Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar

How to be a good guitarist

How to be a good guitarist?


There are a lot of pieces to that puzzle.  This is a major one.   What I’ve noticed over the years is that the players that have played with a lot of other players eventually develop a good sense of time.  Some players that only ever play solo can often end up a bit wobbly with their time.  So the bottom line is  DEVELOP a GOOD SENSE OF TIME, it doesn’t need to RIGID, but it does need to be solid but with a little flexibility.  A lot of players speed up, try to avoid this.  Practice with a drum machine or rhythm track, the more musical the drum machine is, the better.  Or use some sort of drum loop. Start working at a very slow tempo and gradually over a period of times learn to play faster.

If you really want to hear some great guitar accompaniment, listen to what Tony Rice did on Hot Dawg with David Grisman.  In fact one of the all time great acoustic solos is on a song called 16/16.

If you can keep good time, musicians will want to play with you, if you’re real clever, very flash and showy but can’t keep time, other musicians won’t bother working with you, there are a lot of good guitar players out there.  Timing is everything.



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7 thoughts on “How to be a good guitarist

  1. I know what you mean.

    Fortunately I grew up jamming with a heroin addict who played very slow music. =)

    Aside from shredding and what not, it’s more difficult to play slow than to a fast tempo.

  2. wow…lots of life lessons in that one.

    shredding is really just playing what you learned to play properly at a slow tempo, at a faster tempo.

    If you see a good band play watch their feet. I think the reason why people can’t play slow is because they aren’t feeling the time and don’t know how to let music breathe.

    If you watch a good speaker, notice how they use the space.

  3. “I think the reason why people can’t play slow is because they aren’t feeling the time and don’t know how to let music breathe.”

    Wise advice. Never thought of it that way. Thanks.

  4. Visited your site and saw the “EC outside woman blues video” – thought this could be my scene – Went out and got a used Tak..OM G series (I know its not a Martin but it sounds good and does a great job for me ) – then back to your site to copy the video – clic clic and God had disappeared – – OK guess I will have to work it out by myself – Now I am living the TK blues – I have become addicted to the tingling little beastie – a sad story with a happy ending
    Not everything you read in blogs is true but this one just might be…….? —Keep up the good work really appreciate your site !!!!

  5. Nigel

    Nice to hear the site is useful to you.

    Here’s the link again to Outside Woman Blues
    It’s one of my other sites.

    Re: Martin Guitar, the Martins are great but there are thousands of other guitars that are well made and musical and can enable a player to develop and create fantastic music. Often all they need is bit of a set up and a little time to work out what are the best strings to use, and sooner or later the personality of that guitar emerges and will have its own personality which is like no other instrument. I use 3 main acoustic guitars and each one of them inspires me differently.


  6. If you ever want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for four from five. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn msn to find the missed bits. Thanks, anyway!

    1. Thanks Liza for rating my article, I find it sort of funny though. I’ve done about 500 posts on acoustic guitar so to rate one post is a little unusual. If you’d like to look around at the other so many hundred posts, check out the whole blog and also another one of mine such as

      Thanks for dropping by


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