8 Ways to Challenge Yourself and Discover New Territory on Guitar

Photo of author

By Guitar Pick Reviews

Although playing the guitar is a fun and rewarding activity, it is easy to get stuck playing the same chords and songs. There are many ways to stretch yourself and explore new ground on the guitar. 

This article discusses eight strategies that will enable you to step outside of your comfort zone. These eight strategies will broaden your musical horizons.

There is something for every guitarist who wants to advance their playing, from refining chord transitions to transcribing music from other instruments. Also trying out new chord progressions and honing scales are among them.

Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash

1. Refine the Changes 

This is the process of enhancing the transitions between chords while playing a song.

To achieve this, it’s vital to isolate the transitions that are troubling you and practice them. 

Another method is to play a song at a slower tempo. While doing that, you work up to the original tempo as you practice chord progressions within the context of the song. 

As you improve, up the tempo until you can play the song.

2. Using a Different Instrument to Transcribe 

Copying a melody or solo from another instrument is a great way for guitarists to learn and practice new techniques. This will help improve their ear training and increase their musical vocabulary. 

Start your transcription with a solo or piece of music that is clear-cut and simple to understand. To figure out the key and scale, listen to the song in small segments and try playing each phrase on the guitar. 

See also  7 Tips to Play Barre Chords and Make Them Sound Great

It’s vital to remember that transcription is a skill that demands perseverance and practice and to keep improving your skills. 

You can improve your playing and create original music by learning new techniques. You can also learn musical ideas from playing other instruments.

3. Go at Random 

The ability to play the guitar “randomly” is a fun and engaging way to challenge yourself and generate fresh musical concepts. 

Try out different chords and chord progressions if you want to be completely arbitrary. 

A simple chord progression or a backing track is also a suitable surface for improvisation. 

You can test out various scales, modes, and playing styles while performing melodies and solos that you normally wouldn’t play.  

Remember that playing at random can be difficult and uncomfortable at first. You should persevere in experimenting and improving your guitar skills until you find your own unique style and sound.

4. Exercise scales

Scale practice is an essential technique for guitarists to improve their finger dexterity. This also enhances their learning of speed, and accuracy, as well as their understanding of music theory. 

Start by mastering the fundamental major and minor scales, which are made up of seven notes played in a particular order. 

After mastering simpler scales, advance to more complex ones like the pentatonic, blues, and harmonic minor scales. 

As you become more accustomed to the sound of various scales, practicing scales can aid in the development of your ear-training abilities.  It will also increase your finger dexterity and speed.

5. Remake a Well-Known Song

A great way to test your guitar skills and learn new ways to play well-known songs is to recast them. It entails altering the song’s key, tempo, chord progression, or style. 

See also  How to Play Harmonica and Guitar at the Same Time

Start by selecting a well-known song that you enjoy playing, then experiment with altering the key or tempo. Try playing the song with a different set of chords. 

Substitute chords to create a different harmonic structure and experiment with various chord progressions. 

You can play a rock song as a jazz tune or vice versa to change the style. This will enable you to experiment with various playing methods and styles. It also increases your guitar-playing versatility.

6. Comply with the form

The art of playing in the form involves practicing paying close attention to a song’s structure and how its various sections fit together. 

Start by paying close attention to the song and recognizing its various sections to determine how to proceed. 

When you fully grasp the song’s structure, try playing along with the backing track or recording.  Pay attention to how each verse transitions into the next. 

Your ability to play with other musicians will also improve as a result of developing a better sense of timing and phrasing. 

By foreseeing where chord changes and other musical components will occur.  Then, using that knowledge to produce more interesting and effective solos can aid in improvisation.

7. Practice Sessions

Do this when you want to improve your melodic and chordal playing as well as your understanding of music theory. 

Learn and practice the basic interval patterns, such as seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, and sevenths. Practice these in various fretboard positions. 

Examine more complicated interval patterns, such as compound intervals and altered intervals, as you grow more accustomed to these fundamental intervals. 

See also  Economy Picking Basics: Play Fast, Faster

To create more complex melodies and harmonies, one can use these advanced interval patterns. 

Also, use tools that can help you challenge yourself and explore new musical territories: collaborate with other musicians, use guitar effect pedals, GarageBand, Backtracks, and online guitar lessons.

Your ability to understand and enjoy the music you’re playing may also improve thanks to interval recognition.

8. Circulate a Melody on the Fingerboard

This is a great way to challenge yourself while playing the guitar.  It will also improve your knowledge of how various notes and chords interact.

Start with a straightforward melody and experiment with various picking and fingering techniques. Pay attention to how the notes and chords work together. 

Be conscious of how different finger or position combinations result in various timbres or harmonies. 

Improve your familiarity with the fretboard and your ability to play more difficult and complex pieces of music. This is done by playing the melody in various positions and with various fingerings.

Conclusion

There are many methods and exercises that can be helpful if you want to challenge yourself as a guitarist and broaden your musical horizons. 

Enhancing chord transitions, copying music from other instruments, experimenting with new chord progressions, honing scales, and playing at random are a few of these. 

These strategies are rewarding and can aid in the development of your own distinctive playing style.  However, they need patience, practice, and an open mind. 

Try incorporating these strategies into your practice routine. Whether you are a novice or an advanced player, see how they can help elevate your playing.