In the world of learning to play guitar, it really is pretty easy to learn something, forget it, and then not be able to do it, all due to lack of practice. This is true for more than just guitar. This concept holds true for pretty well anything you learn, especially if it is new to you! If you “Don’t USE IT – You LOSE IT”
Chords – Tabs – Notes
We learn these things as we progress in our guitar journey. We strive to get better and better. How can we possibly ensure we do not forget the things that we have learned? How can we ensure that we retain the things we learn, and continue to improve.
The answer……scheduled practice! When you learn something, the best way to actually retain it, is to practice it until it becomes natural. So natural in fact, that it becomes second nature to you. Most people, at least if you are anything like me, need to do things, or see things a few times at least, before they are able to retain enough information to grasp and remember them. This is normal for most, but, there is a way to improve on that as well!
Backing tracks are just specific pieces of music designed to allow you to play along. Some pieces are short, some are long, but they all do the same thing. Regardless of the length of time. Whether you are learning chords, tabs, or scales. The backing track is probably the best way to take what you have learned and apply it to real time music. You can play scales over backing tracks, and create your own solos, or licks during the jam. You can practice changing chords over a backing track, and you don’t even need a metronome to improve on your rhythm skills. The rhythm is already there for you to follow. This is also great for training your fingers. Keeping them in shape for the new things to come.
Below are a few different guitar backing tracks for you to familiarize yourself with. There are so – so many more available. Just do a Search on You Tube.
My Own Experience
I cannot express this enough. Playing over backing tracks is the most fun, and best technique to improve your skills. My speed has improved, my chord changes have improved, my finger strength has improved……why? Simple, I am actually playing more often. I am using backing tracks to practice. A lot of guitarists think the backing track is mainly for improving on your fretting skills. Hitting notes in a scale, making up solo’s. Although this is true, I find every aspect of my guitar playing is improving because I am using the backing tracks. So no matter what you need to improve on, backing tracks are certainly a way to help.
KISS – Keep It Simple Silly
Every person I know that plays guitar. Everybody from beginner to intermediate, even the more advanced guitarists I know. They didn’t get to where they are just by learning. They learned, they implemented what they learned, and then, they practiced until it became natural. The more natural it feels, the less you have to think about it. Technically, in my humble opinion, there are really only 4 major attributes you need to possess in order to learn, or improve your skills playing guitar. Whether you are just learning, or you have been playing for years and have become an advanced player, these concepts apply to anyone.
- MINDSET – without the attitude of “I want it” – you are more inclined to quit if you hit an obstacle.
- LESSONS – obviously you need to find a great teacher, or a course that is outlined for you to learn gradually from beginner to beyond. Take some time, do your research before choosing. You want to be able to progress with every step you take in the process! Be sure this is possible with your choice.
- IMPLEMENTATION – don’t just learn new things. Implement them. There are so many different areas of learning when it comes to guitar. Holding the guitar pick, holding the guitar itself, learning the parts of the guitar, learning chords, notes, scales……way too many things to mention here, but, they are all very important.
- PRACTICE – Remember, once you understand and learn something, Use it! Practice it! This will certainly help you improve in your guitar playing. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your skills advance once you begin to learn, implement, and practice. Spending time implementing what you learn, and then practicing it until you are comfortable with it, is the one way to ensure Success. If only a little every day. The more time you have the better of course, But, any amount of time working on things you need to improve on, or any new techniques or skills you have learned can only make it BETTER!
Backing tracks will always be available. So just use them to your advantage. You just need to experiment with them to determine the best way for you to utilize them. Nothing you improve on can be a negative thing. So just go out, start experimenting, and remember – have fun!
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And if you want to solo like a pro…. GO HERE!
Until next time – Keep on Rockin!