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Playing guitar in a band


You’ve been playing the guitar for a while now, but instead of it being a solo venture in the comfort of your own home, you’re ready to get out there and jam with some other musicians.

If you’ve never played in a band setting before, there are a few more aspects that now come into play that you may not have had to think about when you were jamming by yourself at home.


The first big difference to consider when playing in a band is to listen to each other!

This is not something that you may have had to think about when you were practising alone, but there is a big difference between a band and a group of people playing (hopefully) in time with each other.

A band will listen to each other to complement the musician who is leading the group, which more often than not would be the lead vocalist, or perhaps a guitarist who is taking a solo.

It is crucial that all members of the band listen to this frontman or woman to play around and support what is carrying the song.

There is nothing worse than having the lead vocal drowned out by a few loud guitars and crash cymbals.

If you’ve never had to do this before that can be challenging, however, and you may not initially know how to best go about it.

A good start is to simply make eye contact with the other musicians and to constantly be glancing up at the vocalist or soloist.

This will force you to listen more closely without even realising, not to mention it looks a whole lot more interesting from an audience’s perspective to see a group of musicians engaging with each other and the audience rather than some people staring at their feet and/or pedalboards.

This simple trick will allow you to hear where you sit in the band as a whole, rather than just your own part that you play.


The band should be one block of sound melted together, not 5 different instruments bashing away simultaneously.


To be able to engage with the band in this way is assuming that you’re already comfortable with the part that you’re playing on your instrument, which is going to be a whole lot easier if you learn and practise your part at home.


A mistake that beginner musicians and bands often make

One mistake that beginner musicians and bands often make is assuming that rehearsal time with the group is to learn the songs.


The material needs to be learned away from rehearsal time so that when everyone is together you can focus on playing more as a band.

Not to mention you may want to change things such as keys, tempos and arrangements with the songs, which would require you already knowing it upon arrival.

I can promise you from experience that the rehearsal is far more enjoyable if everyone is prepared and can prioritise making good music and sounding tight rather than what the next chord is.

You will probably notice that there may be a few grey areas on your part that sounded fine along with the recording at home, but now in rehearsal, these have been exposed because you haven’t got the security of the recorded track to guide you through.

Rehearsal is a great opportunity to figure out these sections that may need more attention during your next solo practise session, to fix before the next rehearsal with the band.


A big part of playing with a band is to properly balance your volume levels

As guitarists we are often guilty of being too loud, but over time we develop a sixth sense for what is too loud.

There are also times where you may want to be louder than others, for example during your solo you will want enough level so that you are able to be heard and won’t be drowned out, but in the verse of the song this same volume level will most likely be too loud and will be in danger of drowning out the lead vocal.

A great way to judge if you are too loud is to listen to your singer and imagine it is you singing.

Now, would your guitar be too loud for you if it was you on lead vocals?

If you are using an array of effects pedals then it will also be important to check the levels on each of these.

A simple setup is to usually have no gain pedals on for a simple clean sound, maybe an overdrive for a dirty rhythm guitar sound then a distortion pedal for your solo sound.

Typically (this could very likely be different depending on the band/setting you are in) you may want to have your clean sound and overdrive rhythm sound at roughly the same volume level so that there aren’t any big changes to the overall volume as you switch between these.

A big mistake that people make with their lead solo sound is that they make them too distorted and too quiet.

It can be hard to judge how loud to set your distortion pedal without the full band playing, so this is something I will often tweak on the fly when I take my first solo.

You also don’t want it to be too distorted, as this can make the sound unclear and muddy. Quite often a good solution is less gain and more volume to cut through the mix.

On that topic, you may want to differ your amp settings when you’re playing with other people to how you normally set them at home, meaning adjust your EQ to cut through the mix.

That lovely warm and lush guitar sound you had at home with a bunch of reverb may not work in band rehearsal, and could actually cause you to be drowned out and muddy.

A little less bass is a good place to start, as we are already getting those frequencies from the bass guitar and kick drum, we want to fill in the mid and high frequencies on the spectrum.

This is another thing that you will get better at judging over time, and will most likely change depending on the room/venue that you are playing in.

You may be in a big boomy room with a high ceiling one rehearsal, meaning you probably won’t need as much reverb.

Another day you may be in a tiny dead sounding room, meaning you may want less bass and a little more reverb.

The point being you should judge by ear what the best way to sit into the full mix of your band is, not on where the controls on your amp and guitar usually sit.


Another mistake that lots of beginner guitarists in bands make is that they use too much gain

For some reason when we go to jam our favourite AC/DC riff, many of us use about twice as much gain as there is on the original recording.

A lot of the power that we hear on those classic rock recordings actually has a lot to do with the attitude and timing of the riffs, rather than the amount of gain.

Less gain will also help us to cut through the mix and will avoid us being drowned out with an over-saturated sound.

