- 10 Useful Tips To Become A Professional Guitarist
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- 1. A professional mental approach
- 2. Get out of your comfort zone music
- 3. The daily exercise
- 4. Continuous update on news
- 5. Equip yourself with professional instrumentation
- 6. Lessons with masters of clear fame
- 7. Being very versatile guitarists
- 8. Come into contact with the real musical environment
- 9. Take advantage of every little chance
- 10. Don’t give up… ever!
10 Useful Tips To Become A Professional Guitarist
Some people start playing the guitar out of passion, some out of curiosity, some to find a fun outlet in their daily routine, and then there are them, the aspiring professionals: those who have always wanted to be able to play the guitar one day in big concerts, those who have only the six strings in their head, who spend hours, hours and hours practicing and continuously perfecting themselves.
We don’t know if, among you who are reading, there is someone who really wants to be a professional guitarist in life: if the answer is yes, we can only tell you that it is a road at the same time challenging, difficult and wonderful. In this article, there are 10 useful tips to become a professional guitarist.
It will require commitment, perseverance, talent and, of course, a lot of luck: whatever your dreams are, we can’t promise you anything more.
One thing, however, we can do and today we will dedicate ourselves to those who have this goal:
Do you really want to go pro?
Do you really believe that?
Then start by following these 10 dispassionate tips: it’s just a start, but you’ll see that if you put these guidelines into practice, the road will certainly be downhill!
1. A professional mental approach
Just as for athletes, sportsmen, footballers, to become professional guitarists the head is an indispensable element.
You are no longer the ones who go to the amateur game on Sunday morning after getting drunk off your ass on Saturday night, now you have to go to bed early, concentrate, be 100% there because you are aiming to play in Serie A and the competition risks being absolutely ruthless.
It’s useless to deny it or go around it: the guitar has to become your reason for living.
You have to think about that, focus only on that, but everything else in the background because, hell, you want to become professionals!
Your head is all projected on those six strings, which have become one of the fundamental parts of your existence.
Without the right determination and mentality, it will be almost impossible for you to achieve your goal.
2. Get out of your comfort zone music
Many of those who dedicate themselves to the guitar for passion, they do it playing the genre they like the most: hard rock, punk, heavy metal… And they do very well!
You, however, you can start to forget this: you are no longer part of this group of people, now you want to live and eat every day thanks to your instrument!
We know very well, the musician’s life is very hard and, unfortunately, very often you have to make compromises and play something that is not really good.
In short, it is absolutely essential to get out of your musical comfort zone.
You absolutely can’t think of being a professional and at the same time playing all day long what you like or what makes you feel good unless it coincides precisely with what the market is asking for at that moment, although we can safely guarantee that in 99% of cases it is not so.
You have to “hold your nose” a bit and make a good face to bad game: you go where there’s a chance to get paid, where there’s a chance to make a profit, even where this doesn’t exactly match your musical tastes and you always put 100% of your effort into it.
Only if you understand this very important step, you can continue to stay on the road to professionalism!
3. The daily exercise
And, closely linked to the point we have seen before, comes also the number 2 advice, certainly very important: the daily exercise.
You have to hold the guitar in your hand for several hours a day, without ever detaching it.
An extremely famous Italian guitarist, who in the 80s received two awards for best European guitarist, said this: “In those years, I had a great desire to prove to others, but especially to myself that I could become really very good. I remember that I had a guitar in my hand all day long, I even took it to the bathroom”.
This is exactly the approach you have to have if you really aim at professionalism: to find out about songs you can play with the guitar, to expand your music library, which should be as open and updated as possible and then endless scales, arpeggios and technical exercises to improve the fluency and speed of your hands.
Just like when you join the gym, and you have a precise program to follow on a daily basis, this is exactly what you will have to do with your guitar: it will take determination, commitment and a lot, a lot of constancy.
4. Continuous update on news
In a world that goes at 3000 km per hour and changes at a speed that is often monstrous and bewildering, every sector is constantly evolving and those who are part of it constantly need to keep up to date.
Obviously, music is no exception: there are a lot of technologies, instruments, new computer programs that need a deep and continuous study.
If your goal is really to become a professional, you absolutely cannot stay behind: on the contrary, you will always have to be on the piece, receptive and ready to the continuous evolution of the musical and guitar world.
5. Equip yourself with professional instrumentation
Have you ever seen a Serie A footballer with a bad pair of shoes?
Or a skier competing in the world championships, skiing with second-hand equipment on his feet?
Or if your plumber came to your house after you paid him handsomely and used unsuitable tools to do the job, what would you say?
