B.C. Marks
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Add An Immediate Creative Spark to Your Guitar Playing

When you find yourself at this point in your playing, you'll most likely start thinking that you need to learn some new skill or technique to add "freshness" to your guitar playing. In all honesty, this approach might seem to work in the short term but what you'll find before too long is that you are doing the same things that you always play just in a new setting. The same boredom will return and you will find yourself stuck in the same place as you were before.

There is a choice that you have to make. You can choose to keep doing the same things over and over again- with the same exact end result or you can take the things that you already know how to do, apply them in different ways than you normally do and add instant freshness and variety to your guitar playing. The great thing is that is doesn't require you to learn anything new. 

Here are some possible examples for rhythm guitar playing:

Rhythm Guitar:   

  •  Different strumming patterns - Doesn't matter what they are as long as you play them in time
  •  Instead of strumming, picking the individual notes of the chord as a part of a pattern (Also know as an arpeggio)
  •  Using Rests (moments of complete quiet) in different spots than you might normally use them
  •  Different chord voicings (Also known as chord inversions)
  •  Using chords in place of others (Chord Substitution)
  •  Using a different bass note for chords to create a sense of movement

When you are practicing these techniques, use only the ones that you already know, even if you don't know them that well. You don't have to master any of these techniques in order to use them. As a matter of fact, being able to apply these techniques in a number of ways will lead to mastery of the techniques themselves.

As always, if you don't know how to do any of these things, contact a qualified guitar teacher in your area to help you.


Byron Marks   

About the author: Byron Marks is a teacher who gives guitar lessons in Manchester, NH . Byron is 100% committed to getting the best results for his students and helping them reach their musical goals. 

@pauljones   3 years ago
Hi Byron, great article! Just a question, when you say 'using a diiferent bass note for chords to create a sense of movement' do you mean like a bass pedal note you play chords over? Or reharmonization? Thanks!
Byron Marks
@bc-marks   3 years ago
Thank Paul. What I was talking about was holding the chord and moving the bass note to lead into the next chord. It could be considered reharmonization though.
@pauljones   3 years ago
Oh, I get it now. Will give that technique a try! Thanks!