Again this is something that you will learn to judge based on the band and the room that you are playing in.

So there’s perhaps a few new things to keep in mind when you show up to your next band rehearsal, but above all remember to enjoy the time spent playing music with your peers!

A lot of problems such as interaction and performing as a group will solve themselves simply by having fun and enjoying playing together.

Over time as you gain more experience as a musician you will develop these skills mentioned above, and without thinking you will be able to judge these key factors.

For now, the best thing that you can do is to grab your instrument, and get jamming!

Man playing a guitar solo

So you’ve got the chords, and that riff that leads out of the verse. You’re jamming along when the second chorus comes to an end and you reach your favourite part of the entire song. The guitar solo! Unfortunately the 10 minute guitar tutorial that you watched on YouTube last week didn’t show you this part, and all of the TAB’s that you find online are confusing and inaccurate. So what do you do next? How do you jam along to that solo just like you were the rest of the song?

Ok, not all guitar TAB’s that we find online are substandard, but many are, and especially when we start learning songs that are lesser known or from the B-side of your favourite album. They are a great starting point, sure, but at some point in our journey of learning the guitar we have to start learning to use our ears. Did Hendrix learn solos from his idols by searching up the TAB on his smartphone? What he did was continuously drop the needle over and over until he learned it note for note, or at least as close as he could. And you can bet that he was throwing in his own inflections and licks to make the solo unique to his style.

When we first start diving into the subject of learning guitar solos we are probably aiming to have it sound exactly like the record though, meaning we want every bend, every hammer-on and every slide to recreate that of the original. Maybe the TAB you found online has given you a basic outline for how the solo goes but there’s still some polishing up to do. This is where we take it one bar at a time to achieve our goal of playing the entire song front to back.

It’s certainly no race, and shouldn’t be something that you try to finish in one sitting. Transcribing a guitar solo should be something that brings joy to the player, closely listening to the track one lick at a time to ensure that all intricacies are recreated accurately. There’s a few things I do when transcribing that prove to make the job easier time and time again, the main tool being a phrase trainer program. This will allow you to import the mp3 of the track you are working on to then manipulate the tempo, key and tuning, just to name a few features. Not only this but you can easily mark the start of the solo or a bar before to give yourself a lead in and instantly recall that specific part of the song simply by hitting the space bar, meaning there’s less faff trying to scroll through the iTunes playback bar trying to find the exact spot that you want. My phrase trainer of choice is Transcribe! by a company called Seventh String, and is well worth the investment in my opinion with its user friendly layout. There are other cheaper or free alternatives out there as well such as Audacity, or any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) such as Garageband, Logic, or Pro Tools which will also give you this functionality.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a phrase trainer program is the ability to slow down the tempo of the tune whilst keeping the sound quality high with no lagging like you may get when using the slow down feature on YouTube for example. Even at 25% of the original speed you can hear every note clearly, almost as if it was recorded at that tempo. I am a big believer in learning solos at a relatively slow tempo, as you need to be able to process what you are playing without having to struggle to change positions in time or think about what lick is coming next. I have found through experience learning solos myself and teaching students solos that you will arrive at your end goal of playing the solo at full tempo much quicker if you start the solo at a much slower speed, learn it accurately and let it digest over time, to then slowly bringing up the tempo, rather than trying to start off learning the solo at full or close to full tempo and risk the licks being messy and hard to fix once they have been practised that way.

A phrase trainer is a great tool to hearing what the guitarist is actually playing, but another crucial step to learning that solo that I have found is to not bite off more than you can chew. It should never be a rushed process, especially if this is something that you are doing for your own enjoyment. Try to enjoy learning this solo one lick at a time and really process each phrase that you are playing, thinking about the rhythm and perhaps where in the pentatonic scale the licks are falling if that is relevant for the song (more on this in a bit!). If you find yourself forgetting what comes next in the solo, perhaps leave that part for another practise session, and instead just work on the few bars or licks before and focus on playing those accurately and cleanly. We all know the fast lick in the middle of “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” that we’ve all tried to learn at some point. Recently I sat down to try and tackle this lick for an upcoming gig, and after a few sittings of practise found that it slowly but surely was sinking into my muscle memory. Short but frequent bursts of practise has always worked best for me, and I prefer to break up learning a solo over as many sittings as possible. If I am feeling overwhelmed trying to add in too much of the solo that is new to me, I’ll take it back a few bars and instead focus on executing what I know as good as I can play it for that day. I often find that when I next sit down to practise that I feel ready to learn the next few licks and I am able to memorise and internalise the new licks because the first part of the solo is now in my muscle memory and isn’t taking up too much brain power!

