After you have cleared all of the hurdles presented to you as a novice, you are now ready to face more challenges in order to become an advanced guitar player. No matter how steep the climb, if you truly love your craft, a host of exciting possibilities await you in this new guitar adventure.
Transforming yourself into an advanced guitarist is a demanding task that requires more than just locking yourself inside a room to practice scales for weeks. You will also need to learn how to interact with other musicians and create something inspirational and memorable for music lovers and fellow guitar heads.
The greatest guitar players in history are among the reasons why you are motivated to acquire a higher level of skill. The expertise of our heroes goes beyond their flashy techniques and expensive gears and clearly, their long-lasting influence has impacted fans and aspiring musicians all over the globe.
How long does it take to become an advanced guitar player?
Any guitar program that claims that you can turn into a pro in a matter of days or weeks, is nothing but a scam. Getting better at any instrument will require years of diligent study and practice.
However, with the right amount of dedication and correct practice, you can accelerate your progress in guitar. Give more time to honing your craft instrument and you can break the barriers of your abilities much faster.
Don’t forget to incorporate a metronome in your daily practice sessions, as this can vastly improve your cadence and dexterity more efficiently.
How to go from intermediate to advance
There is no single formula to becoming a better guitarist, it will be a combination of various aspects that make up an accomplished musician. Focusing on the many facets of guitar playing can bring you to new heights in your guitar journey.
Widen your music knowledge
Knowledge of music history and the artists who turned guitar into a global phenomenon, can help you a lot in finding inspiration. Open your mind and ears to a vast universe of amazing guitarists, for they can give you valuable insight into what it takes to reach that level of playing.
Expand your grasp of music theory
- Reading and writing music
Learning how to read and write music can impact the way you can explore new knowledge. Whether you are studying exotic scales or consolidating your own ideas, understanding the written language of music can make everything more convenient for you in the future.
- Mastery of modes and scales
Expand your mental library of modes and scales to open you up to a myriad of possibilities. Music is a language and having a wider vocabulary is just like knowing more words to convey your thoughts and feelings. Only this time, we speak to one another using modes and scales on a guitar.
- Mastery of chords and progressions
Chords are one of the primary building blocks of music. Once you fully decode the relationship between chords and melodies, you are on your way to becoming a better overall musician who can learn songs by ear, as well as compose and arrange original material.
Develop advanced techniques
Using the music theory that you have picked up, you can translate those concepts by employing a variety of advanced guitar techniques. At first, you will struggle with painful blisters which will result from those finger-twisting exercises. Your sacrifices will all be worth it once the effects of your grueling guitar regimen start to manifest on your much-improved chops.
Here are a few examples of techniques that you can learn to become an advanced guitar player:
Still utilizing the alternate picking method, but this time at much higher tempos with extended scalar runs. You can also try going double time, using any of the scales that you have learned, as long as you keep things clear and skillfully carried out.
That beautiful cascading flow of notes that Joe Satriani loves implementing in his solos, is called the legato. This technique involves tying up multiple notes in one pluck, producing a smooth run of notes.
The secret to perfecting the legato technique is by strengthening your fretting fingers with hammer on and pull off exercises. Start slowly and gradually move your way, making sure that the volume and attack of your notes sound consistent.
Popularized by Eddie Van Halen in the 80s, tapping is useful in reaching notes that cannot be easily accessed by the fretting finger alone, in order to create extended scalar or arpeggio runs. Try to practice your tapping techniques without a distortion to make sure that your notes are coherent.
Using a sweeping motion with the pick, sweep picking enables guitar players like Yngwie Malmsteen to execute very fast arpeggio runs. Speed is the key in this technique and while it can be applied to any genre, swift flurries of arpeggios sound truly captivating in classical and baroque-inspired metal and progressive rock.
Ear training for all musicians
The best ear training is to sing. You can take up singing lessons, hog the microphone during karaoke night or simply practice vocalizing along with scales and chord tones. Having an accurate recognition of notes may not be the easiest skill to acquire in music, but once you accept that your guitar is just an extension of yourself, you will start to rely more on your inner and external voice.
Learn more challenging songs
Never stop pushing yourself and always aim to set milestones. Setting a higher bar for yourself by learning songs that are out of your comfort zone, is one of the best ways to become a more advanced guitar player.
Find your voice through improvisation
With an enriched trove of ideas, the next step would be to connect with other musicians and flesh out everything that you have studied in your laboratory. Remember that music is a give and take thing, so be generous in letting your jam mates shine, don’t hold back what you know as well and blow their minds with your awesome guitar licks.
Master your sound
Mastery of your guitar sound will rely on a combination of your consistent playing and a better understanding of your instrument and effects set-up, as well as various amplifiers.
Knowing how to record and mix your guitar is also a vital skill that you would want to add to your resume. An advanced guitar player should always know how to make his instrument sound great onstage and on a recording, even without the aid of a roadie or technician.
Compose your own songs
There are no shortcuts to becoming great, especially when it comes to playing musical instruments. It takes a lot of effort and patience to even just nail a one minute solo by one of your idols and when it comes to creating your own piece, it will take years, or even decades to compose an enduring hit.
Coming up with original material and pouring in everything you have learned, will show how advanced a guitar player you have become. After all, the greats who have come before you, let the world know how skilled they are through their immortal compositions.