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One of the most common questions I am asked by my students is “what is the best way to practice all of my blues guitar lessons?”  Many practicing guitarists will look up blues guitar lessons on youtube and try to copy the licks that online blues guitar teachers show them.  They end up frustrated when they find out that copying another guitarists blues licks, does little more than show them a trick or two.  Blues guitar lessons for beginners often lead them down dead end roads that leave guitar players frustrated.  You will quickly find out that trying to memorize lick after lick from online blues guitar lessons will cause you to run out of your own ideas and leave you feeling stuck in a rut with your guitar playing.

This often leads guitar players to make assumptions like

1.  You have to be creative and I’m not creative.

2.  You have to to learn a massive library of licks to become creative

3.  Copy your favorite artists and eventually you will find your style.

4.  You must know all of your blues guitar scales and blues guitar chords.

There is little truth to the above statements.  Let’s debunk them one by one, and then get into some practicing strategies that can immediately improving your blues guitar playing.

1.  You have to be creative and I’m not creative.

Many people have this mental block because they were taught that musicality is something you are born with and that the greats did little to develop their ability to play and express themselves musically.  Of course some people are born more creative than others but often times it has to do with the fact that they do not have insecurities or mental blocks about their own limitations.  Self-imposed limitations are often the major cause of “lack of creativity.”  Science has shown that creativity is in fact a LEARNABLE SKILL.  There are clear cut steps to improving your creativity and you will improve with or without blues guitar lessons if you practice these steps which I will mention below.

2.  You have to have a massive library of blues guitar licks.

Learning and memorizing licks is like learning and memorizing stand up comedians jokes.  While they might deliver the desired result for a while, the ultimate end result is you become little more than a jukebox, or a mimic that is reciting old material.  It is not self expressive, and is much less fulfilling than learning how to apply blues guitar scales and blues guitar chords on your own.

3.  Copy your favorite artists and you will find your own style.

There is truth to this statement but if followed exclusively, you will fall into the same trap as the 2nd pitfall mentioned above. You are missing the next step in learning to develop your own style.

4.  You must know all of your blues guitar scales and blues guitar chords.

If you have not read my article on practicing guitar scales, will receive a lot of value by reading it..  In it, I discuss the assumption that to be a great lead guitar player, you must know every scale in every position.

So now that you know some of the pitfalls that guitarists fall into when trying to figure out blues guitar lessons on their own, what steps can you take to improve your blues guitar playing right away?

1.  Learn how to apply other musical elements to your blues guitar solos besides just playing the right notes.

The greatest guitar players of all time added more soul into their playing by focusing on other musical elements such as dynamics, rhythm, tone, and others.  They also focused on articulation like slides, bends, vibrato, double stops.  Work on each of these musical skills separately when practicing blues guitar, and you will start to  develop your own style.

2.  Practice creating variation to licks you already know.

Take a simple 3 or 4 note phrase that you can already play, and practice adding the above musical elements into it.  Play the first two notes softly, and then attack the last note as hard as you can and violently bend the string.  Double up the first to notes.  Add subtle vibrato the phrase the first time around, and then wide expressive vibrato the second time.  Play the same phrase 6 times in a row, gradually getting louder and louder.  Play the same phrase 3 times in a row, but on the 4th time, change the last note, so as to build anticipation through repetition, and variety through surprise.

3.  Improve your ear through ear training.

The best guitar players listen to the music in their minds.  They do not run patterns underneath their fingers. The technique in the hands should be refined for the exclusive purpose of communicating the ideas in your head.  Without the ability to transfer music from your mind, to your fingers, you will quickly run out of ideas, and feel little to no fulfillment in your guitar solos.  You will feel like you are playing the same ideas over and over.

4.  Learn to visualize blues guitar chords inside of the blues guitar scales.

Combined with ear training, this step will allow you to visually see, AND mentally hear the notes inside of your head and allow you to communicate the ideas that you are trying to express.

If you have been looking for blues guitar lessons, and found that you do not have an effective strategy to practice your blues guitar solos, you can drastically decrease the time it takes to improve your guitar playing and also lower your stress and frustration by getting a guitar teacher that has a track record of producing high quality guitar players.  Click this link to get your free guitar lesson today and start making progress on your guitar right away.

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