Playing along with music will improve your feel as you play along with experienced players. All you need to do is sit right in there with the recording. How do you do this? Just sit down and play you may say? Yes but there are a few things to think about if you are fairly new to this game.
For this article a handful of tips how you can get a better experience out of your “playing along” sessions.
Make Sure Your Are In Tune with the Recording:
In the days before the internet most guitar players actually learned to play the guitar by sitting down and working things out from records. This method of learning is a bit like sitting down with a master who will show you some of their playing tricks. Okay, but now there is internet so what is your point? Yes, well now you have all those chord sheets (and lyrics–heh check ’em again will you?—) in front of you, you still need to develop a feel for how to play the guitar. One way to pick up different feels is by playing along with recorded music.
Make sure you are in tune before you play along. Should not be much of a problem but older recordings are in strange keys such as Eb or C#. Most of this is because of the recording process, or simply because the guitarists preferred to tune down (as so many did during the 60s and 70s) Be aware of this before you play along and make sure your guitar is at the same pitch. All of this makes playing so much more fun.
Get the right Balance between your Guitar and the Recorded Sound:
What I really mean is: Do not turn your guitar (in case you play and electric) up too loud so you can no longer hear the details of the recording. Just get your guitar to sit in the mix of the record. Once you get it to sound as like you are playing on the actually recording you are in the ball park. The next step is to get your playing skills to a higher level so you can play from top to bottom along with the recording without making any mistakes.
Playing Your Own Solos Over the Recording:
Playing guitar solos is hard. You have hear this being mentioned before? Well, what about creating your own solos and to play them over existing recordings? This will guarantee you will enjoy playing that guitar night and day since all those lovely notes have found a place to live in.
The truth about guitar solos is: The better the backing is the better the solos will sound.
Get started by just playing a handful of notes and see how they fit in with your favourite recordings.
If you are an experienced player, copy the existing solos of the record and try playing them with a different feel. By doing so you will develop a better rhythmic feel for your single note playing.
Once you will get started with some of the above ideas you will soon get hooked, it will improve your playing very quickly, yes it will. All you need to do is to make sure you are playing the right thing which fits into the recording.
Have fun and hope to catch you soon again,