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How to Get Better at Electric Guitar

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Who else wants to learn how to get better at electric guitar?

Think about learning how to get better at electric guitar.

It can be challenging to figure out how if you’ve never done it before.

Plus, it can feel difficult when you see other guitarists and it seems like they got where they are without any effort.

The result?

You never get better at electric guitar because you never start.

Today we’ll look at how to get better at electric guitar in ways that are easy and straightforward.

Check it out!

  1. Decide What Better Means
  2. Define a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
  3. Have a Plan
  4. Think About Using Resources or Getting a Teacher
  5. Practice What needs to be practiced

Decide What “Better” Means

Image by Niklas Ernst from Pixabay

It’s important to ask yourself what you mean by being “better” at electric guitar.

Let’s say you want to play country music, but you spend a lot of time working on your picking speed.

Are you better at electric guitar?

Absolutely yes, but you would probably be happier if you’d spent that time learning 2 or 3 simple country songs.

Additionally, if you spend a week learning the chords to a simple song, you’ve gotten better at electric guitar.

But if your dream is to be a shred machine, you would be closer to realizing that dream if you’d spent that time working on playing a lead instead.

Deciding to get better at electric guitar is a great goal.

The problem is, how do you know when you’ve gotten better?

If you’re focusing on learning the wrong thing, you’ll be better at playing electric guitar overall.

But you may not be any closer to being the guitarist you really want to be.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what being better means.

Define a S.M.A.R.T. Goal

Image by White Bull Films from Pixabay

Once you have an idea of what “better” means for you, you can now set a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

This means you start by setting a specific goal, for instance learning to play a new song.

Next, you make sure it’s measurable so you can track your progress.

A good example would be measuring your picking speed every week.

You also want to make sure your goal is achievable.

If you set a goal to be able to play “Eruption” flawlessly in a month but you’ve never played the guitar before, that’s not achievable.

Relevant means it’s somehow related to what you ultimately want to achieve.

If you want to get better at shredding, you shouldn’t set a goal to improve your fingerpicking.

Finally, you need to make sure your goal is time-bound by giving yourself a deadline.

If you set a S.M.A.R.T. goal to get better at electric guitar, it’ll help you track your progress and ensure you get better at electric guitar.

Have a Plan

Image by Adam Betlejewski from Pixabay

If you want to get better at electric guitar, it’s important to have a plan.

If you know that every day after lunch you’re going to practice for 15 minutes you’ll get miles farther than someone who decides to practice “when they have time.”

Even more important, have a plan for the days when you miss practicing.

Life happens, and at some point, you’re going to miss a day or two of practice.

What are you going to do to get back on track?

Maybe you could practice first thing in the morning or practice on your lunch break.

The most important thing is to think about these things and have a plan ready.

It’ll also help to plan out what you’re going to practice beforehand.

For instance, if you want to learn a new song by the end of the month, you could break the song down into 4 sections and aim to learn each section by the end of the week.

Be flexible in your planning and don’t be afraid to change your plan if things aren’t working out.

Think About Using Resources or Getting a Teacher

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

If you’ve decided to get better at electric guitar, it can really help to use resources like instructional videos or even getting a guitar teacher.

Instructional programs like Michael Angelo Batio’s Speed Kills course are an excellent resource for anyone looking to get better at electric guitar.

A quick search on youtube will result in a lot of different videos that will cover almost anything you want to learn.

You can even find books like Teach Yourself to Play Guitar that will help you to get better at electric guitar in a simple and straightforward way.

Additionally, you can get a guitar teacher.

Having a guitar teacher can help you to make fast progress since they can help you to focus on what you want to learn.

They can help you by pointing out what you’re doing wrong and exactly how to learn what you’re after.

Ultimately, you don’t absolutely need a teacher but if you want to learn to play electric guitar “properly” or you want to make faster progress, having a teacher can really help.

Practice What Needs to be Practiced

Image by İbrahim Özkadir from Pixabay

Getting better at electric guitar will be easier if you focus on practicing the things you’re having trouble with.

It can be disheartening to struggle to learn something.

Often guitarists will spend time practicing things they’re already good at.

They’d be much better off practicing the things they’re struggling with.

For instance, if you’re having trouble playing with your pinky, practicing playing with your pinky for a few minutes each day is going to help you make progress.

If playing chords is easy for you, practicing playing the same chords isn’t going to help you make much progress.

Remember, there’s no need to overwhelm yourself.

You’ll have the easiest time if you break things down into small pieces and practice each part separately until you’ve got it down.

If you’re working on increasing your picking speed, don’t try to get to 280 bpm right away.

Start with whatever speed you can pick comfortably at and shoot for improving that 5%.

Before you’ll know it, you’ll hit 280bpm.

FAQ

  • How can I improve my electric guitar skills?
    • The first thing is to decide what skills you want to improve. Then, practice one skill for 5 minutes each day. Repeat with the next skill.
  • How long does it take to get good at electric guitar?
    • It depends on what you mean by “good.” If you practice for 30 minutes every day, in about 3 months you will see some major improvements. If you keep it up, by 6 months you’ll be a better player than average.
  • How can I become a better guitarist fast?
    • Practice every single day, and limit your practice time. If you fall into the trap of thinking that more practice time = faster progress, you could end up with hand cramps and stop playing altogether. Practice only one or two things until you master them, and then move on to the next thing. If you’re and adult, see this post.
  • How do I know if I’m good at guitar?
    • It’s hard to judge yourself, especially when you compare yourself to other guitarists. Think of it this way: If you can play one or two songs on the guitar, you’re better at guitar than 100% of the people who can’t play the guitar at all.
  • Why am I so clumsy on the guitar?
    • You’ve got to build muscle memory. Learning guitar means your brain and your body are finding new ways to communicate and it’s normal that you’d feel clumsy. If you keep practicing and give it time, you’ll eventually get to the point where you feel natural and graceful playing the guitar.
  • Can you practice guitar too much?
    • Yes, but only at the beginning. If you practice for too long when you’re starting, you’ll get hand cramps and pull a muscle in your hand. This means you’ll have to stop playing for a bit. Until you build up calluses on your fingers and strength in your hand, limit your practice time.