Transitioning from beginner to intermediate guitar playing

Glenn Sutton teaches guitar, electric bass, keyboard, theory and improvisation for over 30 years, he specializes in rock, blues, jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical, country, and folk.

Taking the next steps in your musicianship

Along your musical journey, you have suffered the pain and felt the joy of learning the basics of guitar playing. Where you once struggled just to move your fingers from one part of the fretboard to another, you can now move from basic chord to basic chord with ease. You have started to get a strong feel for rhythm and melody. You may have even screwed up your courage enough to play in front of other people, or maybe even performed alongside other musicians. It is time to move into a more advanced form of playing, but you may not know what next steps to take. Here are a few suggestions to help you along your way.

Learn Advanced Chords

Now that you have learned major and minor chords, it may be time to get a bit more advanced with your chord selections. You can go about this several ways. You can learn all the alternate fingerings of a given chord. Perhaps one of the best things you can learn if you don’t know it already is barre chord placement. Barre chords allow for faster and more versatile playing. You may also want to perfect the art of 7th chords. They can add quite a bit to your musical palette in a short time. As you advance even more, the possibilities are quite endless.

Learn open tuning

While most songs use standard guitar tuning, a fun and interesting way to change things up is to try open tuning. Open tuning is tuning your guitar so that it plays a particular chord without fingering the frets. Open E and Open A tunings are used frequently by blues and rock guitarists, both electric and acoustic. This can be especially effective if you have more than one guitar. Give it a try-it’s fun!

Change Your Guitar’s Tone

If your guitar of choice is electric, you can easily change its tone in a number of ways. In addition to alternate tunings mentioned above, which change the tension of your guitar strings, you can adjust the controls on your guitar or your amp.

Of course, you also have access to a limitless number of filters, effects pedals and other electronic gadgetry. These can help you create that unique tone you have been striving for. They can also make you sound like more advanced guitarist almost immediately, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Play in different styles

This is one of the best ways to improve both your musical education and your overall musicianship. Step outside of your comfort zone, and play songs in different genres rom your favorite. There are several advantages to doing this. You become a more versatile player. You become a more marketable player. Over time, you will be able to adapt elements of these other styles to your overall playing, and this will help you perfect your unique sound. There is no down side to this!

Getting Started

Your music instructor can help you down these and many other paths. They will also be able to recognize your strengths (which you will want to nurture) and your weaknesses to either overcome or discard.

    No Twitter Messages.