JANUARY 02, 2020 POSTED BY: STUART VALLANS
The “natural” way to learn riffs and become a better guitarist. But how does it work?
It was 10 years ago (it’s 2020 already?!), and I was living with a fellow student of music in my final year of university. He was desperately trying to learn a performance piece (I think it was by Rush?) for an assessment he’d got in about a week’s time. Being classically underprepared, he was miles off...
Hunched over his laptop, guitar in his lap, he was feverishly playing the song over and over again on YouTube, delving into various low-res live versions from a million years ago, making incredibly slow progress. There were no tabs, there were no tutorials. This was going to be painful...
I did my best to help, but my “constructive feedback” wasn’t really landing. Me, a mediocre bass player, didn’t really have much to offer in terms of advice, anyway! Eventually, I left him to it. He carried on, and on, and on… I had to admire his work ethic.
Seven days, at least two all-nighters and about 1000 coffees later, he told me he’d passed the assessment. He even played me the recording. It was actually pretty good!
But how?! Well, I learnt something from watching this process… and now technology has somewhat caught up, Playit has arrived.
The hands-on, D.I.Y, get-stuck-in approach
Here at Playit, we’re huge advocates of the whole “D.I.Y” approach. It’s just so much more practical (and dare I say, wholesome?).
No gimmicks, no cop-outs, no compromise. We want to make YOU a better guitarist and musician. How better to do that than to learn from the best in the business, with the best resources available?
We pride ourselves on the quality of our platform and our videos. We could go on, but we’d hope it speaks for itself...
Eyes, ears, fingers… and not necessarily in that order. How to learn with Playit.
There were many things wrong with my old flatmate’s approach to nailing that cover, but at its essence, he couldn’t have been more right. Here are some tips that might help you to slay some beastly riffs this year.
1) Don’t take any shortcuts
Take your time. If you rush it, you might miss the important bits! You might find you’re playing a riff and it sounds pretty good, but you might also be asking “why does my wrist feel like its about to explode?!”. Well, that leads us onto point number two...
2) Pay close attention to technique
You’ll pick up some pretty neat tricks from watching and listening to our featured pros. From pinch harmonics to palm muting, tremolo picking to hammer-ons, you’ll eventually develop your own style, taking on board what you’ve learnt.
3) “Repetition is a form of change”
I’d highly recommend anyone to look up the fantastic Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” (Google it). One take-away point I got from studying him was this:
Remember that the more times you do anything, be it tying your shoelaces, kicking a football or playing a riff, you are improving.*
*just so long as you’re practising properly!
Why should you learn from guitar playthroughs?
Our Playit guitar playthroughs are brought to you direct from the bands themselves. Hear the stories, technique secrets and rig rundowns to achieve the perfect sound, straight from the horse's mouth. 100% authentic and perfectly delivered.
An added bonus of learning with guitar playthrough videos, is that you will start to train your ear by default. In playing along and working out where and how things are played, you will be listening in context, much like how you would if you were learning by listening to just the track. With the added playthrough video to guide you as well, you’re in a win-win situation!
Playit is all about easy access to clear, detailed videos of your favourite bands playing their best songs, including exclusive anecdotes and stories about the songs in a nice, “all-in-one-place” package.