Learning guitar can easily become overwhelming. We listen to someone who inspires us and we think “how can I sound like them? What do they have that I don’t?” There’s a slew of subjects that we can study: chord voicings, scales, fretboard memorization, music literacy, rhythmic exercises, etc. But instead of overwhelming ourselves, let’s focus on one passage of one song. If our goal is to play like our favorite musicians, then let’s start by playing what they play.
I use an app called ‘The Amazing Slow Downer’ to isolate a phrase in a song and loop it over and over again. Slowly, the phrase becomes familiar to my ears and I’m able to replicate it on my guitar. This may sound difficult, but it just takes some patience and keen listening - I love teaching this part to students!
Once I become comfortable playing the phrase, I’ll use the ‘Slow Downer’ app again to play along with the recording at a slower speed. This is where the fun starts! My goal is to sound EXACTLY like the recording.
After doing this, I’ll own a new perspective on music and my instrument. I’ll know how a master would treat a certain phrase, and this will provide insight on how I can take their expertise and apply it to my own music.