Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Lessons to be learned

As I've previously said, I've been thinking about getting more guitar lessons. I found +Stuart Bahn on Google+ where he was posting some interesting articles and eventually realised that he's based not far from where I work in London. My first lesson was last night.

I told him that I want to improve my ability to solo in blues and rock. Whenever I try this I seem to just play cliches or get stuck in very linear patterns. I have tried learning more licks from various tutorials, but haven't done so well at applying them.

Stuart is taking me back to basics on really learning the minor/blues pentatonic scales in all positions and exploiting the extra notes and bends you can use. He did a good job of explaining the basic theory behind why certain notes sound good. I knew some of this, but he's filling some gaps. We went through some example licks to apply this, but he emphasised using variations of those for variety.

He also picked on up various issues with my technique. I expected this as I knew I had some bad habits. I need to work on all areas of picking, bending and muting. I generally just play my electric without plugging in, but he said I should use an amplifier or other effects so that I can more clearly hear where the issues are, e.g. other strings sounding when they shouldn't.

I've got a load of stuff to work on before my next lesson in a couple of weeks. I have been playing a fair bit anyway, but it was not generally focused on anything specific. I have been trying to use some books, but not sticking to a schedule. I will review those in the context of what I'm doing in the lessons.

Of course I need somewhere to apply all this learning. I'll look again at trying to get involved in some sort of jam at least.