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Following Your Musical Passion

Whatever it is that you are most excited about right now, focus 80% of your practice time on that topic and let the other 20% of your time be on things like warm up exercises, going over songs, and those items that need upkeep.

By doing this you will set yourself up for more success because you’ll be fanning the flames of your own passion. This is what should drive you to play guitar and practice. As an example, let’s say that right now you are chomping at the bit to learn or improve your sweep picking. You want to sweep like Malmsteen and all the greats! The first step would be to gather some materials—exercises, licks, solos and sequences—that specifically involve sweep picking.

Taking Inspiration Part 4-Tying it all together

In this 4th and final (for now) installment of "Taking Inspiration" I'd like to demonstrate how to connect the ideas we've been talking about together and apply them by improvising over a jam track.

Hopefully you can see and hear how I've sprinkled in some of the Michael Schenker style prebends, and the John Sykes style vibrato along with the Hendrix inspired sliding double stops. Actually doing this and applying the things you like to real music is the best way for the ideas to become part of your vocabulary and who you want to be as a player.

Taking Inspiration Part 3- Jimi Hendrix Double Stops

In part 3 of this series on "Taking Inspiration" we are taking a look at Jimi Hendrix's use of those super cool sliding double stops! Although Jimi was known for his over the top stage persona, his playing often was deep and thoughtful, especially when it came to his rhythm and lead combination style, as heard in tunes like "Little Wing", "Bold As Love" and "Castles Made Of Sand." Let's try and get some of that magic mojo into our own playing.