– Autor: Jennifer Barlow

You might be thinking, “How can listening to music help to improve my guitar playing, surely that’s not possible”, and you would be right… if you were just listening passively.

Think back to when either you’ve been at a social gathering where there have been multiple conversations going on at once. If you try to listen to 2 conversations, you end up unable to take part in either. You have to actively listen to one conversation at a time, you have to chose what you focus on.

Listening to music works in the same way, when you actively listen to music, you focus what the different instruments are doing and really listen to them. Ask yourself questions like:

  1. “How loud or softly are they playing?”
  2. “Is the instrument playing fast or slow?”
  3. “What rhythm is the instrument playing? Can you clap it / sing it back?”
  4. “What does the singer’s melody sound like against the chords in the song? How does it make you feel?”
  5. “What instrument is this? Am I listening to the singer, guitar player, what part of the drum kit is that?”
  6. “What section of the song is this? Is it a verse, chorus?”

When you listen to music in this way, you will find yourself able to learn songs faster, make your guitar playing sound more expressive and ‘alive’ because now you will be thinking musically.

This is one way that you can start to increase the speed of your guitar playing improving. The more you can think about it day in day out. The more your brain is going to try to figure out the other pieces of the puzzle. And before you know it, it will be translating to your guitar playing as well.

A lot of students also struggle to practise guitar when they are busy, this is a way you can sneak it into your everyday activities. It could be listening while you are working, travelling to and from work. There’s a lot you can do for your guitar practising without your guitar being physically with you.

Between now and next week, spend some time listening to your favourite songs and ask yourself these questions. Yes this is real guitar practice. Part of your journey to playing guitar how you want is physical (with your hands), but a bigger portion of learning to play an instrument is mental (what goes on in your head).

Even if you don’t have much time to pick up the guitar, that’s perfectly fine. During these periods of time, practice in the way I mentioned above.

Keep improving, keep progressing one step at a time!


Guitar Tuition East London is a pure guitar school based in East Village, Stratford, England that teaches students of all ages who are passionate about playing guitar. With lots of beginner guitar players struggling to learn guitar on their own, their beginner guitar lessons in London focuses on beginner guitar students having a lot of fun and building up the confidence so that they can have a skill for life.


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