Here are 3 solutions (out of many) on practicing the guitar effectively
- Use your imagination
- Change your mindset
- Plan carefully
How to write a song on guitar that will sound more original and unique? Try the following approach!
When I learned how to play guitar, my teacher gave me many pages with diagrams of chords and scales that I was supposed to memorise. It’s interesting how learning music can be so visual, and at least some of these shapes had symmetry which was easier to remember. But I didn’t feel inspired, so I thought can I come up with my own shapes?
I started playing with triangles, squares, and other forms. Some sounded great and others were a bit weird and different. I liked the odd ones, which felt like exciting and unpredictable discoveries. Initially, I used it for creating interesting melodies, and then tried to create chord shapes as well.
The starting point is to simply place the fingers on the fretboard and to create a certain shape. It can be similar to a chord or it can be a more complicated shape. Now play it and try to hear where it wants to go, or where it can go. Then, move that shape right-left-up-down-diagonally, and listen to the interactions while disregarding any “normal” chord shapes you may want to play as a force of habit.
In standard tuning, playing on different strings results in different combinations of sounds. It’s like the shape is shifting although it remains the same. Once you find a reasonable shape progression, do more experimentation to explore what else you can do with it. For example:
These are just a few common variations we can think of in music. But if you go back to thinking visually, any shape can also be flipped and rotated. So if we alter that shape in some way, it will sound completely different. However, since it originated from the same form, it will bear some relation to the first shape. So this can be a cool idea for a B part.
Again, it won’t sound the same on all strings, and surprises (nice or unpleasant) will occur. So if something sounds too weird, it’s okay to slightly adapt the shape. After all, it’s music, not graphic design… Although limiting ourselves can be more fun.
This is just one way to compose music through visual experimentation and improvisation. Can you use this approach to compose music? Can you think of more cool visual approaches to write music? I’ve just opened a safe space where you can share your thoughts and attempts with a mission to enhance creative thinking on the guitar and to inspire others and to get inspired. Sign up for FREE here: https://creativeguitar.college/unlock-your-guitar-creativity/ and share your attempt there!
Here’s my attempt:
Did this article helped you with how to write a song on guitar? Comment below and share it if you’ve found it useful.
No. Piano is much easier than guitar for beginners. For playing piano, you only need to press down on the keys with one hand, and you can already produce clear sounds. With guitar you need to learn right and left hands coordination, which takes more time.
Yes! Any age is suitable for learning guitar. 40 is actually a great age to start learning guitar because you probably have more time, or at least more control over your schedule. Also, it’s important to keep our brains active, and learning a new skill that can also enhance your creativity is a great idea.
1 hour. Yes, from my own experience as a guitar teacher, in one lesson that lasts one hour you can already learn how to play a whole song, a few chords, a scale and a simple strumming pattern. Then, it’s up to you to decide how much more time you’d like to invest in it, in order to get better at playing guitar.
None. As a beginner, you don’t need any accessories apart from having a guitar to practice on. Tuners and metronomes can be found online or as a free app. Picks (or plectrums) are not mandatory, a strap is not a must. Later, as your guitar playing advances, you can purchase accessories depending on your genre and style.
Hope you found this post useful! Do you have more pressing questions? Send them over and I’ll post my answers!
Should there be a minimum wage for musicians? Sure! But should it be equivalent to the national minimum wage? I’ll try to answer this in the following post.
As I was browsing the latest job opportunities in a certain website for professional musicians, I encountered a Guitarist Wanted ad. Great, I thought to myself, let’s check it out… Wait, what is this figure, £8.21? Oh, the hourly rate. Right.
Where did this weird sequence of digits come from? A quick check and voila – it’s the national minimum wage. OK… Apparently the government raised it from £7.83 last April. Hurrah! This country really values its workers…
So as a musician who spent hours on learning, practising, recording, performing, touring… Not to mention the thousands of pounds on guitars, gear, necessary accessories, studios, guitar teachers, degrees, diplomas, certificates… After all that, I get the same wage as when I was working in a fast food chain during my secondary school years?
