How To Easily Learn The Fretboard On Guitar Without Memorizing Tons Of Notes
Playing awesome solos, licks and improvisations feels effortless when you learn how to fluently navigate the fretboard on guitar. However, when you learn this in the same way most guitarists do it, you make everything much more difficult than it needs to be. Learning the fretboard is actually quite easy when you learn it the right way.
Watch the video below to find out how to learn the fretboard on guitar the correct way:
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Ready to take what you’ve learned and play better solos?
Here are some additional ideas for you to integrate together with what you’ve learned to improve your lead guitar playing in no time:
The 3 Skills You Must Improve Upon To Play Awesome Guitar Solos
Playing killer guitar solos becomes easier and more fun than ever when you master the following three skills:
1. Train Yourself To Hear The Music In Your Mind
Your guitar solos sound great when you know in advance what notes to play on your guitar to produce the emotion you feel inside.
This eliminates any guessing on your part so you are always playing the right notes that express what you want.
Begin working on this by slowly playing the notes of a scale over a chord and focusing on the way they feel. Then work together with a guitar teacher to learn more about which notes create specific emotions and why.
2. Develop Better Lead Guitar Phrasing
Guitar phrasing means how you play the notes you use in your solos. Your guitar solos feel become a lot more creative when you actively practice squeezing tons of emotion out of every note you play.
Get started improving your phrasing by thinking of a short 3-5 note lick. Then simply try to make the first note of the lick sound amazing.
Use techniques like vibrato and bending to make it feel more intense. Play the lick over a few more times, and repeat this process for every other note. When you master this skill, you are able to make any number of notes sound amazing.
3. Work On Your Music Theory Knowledge
Playing awesome guitar solos becomes effortless when you know which notes fit the right key and how they feel emotionally. Understanding music theory makes it easy to navigate the fretboard to play the correct scales or arpeggios needed for the chords you're soloing over.
This helps you avoid the frustration and embarrassment of unintentionally playing out of key while improvising or soloing.
Once all three of these elements are working in unison (you are able to hear the music you want to play, understand what notes express what you want and your hands are able to play these notes), you begin playing creative solos that demand the attention of anyone who hears you.
How To Make Your Guitar Solos Sound Great Without Learning Tons Of New Licks
These 3 guitar soloing tips make your guitar solos better without having to learn lots of new licks to play:
1. Practice Creating Variations On A Single Lick
When you practice creating variations of a single guitar lick, you train yourself to:
- Play more creatively
- Think faster while improvising
- Improve your ability to express more with less
Creating variations simply means changing some of the notes in a lick slightly and varying the phrasing of how the notes are played.
Take any 3-5 note lick and improvise 10 variations of it by only changing the note rhythms of the last two notes. Then repeat this, except change the last 3 notes. Then try adding vibrato, slides or bends in different ways.
After practicing this for just 15-20 minutes a day for two weeks, your guitar soloing improves massively.
2. Giving Yourself More Time To Think
Don't make the mistake of constantly filling your guitar solos with as many notes as possible to cover up when you’ve run out of ideas.
There is nothing wrong with playing fast runs, arpeggios or other ideas that use many notes... however, the quality of your guitar solos goes way up when you give yourself more time to think. The further ahead you can think, the easier it is to play great solos that sound smooth and effortless.
Practice this by trying to think about what you want the next phrase in your solo to sound like while playing the current phrase. Try to get to the point to where you are able to think two phrases ahead.
3. Get More Out Of The String Bends You Do In Your Licks
Most guitarists only play string bends by quickly bending up and releasing the bend. Focus on using variety in your bends to make them more interesting and expressive. For example: prolong the release of a bend to massively increase the levels of drama and tension in a phrase.
The Three Guitar Playing Questions That Prevent You From Getting Better
Asking low-quality questions makes it very difficult to quickly improve your guitar skills.
Here are common questions to avoid in order to not lead your playing down the wrong road:
Question #1. “What guitar picks/strings should I use for fast playing?”
Fast guitar playing is the byproduct of perfect technique. This has nothing to do with the picks or strings you use. Want to become a faster guitarist very quickly?
Focus on improving your guitar technique with a great guitar teacher as your first priority.
Question #2. “How much time to practice each day?”
This question assumes that practice more is the key to getting better. Reality is, it’s the quality of your guitar practice that helps you get better, not the quantity.
You don't need to practice guitar for 5 hours every day to become a great player. This might even make it harder to get better on guitar.
Practicing for very long hours makes it easier to lose focus, practice mindlessly and become bored. This makes practicing guitar feel like a chore rather than something fun and satisfying.
Practicing for merely a half hour each day can easily help you achieve very big results in just a short amount of time.
When you practice in short bursts, you guarantee that you remain totally focused and do not waste time on things that won’t help you achieve your goals any faster.
Question #3. “How do I quickly think of new lead guitar licks for improvising?”
Knowing how to improvise great guitar licks is a skill that comes from training your musical creativity. Simply memorizing a bunch of new licks won’t help you improve in this area.
Make your lead guitar solos sound great while improvising by doing things like: improving your phrasing skills, getting better at thinking ahead to what you want to play next (while still playing your current phrase) and getting as much emotion as you can out of every single note.
When you are able to make just ONE note sound really great, it is no problem to make 1,000 notes sound great too. Focus on refining this skill right now if you haven’t already done so.
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