You, at this moment, want to make a leap: you have decided to become a professional in the trade, this means being paid (much or little, it doesn’t matter at the moment) and therefore the number one goal you must have in mind is to offer the highest possible quality to those who invest in you.
Of course, we know what you’re thinking right now: holy crap, a professional tool costs a lot of money!
Yeah, we know it, that’s right: after all, however, you are no longer the ones who go to play with friends on Friday night with 5-6 beers, now you are professionals.
It’s about investing in yourselves: do you believe it or not? Do you really believe that you are the ones chosen to make music your daily bread?
The classic phrase, classic cliché: if you don’t believe it, no one will do it for you.
However, words alone are not enough, you need concrete facts, tangible acts: well, this is just a first, fundamental, step.
6. Lessons with masters of clear fame
We don’t need all the guitar teachers in the world, obviously, we are not making any kind of rankings and we don’t want to discriminate of any kind either, but, as in all fields of life, there are unquestionably guitarists with different curricula compared to others: we are referring, for example, to all those professionals who have, and continue to have, experience on very important stages, alongside very famous artists, or who can boast a decades-long experience of professional guitarist, with recordings in records that have made the history of music or even contributed to writing part of those songs!
Many of them, in addition to playing, hold internships, private lessons and have a lot to offer to those who aim to become a professional guitarist: some may not be the best from a technical point of view, but there would be a lot to learn even just by listening to them, hearing them tell all that, over the years, they have seen and lived in recording studios and on the most important stages in the world.
7. Being very versatile guitarists
We have already dedicated space to this point in several previous articles: it’s really very important, especially if your goal is to be a professional guitarist.
In our days, the real guitarist is the one who can easily range from one musical genre to another, succeeding in being effective in electric, but at the same time also has a great touch on the acoustic guitar.
There are really many guitarists, even among the most important ones, born perhaps under the sign of a certain type of guitar, who for professionalism and completeness have decided to deepen another way of dealing with the six strings.
This, too, is undoubtedly part of the professional mentality we talked about before: that’s why, if you’re a big rock fan, you’ve never picked up an acoustic guitar but you want to be a professional, you have a gap that you have to remedy immediately!
In the same way, if you’ve always dedicated yourself only to accompaniment, with chords and rhythm as much as I can, but you don’t even know where to start managing an electric guitar effects pedalboard and you’ve never played a solo in your life, do something to recover as soon as possible!
8. Come into contact with the real musical environment
And here, guys, we enter a sphere of difficult reading and complex personal and interpersonal dynamics: until now, we have talked, rightly, about technical, mental, character qualities such as perseverance, determination, will, but there is no doubt that probably the most important role of all plays the good old healthy … ass!
Life goes like this, what can we do about it? We can practice every day, we can be the best, the strongest, the most technical, but without that bit of good luck on your side, difficult you can go a long way.
The musical world is based a lot, if not a lot, also on knowledge, on connections: I know a guy who knows another guy, who maybe gets me that job.
For this reason, an absolutely indispensable thing is that of being able to enter a minimum in the so-called “tour”, in the musical environment frequented by managers, singers, promoters and whoever has more, more or less.
Here are indications, unfortunately, have to stop: there is no unique and universal way to do it, everyone can and must find his own, always keeping in mind that without the right connections it will be very difficult to be professional guitarists in life.
9. Take advantage of every little chance
You have to be like those forwards who, in the penalty area, are always ready to throw themselves on all the loose balls: take advantage of every little chance, every occasion when there will be a chance to perform and be seen.
And patience if sometimes, in the early stages, you don’t get paid: unfortunately, it’s hard in all trades.
It will be necessary to make sure that your name circulates, between insiders and outsiders, perhaps even taking advantage of the powerful instrument that represent, nowadays, social networks: in a few words, as we know it is not at all simple, you will have to manage to become the promoter of yourself, creating a circle, even a small one, of people who can become fond of you and your guitar art, posting video content with a certain frequency in which you show off your skills on the instrument.
Yes, it will be hard and difficult, and it will take a lot of determination, but it is also an indispensable step to reach your goal which, believe us, can be within your reach.
10. Don’t give up… ever!
And finally, a great classic, the cliché of clichés, but think about it for a moment…
How the hell is that true? How many times in life have things changed for us in an unhoped-for way, unpronounceable only until one day before?
The road will be hard, impassable, but the thing that perhaps counts more than anything else said so far is to always be there, waiting, waiting for the right opportunity, believe us, sooner or later it will come.
The list we have made so far will completely lose its meaning if you let yourselves be shot down, if you make sure you don’t give yourself a chance again, again and again, until you almost can’t, until you almost laugh about it.
It will be just when you are tired and waiting, maybe just out of habit, that something will happen that could really change your life.