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July 03, 2014

How To Know Where To Play a Guitar Lick

Someone asked me how to count in a song, to know exactly where to start a lick. Truth is, you need to forget about counting. You need to always know where you are in the progression, but counting just doesn't work. You need to FEEL it. Perhaps that sounds vague, but that is the truth. You get the FEEL for it by listening over and over to tunes and solos, and to copy them as much as you can, and recording yourself playing those things. Then you listen back to your recording and find the flaws, and then you practice and record again!

Eventually, you'll start FEELING where things happen in the progression, and you'll know where the 1 is and which bar you are on. BUT, you have to spend plenty of time doing this. Don't give up, just keep at it and LISTEN to the band/backing track. Don't focus too much on your own playing, focus more on knowing WHERE you are in time (in the progression).

If you start a lick too early, so what. You just add on a few notes to make it end on the right spot. If you start it too late, just drop a few notes at the end of the lick, and make it fit in!

Be confident in yourself. Believe you can make it work, even if you screwed up a little. In blues, you can get away with murder, as long as you do it with confidence. People can tell when you are confident, so play it like you mean it.

There, I just saved you $975.75 worth of private guitar lessons. :)

For some, it can take years to develop the true understanding of this. Don't give up. Keep playing, keep enjoying it, and dig deep. The more time you spend on playing and practicing, the better you will become. You can do it.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on July 03, 2014

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