Jenny Riff is a jazz guitarist and a music therapist. She has a master's degree in Music Therapy and uses guitar in her therapy sessions. Jenny loves to explore the therapeutic effects of music and shares her insights with the Guitars Republic community.
Hey there, fellow guitar enthusiast! As an intermediate player, you've already mastered the basics and are ready to take your skills to the next level. So, what should you learn next? Well, I'm here to guide you through the exciting journey of advancing your guitar playing abilities.
One crucial aspect of becoming a well-rounded guitarist is expanding your repertoire of chords. While you may already be familiar with the common open chords like C, G, and D, it's time to dive deeper into the world of chord voicings. Experiment with barre chords, power chords, and jazz chords to add richness and complexity to your playing. These new chord shapes will give you the freedom to explore different genres and styles.
Pro tip: Don't forget to practice transitioning between chords smoothly. This will help you play songs more fluently and effortlessly.
Now, let's talk about scales. As an intermediate player, you should focus on learning and mastering scales such as the pentatonic, blues, and major scales. These scales will not only enhance your soloing skills but also improve your overall understanding of the fretboard. Practice these scales in different positions and experiment with different phrasing techniques to develop your own unique voice on the guitar.
Remember: Learning scales is not just about memorizing patterns. It's about internalizing the sound and feel of each scale, so you can express yourself freely and confidently.
Another essential skill to develop as an intermediate player is fingerpicking. Fingerstyle playing adds a whole new dimension to your guitar playing, allowing you to create intricate melodies, harmonies, and rhythms all by yourself. Start by learning basic fingerpicking patterns and gradually challenge yourself with more complex arrangements. Don't be afraid to explore different fingerpicking styles like classical, folk, or blues to find your own personal sound.
Pro tip: Practice fingerpicking exercises slowly and gradually increase your speed. Focus on accuracy and clarity of each note.
To truly advance as a guitarist, it's important to develop a solid understanding of music theory. This knowledge will enable you to communicate with other musicians, improvise confidently, and compose your own music. Dive into topics like chord construction, intervals, key signatures, and harmony. Understanding how music works will open up endless possibilities for your playing.
Remember: Music theory is not meant to restrict your creativity but to enhance it. It's like learning the grammar of a language, allowing you to express yourself more fluently.
Lastly, don't forget to keep challenging yourself by learning songs outside your comfort zone. Explore different genres, styles, and techniques. Push yourself to learn songs with complex rhythms, intricate solos, or unusual chord progressions. This will not only expand your musical horizons but also sharpen your skills and inspire new ideas.
So, my fellow intermediate player, embrace the journey of continuous growth and improvement. Dive into new chords, scales, fingerpicking, music theory, and challenging songs. Remember to practice regularly, stay patient, and most importantly, enjoy the process. The guitar is a lifelong companion, and there's always something new to discover. Keep strumming, keep learning, and keep rocking!