20 guitar tips from the pros

16. Tune up!

“I can’t tell you how many people I see spending hundreds and hundreds of hard-earned dollars on a guitar who can’t be bothered to drop another 20 on a tuner. Believe me when I tell you, it is hard enough getting people to listen to your music, so please, do yourself and the world a favor – tune up.” Frank lero

(Image credit: Amy Harris/Corbis)

17. Find the right amp for you

“Finding the right amp can be a process, especially when you’re young and just starting out. Sometimes it’s all about hitting that one note that makes you go, ‘That’s it. That’s the sound I’ve been looking for.’ When you hear an amp give that sound back to you, it’ll make you wanna keep playing. When I was a kid, I had to rely on whatever I got for Christmas. Now you can go on YouTube or different manufacturer’s websites and actually hear what things sound like. So do your homework and check things out. But when you actually go to a store and test amps out, really take your time to be sure of what you’re buying.” Jim Root, Slipknot

18. Put your personality on display

“I think the more honest you are with your audience, the more you’ll connect with them because they’ve heard so many songs. People have heard so many songs and stories and for you to really get through and write something that means something to somebody on a personal level, you’ve got to let yourself be honest, even when it’s difficult. Most importantly when it’s difficult. The hardest things, they always work out for the best.” Jason Isbell

19. Don’t forget to have fun!

“Obviously, enjoy doing what you’re doing. Bottom line is, you’ve gotta love what you’re doing. There are no rules. I think it’s funny when people take all these music theory classes, it’s exactly that. It’s theory. You know? You have 12 notes, the 13th one is the octave, do whatever you want with them. It’s really that simple. There are no mistakes: I call those passing notes!” Eddie Van Halen

20. Explore other parts

“It can be really good for your playing to try and play something that wasn’t done on the guitar because it can lead you to different places. I did this with Golden Brown by The Stranglers, which was written on a harpsichord. I was trying to work that out for ages and eventually I managed to do it but I think I drove everyone in Oasis mad in the process!” Andy Bell, Ride/Oasis

Electric Guitar Week is brought to you in association with Fender. Check out the Electric Guitar Week hub page for more tips and tutorials.


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