Tip #1 -- Find a Playing Partner
Guitar Tips with Steve Krenz
I'm gonna show you some things I wish someone had taken the time to show me when I was just getting started! Let's go...
This first secret is THE most helpful thing I can tell you about learning to play. It can take years off your study time and give you constant motivation to keep at it. It's very simple. It has nothing to do with how you hold the guitar or your hands. It has nothing to do with which amp you buy or how often you change strings. Here it is...
Learn & Master Guitar Secret #1: FIND A PLAYING PARTNER! (or a whole group of them!)
Now don't dismiss this as 'too simple to be useful.' Here's a story for you...
When I was a junior in high school, my friend Arnold invited me to a local Jazz club in San Antonio, where we lived (called the 'El Rincon')... A Jazz duo named 'Small World' hosted
Sunday night Jam sessions there. Anyone could get up and play.
Every Sunday night the city's best Jazz players would filter through just for fun and some great music. For several weeks Arnold and I would just sit in the back and have our sodas and watch... until eventually we got up enough courage to play.
Arnold played sax. He was the first to get up the courage to play. The next week I got up and played a couple of songs with the band. I was scared to death (and who knows how bad I sounded)... but they were kind and encouraging to us both.
Week after week, we'd go down and listen. Sometimes we'd play...sometimes we were too shy. I always thought my playing was so bad next to these great players...I'd come home embarrassed, but challenged to sit and practice so I'd be better next time. Almost without me even knowing it, something was happening...
I was getting better.
Quite unexpectedly, one day I got a call from the guitarist in the Jazz duo, saying that she had recommended me for a gig that she couldn't make!
I was 16 and that was my first professional gig. It was the start of my career and I've played professionally from that moment til now. And I can tell you that if it weren't for Arnold, I would never have had the courage to get up and do that first jam session!
My high school band director once said "The better musicians you play with, the better musician you will be." He's right.
Don't shrink back from playing with others...especially if they're better than you. Besides motivating and challenging you, it's just a whole bunch of fun!
A neighbor, a co-worker, a group of friends, the music team at church, or a local band are all great choices to start.
Everyone knows someone who plays guitar...and guitarists love to get together and play, so this shouldn't be hard. I'm telling you, this is worth making a couple phone calls today.