New Year's resolutions for guitarists

1st Jan 2013 | 09:30

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Learn the basics

Whether you’ve just got your first guitar, or have been strumming away for a while, it’s always a good idea to have a grounding in the basics of the instrument.

After all, if you don’t know how to tune your guitar, replace a string, hold a plectrum or fret a note, then you’re not going to get very far.

Why not have a look at our series of starter guitar lessons, which will give you all the knowledge you need to make a start – or to correct recurring problems.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, why not move on to some more complex techniques? A few hours practicing some simple but effective techniques could totally revolutionise your playing. Check out our guitar lessons, which include fretting tips, how to use your amp, how to play clean open chords, string bending, tapping, harmonics and more.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Try something different

We guitarists can get stuck in our ways, reluctant to let anyone tell us what to do.

However, a continually evolving musician is one with an ever-expanding arsenal of tricks and ideas, who’s mind is open to new things and who is able to take advice from all quarters.

Have a look at our 10 ultimate guitar tips, and see if there’s anything here than can help you take your musicianship to a whole new level.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Play live

The real test for any guitarist is leaving his house and putting all those hours of practice to good use by playing live.

It can be daunting, and it’s far from easy, but playing to a crowd is also one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.

It’s easy to get caught out, especially if you haven’t done it before, so take a look at our gig kit list essential hints and tips before you sign up for anything.

If you’re heading to an open mic night with your acoustic guitar, then check out our 10 tips for playing acoustic guitar live.

Alternatively, if you’re a bass player, don’t miss our essential live tips for bassists.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Improve your acoustic technique

It’s easy to fall into a routine with the acoustic guitar, relying on it for simple strum-a-longs and the odd bit of finger picking.

Why not explore the boundaries of the acoustic guitar in 2013, and try some new techniques and ideas that could open up a whole new world of unplugged goodness.

Our acoustic technique 101 will start you on the road to some new ideas, but don’t forget to make sure you’re getting the basics right as well, with our plectrum technique and fingerstyle technique tutorials.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Give alternate tunings a whirl

The difference that alternate tunings can make is truly astonishing; they can turn on players to new sounds and intriguing chord shapes that simply aren’t achievable in standard tuning, and are vital knowledge for any guitarist looking for something outside of the norm.

Here’s 10 alternate tunings as used by some familiar faces to get you going.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Improve your recordings

Having trouble recording your masterpiece? Then maybe it’s time to take some advice and figure out what’s going wrong.

You’d be well advised to spend some time watching our ultimate guitar to recording electric guitars, which is jammed full of handy tips and ideas.

If the acoustic is more your thing, then don’t miss our 10 tips for better recorded acoustic guitar sound.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Study the greats

If you want to be the best you possibly can be, then there’s no better place to start than learning from the all-time greats.

By spending a few hours nailing a legendary solo, you’ll pick up all sorts of tasty licks and tricks, as well as new-found confidence in your own skills.

Jimi Hendrix is probably near the top of most guitarist’s best player lists, so why not take a look at our Hendrix sound-a-like tutorial, or examine how to play the blues like Jimi.

Or how about emulating the tone of Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan? These are just a few ideas to get you started – use 2013 to really study the style of your favourite players, and you’ll reap the rewards.

New Year's resolutions for guitarists
New year's resolutions for guitarists
Practice, practice, practice

Skills, touch, tone and technique don’t arrive overnight, mores the pity. The only way to achieve guitar greatness – and it is the only way, no matter what anyone tells you – is to practice like a madman.

In case you need any motivation, have a read of our smart practice guide. We’ve also uploaded an extensive guitar practice plan that should point you in the direction of the guitar greats. Good luck!

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