Friday, April 25, 2008

Remember Transcription Study in Your Practice Routine

I used transcriptions when I first started learning the guitar to try and duplicate some of my favorite vintage rock tunes. I go back and play some of these tunes along with backing tracks for exercise but find I’m not that happy with how they sound anymore.

I think it is a combination of a more discriminating ear with experience and my lack of technique and understanding when I learned these tunes originally. So, I've started going back to studying these transcriptions. This little exercise revealed a treasure trove of improvement opportunities.

I was really shocked at how many nuances I had missed in learning these initially. Also, I saw instances where I just did not have the technique to duplicate sections as written and evolved fakery approaches to get by. With some review and changes to how I played my favorites I was able to get quick and dramatic improvement.

I’m not advocating that duplication is my only goal as we all want to evolve our own sound. However, when trying to learn a particular technique or lick I want to learn it well and not just have my ear pretend it sounds right. If you are of a similar bent I recommend you make studying transcriptions a steady part of your guitar practice diet.

Don't have handy transcriptions; check out Guitar World Tabs.

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