2014 new year's resolutions for guitarists
1st Jan 2014 | 10:00
Learn the basics
Sick of feeling like the guy behind the counter in the guitar shop knows more than you?
Then there's a quick fix - learn the basics! MusicRadar Basics can answer all those little questions you've got about the guitar, and clue you up for your next visit.
Invest in some new gear
A great way to unlock some new creative avenues is to switch up your approach.
Only play electric? Get a decent acoustic! Never us effects? Grab the weirdest pedal you can find! You might be surprised at just how effective spending a little bit of cash on some new gear can be.
Need a new party piece? Stuck in a guitar-y rut? Need some funk in your life?
Learning Nile Rodgers' funk-tastic riff from 2013's all-conquering Daft Punk track Get Lucky is the answer to all these dilemmas and more. It'll loosen up your wrist, maybe teach you some new phrasings and plant a grin on your face that'll be difficult to shift. Trust us.
Try some alternatives
If you've only ever played in standard tuning, it's time to get brave.
Break out that chromatic tuner and go rogue - there's a whole world of alternate tunings out there, and they'll transform your playing beyond all recognition. The guitar can feel like a completely different instrument, and once you've strayed away from standard you'll have a whole new set of sounds up your sleeve.
2014 is a big anniversary for Beatlemaniacs, marking 50 years since the Fab Four broke the US and changed the face of musical history.
So, it's as good a time as any to check them out on the guitar. If you're new to The Beatles, you'll be astonished at the sheer variety of chords Lennon and McCartney worked into their songs, the fluid complexity of Harrison's guitar parts and Ringo's rhythmical dexterity. Seriously, these guys knew what they were doing.
Record that masterpiece!
Have you yet to record your own particular brand of guitar genius? Well, it's time to get cracking.
Recording is a hell of a lot of fun, plus you'll learn new skills (and fresh appreciation for the skills of your favourite players) that can only be discovered by throwing yourself into the recording process.
Get out and play
The true test of any guitarist's mettle is playing in front of a crowd.
It can be terrifying, but as soon as you get up and do it you'll understand what all those guys who talk about the 'buzz' of playing are banging on about. It's addictive, hugely satisfying and, once you've conquered the nerves, a hell of a lot of fun. Check out your local bars for open mic nights, and get yourself involved.
Of course, the best way to stay up to date with guitar news, reviews, interviews and some of the best tuition in the known (and, possibly, unknown) universe is to subscribe to our guitar mags.