So once you have learned the solo front to back at a slow tempo, you can start to slowly play along and bring up the speed by 5 or 10% at a time in your phrase trainer. I would definitely recommend playing along to the track, which will allow you to hear any parts that you are playing out of time when they don’t quite sync up with the original. I can always tell if a students has practised a song with the track or just by themselves, as they will often play the rhythms incorrectly or almost in free time if they haven’t done so yet.
We of course have to practise the licks by ourselves first to get it under our fingers, but make sure you jam along with the song as soon as you feel confident.

Once you’ve been working on the solo for a few weeks or months playing along to the track at or close to full speed, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment that you have mastered the solo that once seemed impossible! Not only can you show this off to your friends and your instagram followers, but you can start incorporating these into your own improvised solos. Improvising is a whole other topic in itself, but guaranteed when Jimmy Page took that monster solo on “Stairway To Heaven” he would have most likely taken some licks from his idols solos that he transcribed somewhere along the line. In fact you will start to notice the more you transcribe that there are licks that come up time and time again in different peoples solos, which is what we call a cliche. Every style has many cliche licks, and they are a great place to start when trying to throw a few new licks into your own solo over a 12 bar blues. Let’s say you and your buddies are having a jam session, or you’re having your weekly guitar lesson with your tutor and you’re playing over a blues to get warmed up, try and pick a few of your favourite licks from that solo that you’ve worked tireless on to make your own. You can change them to suit the song that you are playing over to make them unique, and if you have visualised where they fall over the minor pentatonic pattern then it will be easier for you to transpose this lick into whatever key you are playing in. A great lick to start with would be the first lick from the “Stairway To Heaven” solo, which falls directly in the A minor pentatonic shape (with the exception of the last note, which still sounds great!), making it easy to convert to other keys. Basically learning a solo does not have to end at finishing learning all of the notes. You want to use this as inspiration to fuel your own licks and improvisations.

So all that’s left to do now is to grab your guitar and to get jamming! Do yourself a favour and install a phrase trainer on your device, import your song of choice, and start learning. Take your time and enjoy the process, it’s not a race. The more you transcribe solos and songs, the quicker the process becomes as you develop your ear. A sharp ear is a great skill to possess as a musician of any level, so make it your mission to add that to your growing list of guitar skills.

-Cameron Hayes, November 2019

Discover 5 ways to stay motivated when practicing the guitar. Improve your practice routine and improve your guitar playing!

Guitar Player

All teachers have had conversations with students about practise routines and we’ve all dealt with students who are feeling less than motivated to practise. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated when practising.
These tips can be used if you are a teacher with a student feeling the pinch of motivational depression or if you are a student looking to give yourself a boost.

1. Progress Chart

For young students, I find progress charts are a great way to encourage them to stay motivated. Similar to one you might find in a classroom. Set the student goals each lesson such as “Practise this chord charge” or “Memorise this melody”. Compliance with the task will result in a positive mark being added to the chart and if the student does not practise the requested piece, a negative mark. Most younger students will see this as a slight challenge to keep up the good progress.

2. The 10 Minute Mindset

Keep practise routines that are achievable. People live busy lives, especially teenage and adult learners. If you tell a 15 year old, or someone will a full time job and a family, to start on Steve Vai’s famous 10 and 30 hour practise routines you’ll be heading for trouble fast.

I often use an approach I like to call the 10 minute mindset. Work on one thing with no distraction for 10 minutes a day for a whole week. If you commit to that solid 10 minutes a day, by the end of the week you should have made some good progress with the item you’re working on. I like to continue the 10 minute mindset beyond the initial stages. If you can convince someone that they will benefit from 10 minutes a day, they might be playing for 20-30 minutes and beyond. This makes the mindset a success. The student is practising for times exceeding 10 minutes, but in their head they are still thinking small chunks, this makes the idea of practise less daunting and very low impact to their lives.

3. Long Term Goals

Encourage your student to consider the long-term goals of what their playing could help them accomplish. If they have the desire to pursue a career in music, perhaps they would see this as reason to put the time and effort into practise. Tell them to consider what they want out of the guitar in the long run. If they want to play in a band, work as a session musician or maybe even teach themselves, emphasise the importance of practising and keeping their skills at a high level. Working as a musician is an incredibly competitive environment to be in, you have to keep yourself on top of your game every day to ensure you’re seen as the best person for the job.

4. Keep it Visible

This seems to be more of a trend with adult learners, but I have seen this behaviour repeated in younger students too. A lot of adults tend to keep their guitars in less obvious places. One thing I realised, simply by asking a group of people in my early days of teaching, was that there seemed to be a correlation between where someone keeps their guitar and how often they practise.

The reply that always stuck with me was a student who kept his guitar in its case at the back of his cupboard. To practise he had to empty the cupboard, take the case out, set everything up and then put it all back away when he was finished. This was not an incentive to practise each day. Keep your guitars where you can see them, I promise you’ll never want to put it down!

