SLOW DOWN to Play Better Guitar!

Signs, signs, everywhere signs!
When I first started learning songs on the guitar, I wanted to play along with my favorite artists at the regular tempo. However, it was frustrating to not be able to keep up with all of the chord changes, especially if a song contained a guitar lick or riff. It's hard to stay motivated if you are not comfortable with new material!

What I've learned over the years is that it's important to *slow* down my playing and focus on completing small sections of a song first, before I move forward. For example, most songs contain a verse, chorus and bridge. Start with the verse and learn the chords used for this part of the song. Listen to it over and over at normal speed and then try and slowly play these chords on your guitar, ignoring any extras like vocals, strumming patterns, or note embellishments. Essentially, I try and strip down the song to it's basics and concentrate on this first.

Once I have a section of the song down, I'll move onto the next piece. Sometimes this is spread out over a few days or weeks, but I'll build off of each section and add the next one until I have it completed. Then, I'll play the complete song, slowly, all the way through. And once I'm feeling good about a slow version, I'll then go faster and eventually work my way up to playing along with the recording.

Go slow and remember that playing the guitar is a process. It takes time to improve, but with practice, your knowledge and understanding of the guitar will grow stronger. In time, it will become much easier to pickup new songs quickly, but this does not happen overnight.

So, my fellow guitarist, consider *SLOWING DOWN* to become a better player!

What do you think about slowing down your playing and breaking songs down into smaller pieces? Has this technique helped your guitar playing? Please share your feedback with us!

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