Well, one could argue that they probably adverted to the less experienced musicians who want to make a name for themselves, gain experience and bulk up their CV. In addition, the gig does sound really cool and the total sum (after 160 working hours) seems decent. And I’m sure that many have already applied. But those who applied, didn’t they also spend hours on honing their skills? Didn’t they also spend money on guitars, gear, lessons…? After all, the job requires someone who has experience and is “credible, versatile, an emerging individual with recognisable credits.”
Perhaps the employer has got it right? The economy is not great, Brexit, anyone can play guitar, musicians are a plenty and there is more supply than demand. And maybe the employer doesn’t have a choice? Low budget, small company, volunteer-based, charity. (Don’t get me started on when musicians are expected to work for free and even pay to play themselves).
My answer? In addition to the expertise I mentioned above, which I believe should have more value, we need to take the circumstances into account as well. This ad is not for a permanent job. There’s no pension, no holidays, no sick days, no benefits… It’s just a short-term contract that will leave you in the same situation afterwards plus some cash for the few weeks to come and a credit for your resume. And yes, musicians are usually self-employed. It means that they need to pay their own taxes, their pensions, their sick pay, travel expenses…
In conclusion, professional and experienced musicians and guitarists should earn at least 5 times the minimum wage. So this opportunity isn’t very appealing.
First of all, I’ve sent a link of this rant post as my “application” for this role, so maybe they could rethink their terms.
Second, the world needs music but with continuous exploitation of musicians the quality degenerates inevitably.
Third, I don’t know. I’m just ranting. Maybe professional musicians should unite and rant all together to make a difference? Oh wait, there is already an organisation called The Musicians Union. Surely its aim is to help musicians, but how much does it charge its members? £221 per year (although they are now offering £1 for 6 months for new members). Should we pay a union to help us get paid better? Isn’t it ironic…? Although their best feature is their Getting Paid section which is free.
Fourth, this case is actually better than other jobs I saw on the same website that require guitarists and musicians to play for free. All of these advertisers should publish their “opportunities” under the following title: Amateur Guitarists/Musicians needed. Otherwise, it’s just insulting.
What do you think about this matter? Comment below!
Guitar lessons gift certificate is a great gift for any occasion. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or just because you’d like to give the gift of music to your special someone. You’re not just buying them a present. You’re giving a gift for life – the ability to play music.
Whether you purchase one introductory lesson or several, in each guitar lesson I will provide the basic knowledge and techniques to play a tune, if they are beginners. It could be a few chords and a simple strumming pattern to an easy song, or a song of their choice. And if they have had lessons in the past, this is a great way to reignite their love of playing guitar.
It’s simple. Just choose how many lessons you’d like to purchase for the certificate in the drop-down menu (each lesson costs £40 and lasts for 1/2 hour), and checkout via PayPal. Upon receiving the payment, I will then send you an email with a printable gift certificate file (look at the sample below. So you can either send it as a digital gift or print it out.
Once the recipients receive the gift certificate, they can then contact me to arrange a convenient time to hold the lesson/s. Guitar lessons take place online on Fridays sessions via Zoom (or via Skype/FaceTime, and any other similar digital platform).
Gift Certificate: 1/2 hour online guitar lesson (choose quantity of lessons):
Guitar lessons gift certificate sample
Here’s the latest review. Read more reviews about my guitar lessons on google map.
It has been wonderful having Udi as a guitar teacher. Each lesson is a stimulating mix between learning classical and contemporary guitar pieces. Udi integrates music theory as part of the lesson in an easy and digestible way such that I not only enjoy what I am playing but also understand it. He has helped to open the world of music to me and given me a much greater appreciation and love for it! I can highly recommend Udi to any adult learner.
The new film A Star is Born begins with the perfect energy; The atmosphere is charged with excitement. The camera follows the band members as they take the stage. The guitars and drums start to roar. It’s definitely one of the greatest opening scenes for guitar and rock lovers. But then we see Bradley Cooper air-guitaring the solo…
Cooper (the director and lead actor) acts well, has all the right rocker moves down and uses believable guitarist gestures. But alas – his fingers are not synchronised with the sound. In films, sometimes actors do in fact play their own instrument while shooting a scene but the editor might use different takes which could mismatch the visuals to sound. However, in one of his interviews, Cooper revealed that indeed it wasn’t him playing in the film. Although he sang and recorded all the songs live (and did it well), the guitars were played by Lukas Nelson (the son of Willie Nelson).