Hearing Progress

The ultimate motivator is hearing that the thing you’ve been working on is taking shape. That chord change from a Dmin13 to an F#maj7 has been causing you a lot of bother lately, but it’s starting to get easier now right? What about that alternate picked guitar part? The 3 notes per string at 140bpm lick… that’s definitely getting faster. When you can hear improvement, it will push you to follow it through and commit to the final goal of mastering the thing you’re working on.

About the Author

Matthew Rusk is a professional musician and guitar teacher from the UK. He has taught hundreds of students from complete beginners to advanced players. He has been providing guitar lessons locally and online, sharing his practise tips, motivation topics and exercises with students far and wide. He has created an online community of like minded music teacher to motivate and encourage individuals of all ages to start learning musical instruments. You can find out more at

Find out how to become an outstanding guitarist! Make your guitar dreams a reality and break through by developing the right habits to become truly outstanding!

Guitarist performing on stage

You need passion and inspiration

To become truly great at anything in life requires a fire from within.

Learning to play the guitar is definitely no different.

You see, the main issue at hand is inspiration…

If you are inspired, you will do whatever it takes to become great at what you do.

You will be passionate and willing to practice.

Learning the guitar at the end of the day is more to do with the willingness to practice than anything else.

It is easy to say that you are passionate about learning, but the real test lies in your private practice room!

Of course, great training will help you to continue when the going gets tough.

The truth is you need that fire…. that fire that will make you improvise with Mixolydian b6 mode for 4 hours without stopping, that fire that will make you find all the major chords on string groups 123, 234, 345, 456!

Without that fire, it will be really hard to get that the level that you want to get to!

Stephen Covey was absolutely correct when he wrote a chapter on “Begin with the end in mind” in his best seller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

You see, when you have the vision then the fire will burn!

So be inspired, have a vision! Be on fire and passionate and it will show in your guitar playing! (Even if it takes some time to get there)

You need a positive mindset and a do-whatever-it-takes frame of mind

A positive mindset is very important when it comes to learning how to play the guitar!

Remember that you will go through easy and difficult phases in your guitar journey.

It is during the difficult phases that a positive mindset will help the most.

The secret between success and failure in your guitar playing is in your ability to keep learning and improving ever when you do not see immediate results.

That is why you need to work on your psychology and mindset.

If you are able to persist through tough times, then you can truly improve on your instrument!

You need to monitor your progress and keep a journal (even if it is a rough one)

By keeping a record of your playing, you will improve much faster and your playing will become much more accurate.

It is a well-known fact that keeping a journal (even a rough one) will have a tremendously positive effect on your playing.

It is always a little difficult to get started, but the biggest secret is to just do it!

Buy a little notebook that you like and keep track of your musical speed and development on a regular basis.

There is no need to be overly concerned on regularity.

As long as you measure your improvements on a monthly basis, you will be fine.

You need a great guitar coach – someone who actually inspire you!

A great mentor who inspires and motivate you is the TRUE key to becoming an outstanding guitarist.

The guitar is a complex instrument when played at a very proficient level. (It is actually very simple, but the complexity can ONLY be made simple through a great coach)

That is exactly why you need to take weekly guitar lessons with someone who can help you get SERIOUS and LASTING results in your guitar playing.

The good news is that you do not need to accept mediocre guitar performance forever. No, YOU can do something about your guitar playing by taking the first step.

The first and most crucial step is then to find someone who inspires and motivates you to become a great player.

Even if you only play the guitar for the pleasure, why not do it well?

A great guitar instructor can help you make huge improvement in your playing in a short time.

That is why you must work with a great coach to become a much better player!

You need a solid practice schedule that’s not boring!

Finally, without a solid and regular practice schedule you will not make great progress.

You need dedicated, concentrated hours of practice in order to improve on a monthly basis.

It is not quite as simple as you may think.

A solid practice schedule should be discussed with your guitar mentor.

He or she will help you get the best return on your available time.

Simply just jamming the guitar daily will not yield the best results.

You need a rigorous and tested practice schedule looking at various aspects of your playing in order to improve in a fast and efficient way.

I wish you the greatest success in your guitar journey!

Discover how you as an adult can learn how to play the guitar! Let go of excuses holding you back from your guitar dreams!

Women playing the guitar

An adult learning to play the guitar, or any musical instrument for that matter may seem to be an anomaly. Far too many people assume that if you haven’t learned to play a musical instrument as a child that you will never master it as an adult. You may wonder how it can be possible when we all know that brain plasticity changes as we grow older.

We forget however that some of the most talented people in different areas of life have only emerged in later life. This is often true of artists who have had to wait for life events to take place so that they can embrace their gifts. Claude Monet and Mary Delaney are only two that should instantly come to mind. The music world is no different, with talents like Andrea Bocelli and Susan Boyle being discovered long after the accepted age of discovery.

