short of smashing your guitar to smithereens(unless you're sponsored and get 5 new guitars a gig), do pretty much whatever you want to on it. for instance, they say don't just noodle in e minor pentatonic all day, but i have, and now i can play some seriously decent blues without even thinking about it. just play and do whatever you want. i don't know if it's true for everyone, but i know i have an internal drive to create and sound better than i do, and i let that be my guide. i guess if i only had 20 minutes a day to play, i might structure practice, but since i'm more limited by my own drive and physical endurance, i pretty much just work on stuff until i'm satisfied, bored, or give up in frustration until i can do it later.
i was once told to work on my "rhythm" by a guitarist i admired. it was meant as work on my rhythm guitar playing, but instead i took it to mean work on beats, syncopation, strum technique, that sort of thing. so i spent nearly a year just beating the crap out of my acoustic, pissed off and frustrated that he thought i couldn't keep a beat and determined to prove him wrong. it's funny in retrospect, but i have pulled off some stuff that's actually shocked me when i heard the playback. not to brag, but i honestly didn't realize i was doing what i was doing. now i mostly work on leads, but sometimes i remind myself to sweat out those grooves. coming up with original rhythms and cleaning up the slop.
also, people say stuff about quality over quantity, but i find that if i jam out on pretty much whatever i feel like for more than a few hours for three or four days, it's like i reach a whole new level of playing for the next few days after, where i feel all sorts of freedom and creativity. the world even looks brighter and everything seems less heavy. it's a great way to get rid of depression.
also, listen to a lot of music. listen to all sorts of styles. if there's music you hate or don't understand, listen to that until you understand why it was made. if it's boring or uncreative, let it go, but if it's just something that bugs you, there may be something to it that you're not aware of, and you're just angry at your own inability to understand it. if i hadn't given bob dylan or neutral milk hotel or this or that another chance, i'd have missed out on a lot.
but the more you learn, like it's been said, the more you see in front of you. i'd like to learn to write better, sing in something better than my monochromatic little voice, come up with more interestingly structured songs, work on melodies and harmonies, master the bass and drums (right now i'm pretty much stuck in one style on both, and that's basically what happens naturally and easily), slide guitar, alt tunings, two hand tapping, some classical, metal and jazz chord progressions i don't really get, and put out an album where i play all the instruments and sing. and most important of all, make a good living as a musician. screw jobs you don't feel any internal fire for.
Last edited by jason brann
on November 15th, 2008, 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
this is all just dreck.