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How To Practice Effectively Part Five

Stephen Lindsay (442) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3




Here are some ideas for practising. You may have come across some of them before, and others may be new to you. I cant claim credit for all of them. Some are applications of things that I have read in guitar magazines, and some are adapted from things that have absolutely nothing to do with guitar playing. Some of them however are entirely my own ideas, and though I do not consider myself to be the most creative person, I do have my moments.

Give Yourself an Incentive

Former world champion snooker player Steve Davis used to have a kettle and tea pot by the table when he was practising. He wouldnt allow himself to boil the kettle until he had achieved a certain goal for his practising that day. Once achieved though, the cup of tea was made and he could sit back and enjoy it for a few minutes, before starting over again. Why not build your own incentives into your practice schedule?

Compose a Solo

Instead of endlessly jamming away over a backing track waiting for inspiration, why not try sitting back and composing a solo in your head, then try to replicate what you hear? You will find that much of what you produce doesnt conform to your minor pentatonic box patterns, but has greater variety and melodic content.

Some of my favourite guitar solos are without doubt composed or largely composed such as Gary Moores "Still Got the Blues" as is much of Joe Satrianis work.

Copy a Solo from another Instrument

There is some great music out there that is not played on guitar! Why not listen to some sax or piano and then try to copy it. One of the tunes that we used to do in our band was Deep Purples "Highway Star". You older rockers like me (ouch!) who know this tune will be aware that there is a guitar solo followed by Jon Lords organ solo. Now our band only had one guitarist (moi) and no keyboards. I set myself the challenge of trying to copy it. Working out what was being played presented no problems and it sounds very much like it was a composed solo (as is the guitar solo, if you dont know it check it out). Towards then end of the tune there is a lovely flurry of arpeggios that follows the chords and I had so sit down and think how I could make the guitar sound like that. I eventually worked out a series of right hand tapping that executed the arpeggios perfectly. I also learned a lot from his choice of notes and scales. Ive heard loads of bands cover this tune but they always missed out the organ bit. Not this time!!