There are many reasons why it would never be too late to learn to play the guitar. The only real impediment to learning the guitar as an adult and more so as a mature adult would be the limitations you place upon yourself.

Your body replenishes its own cells and while it may be slower to do so than when you were younger, with adequate practice, you will be able to rewire your brain to do just that – play a musical instrument.

Motivation to succeed

The single greatest factor that will influence your success, is your own motivation. A desire to succeed will influence the outcome. If you are truly motivated and are prepared to practice, then there is no reason why you will not complete your lessons, able to play more than a simple childish tune. Of course, you could try self teaching but there are risks involved in that too. How will you know when you are making a mistake? An experienced teacher will prevent bad habits and errors from setting in before they even happen.

By breaking up the challenge into small parts, you will be able to overcome any difficulties that you face, especially when you first start to learn to play the guitar. Every adult learner will have a reason why they have decided to embark upon guitar tuition. It may be a lifelong desire or a decision to open doors to improve their social life. Because there are reasons behind an adult student deciding to take lessons, the motivation is usually well grounded.

Getting your head and fingers around it

It may be a challenge getting into the mindset as an adult learner, but it is in fact a greater worry to many adult guitar students that their fingers will not perform to order. Just like anything else, your fingers can be trained and in the same way that any other manual skill is about practice and coordination, so is learning to play the guitar. With plenty of practice your finger movements will become natural.

Overcoming frustration

There are so many different genres of music out there that frustration should become a thing of the past. A guitar student can choose music to practice that is within their skill base from almost any genre. By having a personal interest or like for the music, the motivation to practice is increased and naturally your skill will be perfected faster.

Realistic expectations

No one is going to become a music superstar overnight. If you compare your skills to those that have been playing for thirty years after three weeks of practice, then you’re going to be disappointed. Rather monitor your progress as you’re able to play tunes that are more and more complex over time. Its OK to set goals, but be realistic taking into consideration the amount of lessons you can attend weekly as well as your own practice schedule.

The best advice is to start slow and solid and then to add more time as you become a better guitarist.

Steady wins the race!

Investing in yourself

You need to be willing to invest in yourself and your guitar education and that is exactly why you need to study with a dedicated guitar center for adults such as the London Guitar Institute.

By investing in your own guitar education you give yourself the best chance of succeed as an adult wanting to learn the guitar.

Learning the guitar well requires tremendous patience, discipline and practice.

With a great guitar teacher, you can make that journey a lot more enjoyable and you will definitely get there quicker!

Never too old

As the saying goes – it is never too late to have a happy childhood. You can learn to play guitar whether you are eight or eighty. What stands between you and that impressive guitar solo is yourself. Learning music theory will be much easier too because absorbing applicable knowledge on an everyday basis is a skill that adults use every single day.

Since you already know what kind of music you like as well as the time, money and effort you have available, getting into your guitar routine should not be all that difficult.

If you are ready to get started on your journey to guitar success – give us a shout here!

Discover how you can improvise on the guitar. Find out why it is a lot easier than you think. Grab your favourite axe and try out the licks in the article – have a WHOLE LOT OF FUN!

Guitar player playing a solo

This little guide is aimed at beginners wanting to learn how to improvise on the electric guitar. 

First things first…

The electric guitar is a fantastic instrument.

It is an instrument that has taken the world by storm, set youth free and stages across the world alight!

Learning how to improvise successfully on the electric guitar requires some study and practice.

You can learn how to improvise with or without a teacher as long as you are willing to apply yourself and take the time needed to understand how and why things work.

(I am of the opinion that studying with someone who has lots of experience is wise, so if you have the opportunity to study wih someone who is really competent and who can help you – please do!)

Improvisation is the art of arranging and rearranging notes in a new order at a given time as well as coming up with something relatively new…

The idea is to mix things up.

True improvisation is very rare.

Most improvisation is a mixture between the player being spontaneous and some sort of rehash of licks, lines and melodic fragments. (Sequences, patterns, guitar-based ideas etc…)

In the early days of learning how to improvise on the guitar, I advise you to just give it a go.

You will probably feel that you are not able to improvise.

That is simply not true.

Give yourself the permission to try and the permission to make mistakes.

The great legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker tried his hand at improvisation long before he was really ready.

He just gave it a go and tried!

Was he super successful at first?

No, not in the beginning, he even made a mess of things on a professional stage when he was younger.

But as time progresses, Charlie Parker practiced and practiced and practiced some more and then eventually become one of the greatest improvisers who ever lived.

(Jazz musicians to this day, painstakingly transcribe his solos note-for-note in order to understand his genuis!)

Yes, Charlie Parker is a legend.

So let go of your fears and follow the ideas in this article.

