Tommy Pick is a blues guitarist and a record producer. He has been playing the guitar for more than 25 years and has produced albums for several blues bands. Tommy enjoys writing about the history of blues music and advanced guitar techniques.
Hey there, fellow guitarist! So, you've mastered some basic chords and you're wondering what to tackle next on your guitar journey. Well, fear not, because I've got some great suggestions for you.
Once you've got those basic chords down, it's time to start expanding your musical horizons. Here are a few areas you can focus on to take your guitar playing to the next level:
1. Strumming Patterns: Now that you're comfortable with basic chords, it's time to spice up your strumming. Experiment with different strumming patterns to add rhythm and groove to your playing. Try incorporating techniques like palm muting, accenting certain beats, and adding dynamics to your strumming. This will make your playing sound more interesting and dynamic.
Strumming Patterns and Techniques
|Strumming Pattern||Technique||Effect on Sound||Difficulty Level|
|Down-Down-Up-Up-Down-Up||Basic Strumming||Creates a steady, rhythmic sound||Beginner|
|Down-Up-Down-Up-Down-Up||Palm Muting||Produces a 'muted' or 'muffled' sound effect||Intermediate|
|Down-Down-Up-Miss-Up-Down-Up||Accenting Beats||Emphasizes certain beats to create a dynamic rhythm||Intermediate|
|Down-Up-Miss-Up-Down-Up||Adding Dynamics||Changes the volume of certain strums to add depth to the rhythm||Advanced|
|Miss-Down-Up-Down-Up-Down-Up||Palm Muting & Accenting Beats||Combines muted sound with emphasized beats for a complex rhythm||Advanced|
2. Barre Chords: Barre chords are a game-changer for guitarists. They allow you to play chords all over the neck and give you access to a whole new world of possibilities. Start by learning the basic barre chord shapes, such as the F and Bm chords, and practice transitioning between them smoothly. As you get more comfortable, you can explore different variations and inversions of barre chords.
3. Fingerpicking: Fingerpicking is a beautiful technique that adds depth and complexity to your playing. Start by learning some simple fingerpicking patterns using your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Practice playing melodies and chords simultaneously, and gradually increase the complexity of your fingerpicking patterns. This technique is commonly used in folk, blues, and classical guitar styles.
4. Music Theory: Understanding music theory will greatly enhance your guitar playing. Learn about scales, intervals, and chord progressions. This knowledge will help you understand how songs are constructed and allow you to improvise and create your own music. Guitars Republic has some great articles on music theory that can help you get started.
5. Lead Guitar Techniques: If you're interested in playing solos and lead guitar, it's time to dive into some lead guitar techniques. Start by learning basic scales like the pentatonic scale, and practice playing simple melodies and licks. Focus on techniques like bending, vibrato, and sliding to add expression to your playing. As you progress, you can explore more advanced techniques like sweep picking and tapping.
6. Ear Training: Developing your ear is crucial for any musician. Train your ears to recognize different chords, intervals, and melodies by practicing ear training exercises. This will help you play by ear, improvise, and jam with other musicians more effectively.
Remember, learning guitar is a journey, and it's important to enjoy the process. Take your time, practice regularly, and be patient with yourself. Guitars Republic has a wealth of resources, including beginner and advanced lessons, tips, and guides, to help you along the way. Keep exploring, keep practicing, and keep rocking!