5 Things That Will Reignite Your Creativity On The Acoustic Guitar, Fast!

posted on 03 May 2015 05:23 by boringthrill1835

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It's not much fun when you reach that point in your guitar playing life where things start to become a little stale and perhaps even boring to you. Your progress slows down and may even stop altogether. I'm sure if you asked anybody who has been playing guitar for a while, they would tell you that they have felt this way at least once before over the years of learning. The good news is that you can easily overcome these common frustrations simply by discovering new and innovative ways of playing your acoustic guitar. It's never been easier than it is right now to get your hands on resources that will help you reinvent the way you approach your guitar playing. To ignore them would be like saying:

"I'm happy with where I am at with my guitar playing. I feel as though I can't be any more creative and innovative as I am right now. I've pretty much learned all there is to learn".

If you are someone who is always looking to better themselves as a musician and guitar player, and may also be in a bit of a rut with your acoustic guitar playing right now, then to say this surely makes no sense.

In part 1 of this article I am going to present to you two approaches you can come at your acoustic guitar playing from that will open up your creativity and set in on fire! Three more approaches will follow shortly in part 2 that will give you even more things to inspire and motivate you to play your acoustic guitar.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years of playing guitar, it is to be open to all styles of music and to continually discover and study different guitar players and musicians off all kinds. This particularly helped me at times when I was feeling bored, stale, or frustrated with my own guitar playing. I'd be playing the same old stuff, the same old way, all the time. Discovering new ways to do things helped my motivation, inspiration, and creativity no end.

Of course I'm not saying to forget everything you have ever learned on guitar and begin again but rather, integrate some elements and techniques of other styles into what you can already do on your acoustic guitar. This will reignite your creativity big time not to mention your motivation!

I see my own acoustic guitar playing as something that continually evolves and is why I am always looking to include elements and techniques of other styles into it. It's very exciting to find new approaches to your playing that resinate with you. Even though I have been playing for 25 years now, the guitar can still feel like a totally new interment to me, in a good way, when I do this.

To continue along the path of simply playing the same old stuff all the time on your guitar will most likely lead to you quitting your playing altogether. If you are reading this article then surely that is the last thing you want.   http://boringthrill1835.exteen.com/20150315/a-brief-summary-on-three-significant-sorts-of-guitars

The key is to stay engaged with your instrument at all times. As I said before, view your guitar playing as something that is continually evolving, improving everyday in small ways, and your creativity and motivation will go through the roof!

Before we move on let me make one thing clear, I'm not meaning at all to go and surf the net for new tabs, songs, or riffs to play on your guitar. This kind of thing is ok to do, but will only satisfy you in the short term and have little to no effect on your creativity and motivation in the long run. Rather, I want to provide you with ways you can approach your acoustic guitar playing that will have a long lasting effect in regard to your creativity, motivation, and inspiration.

I could write many many pages on any one of the approaches to playing your acoustic guitar presented in both parts 1 and 2 of this article and is why we are just barely touching the surface with them here. I want to introduce you to them, if you aren't aware of them already, and encourage you to explore further the ones you like.

So lets get into some creative ways to approach playing your acoustic guitar that will see your motivation and creativity reignite big time, for good!

Open And Alternate Tunings For Your Guitar Playing

There are many different ways you can tune your guitar besides the standard tuning that we all use. These are known as open and altered tunings and will make your guitar feel totally new to you again, in a good way of course.

Your guitar won't feel like it did the first time you ever picked it up, which is good, however open and alternate tunings will give you a new approach to playing your acoustic guitar. They can make what would otherwise be very difficult and awkward for you to play in a standard tuning, very possible and easy to do.

Below are some common tunings for your acoustic guitar playing. It's a good idea to spend a little time in one tuning first before moving to another. This way you get a chance to get use to the characteristics and logistics of that tuning. Swapping back and forth too frequently will probably confuse you if you are new to the tuning.

Open G Tuning (D G D G B D): This tuning should still be a little familiar to you as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings are unchanged. It is often used in a lot of slide playing, amongst other things, and sounds a G chord when you strum the open strings together, hence it's name.

Here are some slide licks for you to check out using this open G tuning:

Open G Slide Example 1

Open G Slide Example 2

Notice that the strings that I target in the licks above are those that have remained unchanged from our standard tuning. You can certainly use the other strings with your slide too, but even without them, it still sounds different due to the ringing through that you hear from these strings (1st, 5th, and 6th) when using the slide. Play these licks with and without open G tuning to hear what I mean.