Take the first step and then you are on your way to learn how to improvise on the guitar!

Step 1: Learn how to play the A minor pentatonic scale (A minor 7/11 arpeggio) in position 1

Over the years I’ve actually grown quite tired of always using the same box shape as a starting point for new guitar students.

I did however realise that the A minor pentatonic position 1 scale is a relatively easy scale to understand.

It is also an easy scale to visualise, and as the guitar is very much a visual instrument I thought it prudent to start with this scale in this position.
So, we will use it as a starting point.

The A minor pentatonic scale:

A Minor pentatonic scale Position 1 - A Minor 7/11

Now, the first step here is to just play through the scale using alternate picking.

Once you have the scale under your fingers and embedded in your memory, then you can try to play alongside a backing track.

It is very important that you just give it a go, without judging yourself!

You just have to play, play and play some more.

In the beginning your musical phrasing will not be mature and your improvisation may not sound as wonderful as you want it to be.

The thing here is not to despair.

Good phrasing comes with lots of time and effort and when you start improvising it’s quite natural not to have great musical phrasing just yet.

You may even wonder what I mean by the term ‘phrasing’.

Phrasing is basically a musical sentence.

In language we use full stops, commas, question marks to form and express our sentences.

You should do exactly the same in your improvisations!

Improvising is basically speaking on the spot with your guitar!

Play a line or a lick and then take a small musical break by playing a bend that asks a question.

You can then answer the bend with a flurry of notes across the guitar neck.

You see when you improvise, you are really talking on the guitar in an abstract manner.

Step 2: Learn some classic blues licks

All great guitarists who know how to improvise will have their own repertoire of licks that they can use in a musical situation.

You should also develop your own personal repertoire of licks that you love and that you are comfortable with.

Once you memorise some cool licks that you like, then you will be ready for higher level improvisation.

I know that many guitarists falsely belief that learning licks makes you uncreative.

The truth is you need a repertoire to fall back on when your creative juices run out.

Alternatively, you can also rehash your favourite licks on the spot.

So no, learning licks should not make you uncreative, but rather more creative!

It does take courage to memorise and internalise a repertoire of licks, but they will provide you with years of playing success!

Your licks will become your babies!

Your tools of the trade.

Resolve today to learn some licks that you love that will help you make a big difference to your playing.

Here are three A minor pentatonic (position 1) licks for you to try out: (You can also add them to your repertoire)

Lick 1 - classic blues lick - a Minor Pentatonic

Lick 2 - Blues Rock Licks

Lick 3 - blues lick with pull offs

The electric guitar is the most powerful instrument on the face of the planet! Learn how to play the electric guitar and set the world alight!

Jimi Hendrix

Are you passionate about learning to play the electric guitar and you seriously want to improve your electric guitar playing?

The electric guitar is simply one of the most extraordinary instruments ever created.

Did you know the concept of the electric guitar and virtuosity has been around for many many ages even as far back as the 18th century!

During the Italian Bel Canto revolution the human voice was considered the apex of musicality (Similar to the electric guitar today!).

Niccolò Paganini then set the world on fire in the early 19th century with his ferocious virtuoso violin performances!

A little later, Franz Liszt, inspired by Paganini conquered the world with his magnetic personality and flawless technical execution!

In the 1960s, Jimi Hendrix burst unto the rock and roll scene playing his white 1968 Fender Stratocaster and using overdrive and serious lead guitar licks and riffs that literally rocked the world!

He even set his guitar on fire – live on stage!

Whilst all this was going on a young Yngwie Malmsteen was busy getting inspiration from both Hendrix (for his stage antics) and from a violinist performing on the television!

In time Yngwie Malmsteen took his electric guitar and set the world alight with his blazingly fast runs, neo-classical lines and magnificent larger-than-life performances.

The reasons for this little explanation of history is to show you that the electric guitar was always there in some shape or form. (The idea of being a virtuoso concert performer AKA a rock star!)

In the 19th century this idea of a rock star could be found in the Bel Canto vocal styles in Italy!

During the 18th century the electric guitar was Paganini performing on his violin to sell-out audiences across Europe!

In the 1800s the electric guitar was Franz Liszt the world’s first bona fide rock star performing to a vast audience all across Europe and inspiring generations of pianists to come!

The London Guitar Institute offers outstanding electric guitar lessons for adults in London

If you want to learn how to play the electric guitar and develop the skills to seriously impress your friends and fans then you have to consider the London Guitar Institute for London’s best electric guitar lessons for adults.

The electric guitar is definitely the most powerful instrument of all times!

It is also an incredibly expressive instrument.

You can play the electric guitar with a very smooth and beautiful tone or you can play it with an aggressive metal sound!

The choice is yours!

You can play a stunning bend with a delayed vibrato or impress your audiences with your dazzling mastery of virtuosity as your fingers run up and down the guitar neck!

