Some guitarists are held back by a desire to make no mistakes. They focus on playing correctly and flawlessly 100% of their time and scold themselves if they make a mistake. If you are one of those rethink that attitude, at least some of the time. To know when to focus on perfection we should distinguish between several situation:
Here the wrong choices should be avoided. Stay within what you know and present that with gusto.
b) Practice for perfection
Here wrong musical choices are to be avoided, too. In this phase you aim for perfection and should not stray from the movements that are needed.
Here you are encouraged to try out something new or different.
How often should you practice in this manner?
It should be a minor part of your practice time (around 10%).If you practice one hour daily you could experiment every other day for 10 minutes.
What could you do?
There are infinite applications. Here are some ideas to start you off:
a) Change one note in a chord you know.
Take for example the open C major chord and change it as shown in the tablature below. All that is changed is one note, but the chord sounds different. Some combinations will sound pleasant and some will sound harsh. Keep some notes on modified chords that sound good to you.
C C/B C7
b) Exchange a chord in a chord progression.
Let’s say you play a chord progression of C – G – C – G but coming from a G higher up the neck you mistakenly play a Db instead of a C. That chord has a nice sound to it although it may not be in the implied scale. What happened here is that you found the Neapolitan chord. Cool stuff!
C G Db G
c) Exchange a note in a scale.
Let’s say you play in A minor and instead of G you play a G# because you like the sound. Are there cool licks in that scale? You bet! It’s called A harmonic minor.
For advanced musicians: Also look at what that does to the chords in that scale. Can you create a chord progression with the new chords of that scale? Can you find a way to implement the augmented chords so that they sound good?
You can find answers to those questions by experimenting with these mistakes. Dare to be wrong!
About the author: Rene Kerkdyk teaches rock guitar playing in Hildesheim, Germany. You cannot go wrong with contacting him if you are looking for rock guitar instructions in Hildesheim.