In other parts of the film, it is obvious/clear that Cooper does know what he is doing when he holds the correct chords and changes them at the right time. One article mentioned that Cooper learned guitar for 18 months in order to prepare for the part. He may well have, but the opening scene with its unconvincing guitar solo tells a different story.
After teaching hundreds of students, I can attest that playing guitar and even guitar solos isn’t such a difficult task for most people, if they apply themselves. I believe that any beginner is able to play this opening scene’s solo after taking guitar lessons consistently (weekly) for a few months. And I’m willing to bet on it 🙂
He wrote music, he sang live – the picture could’ve been complete if only he had taken on the guitar playing. There are many actors and directors who do play guitar in Hollywood and beyond (I taught a few myself). I know it’s not my place to say, but theoretically other actors who are known as accomplished guitarists could have played the role more easily/believably. Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon, Russell Crowe, Steven Seagal, Jeff Bridges?
Maybe it’s not that important. But as a guitarist who knows that there are a lot of other guitarists who will watch this film, it doesn’t feel like there is a need to fake it.
Just play it.
*** Update (May 2019)
Since I’ve published this post, many people still ask:
Well, apparently it is a Gibson 1964 ES-345 Bigsby Mono Varitone Semi-Hollow. Colour: Olive Drab. If you want to purchase exactly the same guitar, that might be difficult. Unless Gibson will decide to reissue those guitars with Cooper’s signature? (I’ll take some shares for that idea Gibson, thank you). But you can find some variations of that model in different colours here on eBay.
Very proud of one of my most dedicated guitar students – Ricardo Antolin. In the course of the years we’ve worked on composition and improvisation and lately he began to combine the two in a great way.
In the following Soundcloud blog he is capturing moments of improvised compositions and uploading them online:
Best Halloween song – we did our best to write it… It was great fun to collaborate with singer-songwriter Daphne Sarnat on this cool Halloween song with 80’s inspired guitar riffs. It actually started as a conversation we had with the morning show in Absolute Radio. They were looking for contributors in the film industry and offered ourselves as film composer to their short horror Zombie movie.
Because horror songs like this one go well with tritone intervals and diminished chords I have used them extensively while composing it. Have a listen, share and buy for the great price of £0.666…
If you area guitarist and like the guitar riffs. Here’s the TAB and score for the intro so you can play them yourself:
Join the month-long #CreativeGuitarChallenge starting 1st March 2017.
Follow @udiguitar on Instagram to see the daily challenge theme and join in by posting your creative guitar challenge videos using the hashtag #CreativeGuitarChallenge
Open and FREE to all guitarists internationally. All levels, genres and guitar types welcome.
In need of inspiration? Want to get your creative juices flowing? Looking to broaden your musical horizons? Want to connect with other guitarists worldwide? Visit @udiguitar to inspire and get inspired.
A teaser for tomorrow’s #CreativeGuitarChallenge teaser…. Join the daily month-long #CreativeGuitarChallenge starting 1st March 2017. FREE and open to all guitarists worldwide. Visit Udiguitar.com for details – link in bio. #guitar #creativeguitar #guitarcreativity #guitar #guitars #guitarist #guitar🎸 #guitargram #guitargod #guitarlessons #guitarriff #guitardaily #guitarists #guitarsolo #guitarlife #creative #creativity #creativeminds #creativeart #creativeness #guitarcenter #inspiration #inspirational #inspired #daily_guitar_players #guitarshow #guitarstagram #guitarspotter
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Click on the photos to purchase them directly from amazon:
1a) Trinity College London – Aural Tests Book 1 – Initial Grade to Grade 5 (2017):
1b) Trinity College London – Aural Tests Book 2 – Grades 6 to 8 (2017):
2a) Trinity College London – Guitar & Plectrum Guitar Scales & Exercises – Initial Grade – Grade 5 (from 2016):
2b) Trinity College London – Guitar & Plectrum Guitar Scales, Arpeggios & Studies – Grades 6 to 8 (From 2016):
3) Trinity College London – Guitar Exam Pieces Grades – Initial to 8 (2016-2019):