The electric guitar can be used in blues, rock, jazz, metal, pop and neo-classical music styles. (And more!)

Take your pick, (pun intended) and get ready to explore the wonderful world of the electric guitar.

At the London Guitar Institute you can seriously improve your guitar prowess with one of the UK’s top electric guitar teachers.

You can move from being an ordinary electric guitarist to being an extraordinary one!

You deserve it!

For the best electric guitar lessons London has to offer, simply look no further!

You can study the style you love on the electric guitar: metal, blues, rock, jazz, neo-classical and so much more!

Develop a solid technique and drastically improve your ability to improvise properly

The electric guitar is an instrument that requires your time and dedication.

Daily practice is required.

At the London Guitar Institute, we will help you develop a rock-solid technique and the ability to improvise over any musical situation!

We will help you become GREAT at playing the electric guitar.

Who knows?

Maybe one day, you will perform in front of millions of adoring fans screaming to hear your electric guitar solos!

Or perhaps, you will actually take the plunge and perform over the weekends with your cover band and play the solos that you have always wanted to play!

The moral of the story: anything is possible with time, effort and great education.

For our electric guitar course options please click here.

It is our goal to help you become the best electric guitarist you can possibly become.

Learn the electric guitar with the London Guitar Institute in Mayfair or the City of London.

Don’t delay, start today!

Make your dreams come true and enjoy the best electric guitar lessons London has to offer.

Course options are available here.

Discover how to become a super persistent guitar student and achieve ALL your musical goals!

Never Give Up

Learning to play the guitar is wonderful.

It is an exciting new journey full of adventure when you are just starting out.

Once you have played the guitar for a little while, it can then at times become challenging.

As human beings we thrive upon a new product, a new idea, a new movie… The word ‘new’ has an amazing appeal and we love anything that is NEW!

The problem is, that when we first start learning the guitar, the whole process is new and wonderful but in time new will become old.

Therefore, learning to play the guitar requires dedication and persistence beyond the initial honeymoon period of NEW!

Time and again in my guitar studio in central London I see human behaviour and psychology at work.

Most students behave in the same way… the first 3 months is exciting, then gradually learning becomes more of a chore and less fun.

The truth is, learning to play the guitar does not always need to be 100% fun.

Fun is obviously important, but there is a time for serious study and serious study requires persistence and the ability to at times do things we do not really like.

Of course, overall playing and practicing guitar should be fun, but you also need solid discipline to keep going when things get a little tough!

Let’s say you set out to learn a Metallica guitar solo note-for-note.

The first few months of learning the solo is fun and an overall pleasant experience.

By the fourth month things get pretty difficult.

That is when most people give up.

The secret is then to persist and continue practicing the solo especially the difficult bits until you really master each concept within the solo.

Take for example sweep picking.

You may be terrible at sweep picking right now, but with dedication and practice, you can increase your sweep picking abilities!

Therefore it is essential that you cultivate the habit of continual perseverance and persistence!

When you keep improving a little bit each day, it will all add up to a big change over a period of a year!

The big question is how do you cultivate this wonderful habit?

The key is starting small and build up your ability to persist and practice guitar on a consistent basis.

Perhaps you can only manage 20 minutes of dedicated, persistent practice each and every day.

Start there and then build towards doing 30 minutes, later 45 minutes and eventually 60 minutes per day. (Of course you can do much more than 60 minutes per day, but that is already a fantastic goal!)

If you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in much!

So the secret is to START today with what you can!

Do not try to overdo it…. do what you can manage and then build upon that!

In addition to a set schedule, great guitar education will definitely help you succeed!

During your guitar lessons, you can speak to your guitar instructor and share your frustrations. He or she can then kindly guide you into developing your ability to persist.

In my own guitar studio I always encourage my students and I help them get back on the path to dedicated, serious daily practice wherever possible!

Practice the same thing day in and day out

The most successful guitarists in the world has a set practice regime.

Sure, it will vary a little from time to time, but a set DEDICATED practice routine is what made them into the giants they are today!

I always advise working out left and right hand technique and then moving unto the different parts of music playing.

Always warm up prior to developing your playing and do take frequent breaks.

From time to time, you can also turn up the volume and just jam the guitar.

But if you really want to be a successful player, then you have to cultivate a SET practice regime day in, day out!

It should be a little boring at times… repetitive exercises is the key to great technique.

You should also consider keeping a journal.

You can then jot down your speed, knowledge and most of all you can COMPETE with your journal.

Competing with yourself is a BIG secret.

If you compete aggressively with yourself then you will make MASSIVE progress.

From time to time you will need to adjust your goals and practice material. That is absolutely fine.

Just stick to a set logical methodology of practice.

Try to practice every day (5-6 days a week) and be SUPER consistent!