DADGAD Tuning (D A D G A D): Strumming your open strings together in this tuning produces a Dsus4 sound and is conducive to open and moveable chord shapes on your guitar. It is often referred to as "DADGAD".

Here is a taste of this tuning using open type chords moving down the neck of the guitar:

DADGAD Tuning Example 1

Notice the great sound you get with a simple chord shape descending the neck of the guitar.

Here is another example of DADGAD tuning with some of the chords broken up into single notes for a different effect:

DADGAD Tuning Example 2

Csus2 Tuning (C G C G C D): This is a very symmetrical tuning that allows you to play in different octaves across the strings without having to really change position. Strumming the open strings of your guitar gives you a Csus2 sound with this tuning.

Here are a couple of runs to highlight the symmetry of Csus2 tuning:

Csus2 Tuning Example 1

Csus2 Tuning Example 2

Things You Can Do Right Now To Start Creating With Open And Alternate Tunings

- Learn some existing songs that are in open and alternate tunings. This is a great way to introduce yourself to a new tuning and gain some cool insights into how to use it etc.

- Another great way to become familiar with an alternate or open tuning is to take something you already know how to play in a standard tuning and learn how to play it in another tuning such as open G or DADGAD.

- Write an original composition in something other than standard tuning.

The Wonderful World Of Harmonics

Harmonics can open up a whole new world of sound when it comes to your acoustic guitar playing. Harmonics alone will see your creativity sky rocket! They sound absolutely amazing when you truly experiment and tap into their potential. Check out some existing players who use these a lot and you'll hear what I mean.

Lets have a look at the octave harmonic. There are others, but this is the most useful one for creating with on your acoustic guitar. To sound an octave harmonic you simply touch the string, with your picking hand as it is vibrating, exactly 12 frets above from where you are sounding the note. Be sure to touch the string directly above the fret, not in between as you do with regular notes.

Check this harmonic picture to see exactly how to go about this.

As my index finger touches the string, you can see my thumb plucking it from behind to sound the harmonic.

Here is an example to get you started with this technique. I am sounding the open string harmonic so you need to place your index finger directly over the 12th fret (open string + 12 frets = 12th fret):

Harmonic Example 1

The p above the tab stave indicates your thumb and the i is for your index finger. These are what contribute to the sounding of the harmonics. The "12" in the brackets shows that you are playing directly above the 12th fret to sound the open string harmonic.

You are basically spelling out an Em chord in the example above, so it will sound good over an Em chord or in the key of Em itself.

No need to restrict yourself to open string harmonics though. In the example below I am sounding out a G major scale using the fretted harmonic approach. Remember to maintain a distance of 12 frets between the notes you play and the where you sound the harmonic with your index finger.

Harmonic Example 2

With harmonics, it's as much about the actual technique of sounding them as it is about visualising what your fretting hand is playing, 12 frets higher.

Things You Can Do Right Now To Start Creating With Harmonics On Your Guitar

- Get a backing track in the key of G major, there are plenty on youtube, and sound out your G major scale above with harmonics. You will instantly have a cool and unique sound to start creating with.

- Learn a melody in the key of G major, or use one you already know, and play it with your harmonics from the scale above. This is a great way to get this technique into your playing.

- Do above, only change key.

Harmonics are a whole new sound to start exploring and creating with on your acoustic guitar. They will increase your creativity levels dramatically as you play around with them and integrate them into the things you can already do.

We have barely touched the surface on what you can do with harmonics on your guitar in today's article. If you are keen to explore them further, you will discover just how amazing they really are and what they can do for your playing.

Start Creating NOW On Your Guitar

The key is to jump in and start experimenting and creating with both open/alternate tunings and harmonics now with your playing. While it can be challenging at first, there are many victories to be had along the way to mastering these concepts.

To further expand your creativity on the guitar, download this free guide/audio and learn 5 ways to creatively use a guitar capo to continue reinventing the way you play your acoustic guitar.

Author's Bio:

Simon Candy is a highly successful and experienced guitar teacher based in Melbourne Australia. As well as running his own guitar school, Simon also offers online acoustic guitar instruction


edit @ 22 Sep 2015 05:29:10 by boringthrill1835