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What was something little that improved your playing drastically?

Phil3

Member
Messages
752
For me it was using a thicker pick. When I started playing I had a hard time picking (I was using a medium pick, so a pick that could bend quite a bit) And I couldn't play comfortably. So I tried a thicker pick one day and it helped a ton! It was like a button that improved my playing, or at least made it more comfortable. (The pick was an unbranded clear blue thing, but eventually I started using Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm) The same thing happened this previous Christmas when I got a pack of Kirk Hammet Jazz 3 picks(1.38mm as I recall) Bit smaller than the tortex, lighter too. Alot of people complain that jass picks are too small, and I understand why. But my hands aren't very large so a jazz pick is perfect for me. Nowadays I can play with just about any pick, but I still find so much ease of playing and control when I use a thicker pick.

So what was something small that made a big impact on your playing?
 

guitfiddle

Member
Messages
2,908
Learning the five scale shapes, and how they interlock. This gives an accurate map of where you can play in any given key.

The realization that if there are no open strings involved, the same patterns will work in all 12 keys.

Using Dunlop Jazz lll picks. The articulation of my playing improved immediately.
 

NorCal_Val

Member
Messages
12,556
Back in the “dark days” of learning to play guitar, circa ‘83-ish, I purchased this book from Jack’s House of Music, in Sacramento. It made me understand how scales were laid out/worked on guitar, and how they related to keys/chords etc.
Almost overnight, I went from stumbling around the fingerboard to being able to actually play along(solo) to whatever music I was listening to.(except for Holdsworth’s stuff...:roll)
 
Messages
20
Regrettably, I waited years before I bothered using a metronome for practice, and it made a pretty significant difference within the first couple of weeks of buying one. Wish I hadn't waited so long.

Also, recording myself and listening back. Lots of cringe at times, but it has definitely shown me what I need to improve about my playing (which is pretty much EVERYTHING :D).
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,053
Regrettably, I waited years before I bothered using a metronome for practice, and it made a pretty significant difference within the first couple of weeks of buying one. Wish I hadn't waited so long.
<edit>
It's funny, I practice with a metronome and improve my timing and then think it's good and stop for a long time. When I go back to it, I find that my timing is off again. Seems like something I need to continually use.

On topic. Nothing I did changed things in a short period. Everything took a long time from changing to Dunlop jazz picks to changing equipment.

Ear-training improved my ability to pick up stuff. That took years and I still need work. It helped my playing in that I am a better accompanist in an ensemble.

Learning every chord inversion (triads & later 7ths) lowest note on the 6th and also the 5th string helped me to voice things differently. That took years and I still screw up.

All my improvements took lots of hard work, I'm simply not what I call a natural musician.
 
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Buck Private

Member
Messages
572
Jeff Berlin has a thing he does where he picks up a single piece of crumpled paper off the floor with a lot of other papers scattered around and asks the student if the floor is any cleaner now. A perfect object lesson in being patient and understanding that perseverance will get you there.
 




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