If you follow the advice in this article, I guarantee that you will get closer to your ultimate guitar dream sooner than later!

I wish you the GREATEST SUCCESS in your guitar journey going foward!

Electric Guitar Player

Learning and mastering the guitar’s fretboard is an arduous task.

It requires tremendous concentration over extended periods of time and pig-headed determination to truly master the guitar’s fretboard.

The fastest way in my opinion to master the neck is to say and play whatever you are busy learning at the moment.

As an example, let’s say you are memorising all the E minor/major 7 arpeggios across the guitar neck.

I would recommend learning the arpeggios in each of the five natural positions of the guitar.

Whilst playing the arpeggio, I would recommend saying the degrees such as 5th, 7th, root, minor 3rd etc…

Yes, it will require extra work from you and you may feel: “What’s the point of saying it, I can just say it in my mind’s eye?”.

Well through thousands of teaching hours I have realised that saying (aloud) and playing is perhaps one of the most effective ways of becoming a better player fast!

By saying and playing you internalise the material so much quicker than the traditional route of just playing.

Whenever I teach my students sight reading, I require all my students to say the notes prior to playing them. After that task is complete, we then play AND say the notes to internalise them!

I love doing a very thorough job and when I teach it is my responsibility to make sure I do EVERYTHING in my power to help my students become the best that they can possibly be!

Say next time you practice a passage/scale/lick, why not try the technique of PLAYING AND SAYING!

I guarantee you that it will bring breakthrough in your playing!

It will be hard work, but if you want results you will have to put in the right amount of time and effort to justify the reward that you are after!

Stay movitated

Learning to play the guitar can seem like a luxury, indeed it is, and like most of life’s luxuries, when life becomes busy they fall by the wayside and can often be forgotten.

During your guitar lessons in London with me, I’ll make sure you learn techniques that help you hone your skills and develop your guitar playing quickly. (My methodologies are truly world-class and I guarantee that you will make rapid progress if you apply yourself and practice wholeheartedly)

I’ll also show you ways which make it easy for you to reach the next stages, it’s my desire to ensure you become the fantastic guitar player you always wanted to be.

Motivation, for any task can wane though, especially if you have a full time job and a family. This is why some guitar lesson students need techniques for staying motivated.

Some guitar players can also hit a stumbling block, just like with any activity or hobby.

You could reach a certain stage and feel like you’ve plateaued, when in reality, just a few thousands of hours more of practice could see you playing like Jimmy Hendrix!

Here are some pertinent tips for staying motivated to ensure you carry on playing the guitar and practicing to become what you wanted to be when you first contacted me: A great guitar player.

See Practice as Me Time

In our busy lives we often forget to stop and smell the roses. Music is incredible for awakening our senses and making us realise the world around us in real time. It’s used to motivate, inspire, relax and rejuvenate, and that’s just by listening to it. Playing music can help you unwind and can release your mind from the troubles of the day. See your practice as an indulgence.

See it as high quality ‘Me Time’!

It’s time for you, no one else.

You deserve that relaxation and you deserve to excel. Make time for you in your busy schedule and enjoy all the mental benefits that playing the guitar will bring!

Set Some Targets

Setting targets can help you carry on when you feel like you’ve reached a plateau.

The key is setting realistic AND ‘faith’ targets.

Have MASSIVE goals and work very hard towards them.

A realistic target could be: “I want to learn all the major, minor, diminished and augmented chords on string group 135 and 246 this year!”.

A faith based target could be: “I want to play semi-quavers at 155 BPM this year!”

The realistic will generally be met, the faith based target will usually be missed, but by having that target in mind you will then achieve that in the next year or years to come!

So DREAM and go big and bold, but also have some realistic goals on your musical plate!

Think Investment not Cost

The world’s most successful individuals achieved success by generally not caring about the price that they need to pay, but rather the return.

Think of your guitar lessons as an investment.

Thinking and comparing price per hour is ridiculous.

The right frame of mind is the following: “Who is going to provide me with the highest quality guitar tuition and where will I get the fastest results!”

Forget about the cost and focus on the RESULT.

Paying for cheap guitar lessons will generally result in a poor guitar education.

Paying quality means (generally) that you will receive quality.

So make sure you get high-quality guitar lessons to give you the best odds of achieving your musical goals!

Your GpracticeProgressScore will increase:

GpracticeProgressScore = ((time spend with instrument * methodology of pratice)+(mindset*qualityofinput))/100

So by having a fantastic teacher you will get there so much quicker and be inspired to practice harder and smarter!

The time you spend with the guitar is up to you!

The methodology will come largely from your teacher/mentor.

Your mindset will come from a variety of sources. (Your teacher and others… try Tony Robbins – highly recommended!)

Quality of input – this is where you get your education. (Directly related to your teacher)