30 June 2010

What Are Your Summer Guitar Projects?

Wow, I hardly noticed how fast spring has whizzed by, it's almost end of June and summer holidays will soon be upon us. My band's rehearsal rooms closes down and we'll all be off on family holidays at different times. The usual routine of learning songs with my band draws to a temporary halt and it's time for a break.

But a break doesn't mean I stop playing guitar. The saying goes that a change is as good as a rest, but I find that a change is even better.

For me the summer is a time to break out of the usual things and try out some new guitar projects. Here are some projects I'm hoping to find time for this summer.

Learn some Ukulele

I discovered what a great holiday companion a ukulele is last summer. Much smaller and easier to transport than a guitar it makes a fun piece of fretboard to play with while I'm away.

The ukulele neck is essentially like having the bottom four strings of your guitar starting at the 5th fret. It's a great tool for getting a new perspective on some chord and scale fingerings.

You can work out how to play all your favourite guitar songs using familiar chord shapes or get yourself a ukulele method and study ukulele chords and learn some new songs.

It's small enough that you can even play and sing along with the kids during the car journey. It makes a nice change from the radio or CDs (but don't try this while you're driving though).

Double Stops And Chord Fragments

When I'm back home after the family holiday I plan to work on integrating double stops and chord fragments into my blues improvising. I hope to spice up my single notes lines with some double stop 3rds, 4ths and 6ths as well as fragments from chords and triads.

Getting To Grips With Triads

And talking of triads, Fretterverse gave some nice ideas on upper structure triad soloing. Looks like a much more useful way of twisting my mind on the beach than those books of summer sudoku puzzles.

Slide Playing

Learning to play some slide guitar has been one of my ambitions for a long time. So I've got myself a slide so I can have a go at a few slide techniques and licks on acoustic guitar.

What About You?

This summer I'll be spending some time having fun with these little guitar projects to make a change from my usual playing. What about you, what guitar projects have you lined up this summer? I'd love to hear about them in a comment below...

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Photo by skyseeker.

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