A short overview of guitar techniques and basic music theory you should know if you have been playing the guitar for about five years. It is a guide for yourself to see where you are in your development in terms of guitarplaying. It can also serve as a guide for things you should be working on in case some gaps in your knowledge and skills.
Barrechords: E and A shape
Eventually you should be able to play any kind of barrechord. Get started with the open E and A shape since they are used regularly. You play an open E chord and use your first finger to barre the shape for playing it higher on the fretboard.
Similar for the A chord: Play an open A chord and barre the shape for any chords you want to use higher up the fretboard.
Make sure you do know where the rootnotes are in the open E and A chordshape, it will help you to find any chord of those shapes higher up the fretboard.
The Five Open Chords Shapes:
They are all the chords you have learned to play in the open position, they are C, G. D, A and E.
Make sure where the rootnotes in any of these chords are, and make sure you can play any of these chords in any sequence of any kind. Be able to strum and pick these chords without any stumbling. If you do struggle you will struggle with any chord beyond these five, open shapes so make sure you master them confidently.
Two Octave Major Scale Starting on A string:
Make sure you can use the scalepattern for various keys and make sure you understand the scalepattern. Instead of just playing the scale, make sure you can improvise with the notes, play melodic riffs and melodies which will go over chordsequences.
One Minor Pentatonic Scale Pattern:
There are Five patterns for the Minor Pentatonic Scale (the Scale contains five notes, five different ways to start the scale, hence five patterns) but make sure you can play one and can use it in any key. Make sure you do understand how the pentatonic scale works and how it fits into your solos.
Using a Capo:
Be able to use the Capo to transpose any of the open chordshapes into any key you need for your songs. A Capo can do more than just this, but it is a place to get started so make sure you know how to use it well.
Alternate Picking For Single String Notes Using a Plectrum or Fingers:
Basically this is just up and down picking of single notes used in melodies, riffs or solos. Make sure your picking is clean. If you use your fingers use your thumb and first finger to alternate the picking, similar idea as using the plectrum but now by using your fingers.
Hammer Ons and Pull-Offs:
This technique will give your playing a legato and smooth sound. Make sure you can use it on all your strings at any time for when you play any single notes such as in melodies, riffs and solos.
As you can see the list is only short and serves as a guide, you can make it longer if you want or just use it as a checklist for your own skills. The aim is to iron out any gaps you have in your musical knowledge and guitar technique to improve a smooth progression to the next level of playing and making music.
Enjoy your playing and hope to catch you soon again,