If you want to be good at what you do you have to practise at what you do, and playing the guitar is no different. For some people, playing the guitar comes naturally, but for others it takes determination and great effort to become the best. Even some of the world’s best guitar players never took any lessons, but you’d be surprised to find that even Jimi Hendrix, for all of his raw playing ability was actually classically trained. So what does it take to become a professional guitar player? Here are 5 great tips to get you started.
1. Don’t skip your lessons
Whilst you may feel that you have reached the level of god-like status as a guitarist, the truly great guitarist are always keen to learn. Ensuring that no matter what level of a guitarist you are, you always have the keen ability to learn new things and try new styles. This will not only make you a more rounded guitarist, but it will also open you up to a number of opportunities to join bands, get in on sessions and play the odd gig or two.
2. Join a band
One of the easiest ways to become a professional musician is to join a working band performing gigs and shows whenever you can. Whilst there isn’t a ton of money in it to get started, some of the best-earning guitarists ply their trade as wedding band guitarists or holiday camp musicians that are making a decent wage.
Many of these guitarists are on wages and so do not have to suffer if a gig goes wrong, or the drummer doesn’t turn up. Also, joining a band gives you an opportunity to be the next big thing, if you think you’ve got what it takes.
3. Write music
A great way to become a professional guitarist is to write music. You don’t have to even perform any gigs to make a decent amount of money in the industry, and if you write enough music that goes down well, you may find various artists buying your tracks or licensing them to use, as well as the opportunity for advertising agencies to license your tracks and make a name for yourself.
Focus on one type of music and create a whole library for agencies to buy from you. Stick to instrumentals to start with and you may find your voice when you sell a few tracks.
4. Jam with your buddies
Nothing gets your confidence boosted in music than when you are jamming with your friends or fellow band mates. This is the time when inspiration runs free and you are free to think about new songs, new ideas and even new job opportunities. Talk with your session buddies about how they see themselves progressing and encourage each other to follow through and reach their goals.
Becoming a professional guitarist is hard enough alone, so work together to find new opportunities to make a living with your love of music, and things may change quickly.
5. Become a session musician
Session musicians are required for a number of reasons by many different bands, groups, recording artists and advertising agencies. You must be a very competent guitarist with a decent amount of experience in recording or session playing, with a good knowledge of how a recording is made to get your foot in the door.
But once you find your way, you may be asked to play guitar on tracks by chart artists and big advertising companies to create their jingles or songs. It can pay well if the work is regular, so make a name for yourself and try out session guitarist as the perfect start.
It is well known that the brothers from the band The Darkness started out as session musicians, and many other famous guitarists did the same. It only takes a chance and the right timing to get ahead in the music industry, so if you work hard at what you love, others will see your passion and hand you the chance you have been waiting for!