kinds of music. But to you I say hey, just watch the video first!
So now that you know about the simple technique that is bending in tune, the next step is to add it into your practicing for even just a couple minutes a day. You'll be amazed at how quickly your sound will start to improve.
Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.
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