This past weekend I was scheduled to do something I’ve never really done in 20+ years of playing guitar: lead guitar. I’ve always been a rhythm guy, and I’ve never really stretched myself to play lead parts until very recently. This caused me to think about something…
How to get better fast?
In preparing for this event (which was a huge Easter Egg hunt involving a helicopter at the Newhope Church Garner Campus), I probably improved more in a week than in the first 5 years I played guitar. I had to learn parts that stretched me, and then I had to play them with a band and listen to and gel with other musicians.
So, if you’re a beginner guitar player (or even intermediate or advanced), and you want to improve quickly, do these two things:
- Play in a band with other musicians. This could be a worship team at your church, or a cover band. Your band might lead worship every weekend or try to get gigs to play original music and/or covers. Bottom line: playing with other musicians will push you and inspire you to improve.
- Stretch yourself. Challenge yourself to play songs or parts that stretch your abilities. When you couple this with playing in a band (in a situation where you HAVE to learn the parts), you’ll improve more in a shorter period of time than you thought possible.
Obviously to pull off learning parts that stretch you, you’ll need to find lessons and resources, but the internet is full of them, and they’re free. Here are a couple we really like (in addition to our own lessons and song resources, of course):