10 tips for guitarists

We asked session guitar player all round good guy Gaz Hutchinson for 10 tips for guitarists.

  1. Tune up!
    It doesn’t matter how nice the parts and tones are if you're not in tune! 
  2. Buy good gear
    It is better to have one really great guitar than 3 average ones. The same goes for amps, pedals, cables, strings etc. 
  3. Practice until you don't have to think
    Music is about expression, communication and feel. The more you practice, the more energy you will have to focus on these things rather than worrying about making mistakes.  
  4. Bring Spares
    It’s simple but having spare strings, leads, capo’s, picks, batteries and power supplies can save you a whole world of grief! Get a spares box and go fill it!
  5. Be Prepared
    Don't just do the minimum, be ready for the unexpected…..change key, take a solo, play the strings part. 
  6. Relax
    Playing with fear or anxiety is guaranteed to make everything sound forced and awkward, try and stay relaxed and enjoy yourself. 
  7. Think about tone
    Without a good tone all your hard work practicing is wasted, take care over every detail in the signal chain even down to the type of mic and it's placement on your amps.
  8. Listen
    Unless you are Joe Satriani you are not the main thing. Listen to what everyone is playing and craft parts which support the song.
  9. Find the space in the mix
    Try and avoid doing the same as someone else, if someone is playing chords try and find a nice melodic part that rather just doubling things up. If everything is covered don’t be afraid to not play for a while. It’s better to hold off until the right moment than risk spoiling a nice moment. 
  10. Ask for feedback
    One of the best ways too improve is to ask other musicians for their feedback on your playing, No one is so good that they don’t need other people to help them improve. 
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