Saturday, August 16, 2008

Learning Lessons from Keith Richards

Learn to Play Guitar Like Keith Richards by Steve Krenz

Rolling Stones' lead guitarist Keith Richards was famous for being a rebel and bad boy during his heyday in the 60's and 70's. The fact remains, however, that he was and is a talented musician who contributed greatly to the rock and roll sound. If you are a fan of Keith or of the Rolling Stones, you may have a dream of learning to play guitar like him. He was creative, innovative, and part of one of the most influential groups in the history of popular music. The story of Keith Richards has a lot to teach an aspiring musician who wishes to follow in his footsteps. Here are some things you should do if you want to learn to play like Keith.

Do not limit yourself to only one style of music. As a boy, Keith Richards listened to a variety of musical works. His mother was a music lover and the daughter of a big-band musician. She exposed young Keith to the jazz sounds of Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong, among others. She also acquired a place for him as a singer in a famous British children's' choir. The group sang at such sophisticated venues as Westminster Abbey and performed works that showed no hint of jazz, blues or rock influences. But Keith loved all kinds of music. Later in his career, he used some of the musical lessons he had learned from other genres to create some of his most memorable guitar solos and riffs. So, try to keep an open mind when it comes to appreciating styles of music that you are not completely familiar with. Maybe a phrase, interval or rhythm pattern that you hear will be the spark you need to create a terrific new lick of your own.

Become a proficient acoustic player. Keith Richards has always maintained that anyone who wants to become a great electric guitarist must also develop skill on an acoustic. Richards, himself, plays hours each day on his acoustic and credits the simpler, unplugged instrument for helping him to maintain his "touch" for the guitar. Famous Rolling Stones songs like "Brown Sugar" feature Keith and his acoustic instrument, and his skills helped to build the popularity of his group. So, if your desire is to play like Keith Richards, don't neglect the acoustic guitar.

Don't be afraid to take professional risks. Keith Richards was a member of the Rolling Stones for decades, but he was not afraid to branch out and work on some other projects, as well. He participated on albums with stars like Norah Jones and Aretha Franklin, and stretched and grew as a musician as a result. He also made the daring move of acting in a feature film in 2007. At a time when he could have been resting on his laurels, he was willing to answer the call of his friend Johnny Depp, and play the role of Jack Sparrow's father in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. It was a gutsy move for Richards, and could have led to criticism and ridicule, but he was willing to take the chance. Most accounts have praised his work in the film, and Keith's attitude has likely opened up more career opportunities for him in the future. The lesson for you as a Richards fan is to think beyond the ordinary and do what feels right even if it will take you into uncharted waters.

Stop wasting money on 1-on-1 guitar lessons! Check out Steve Krenz's Learn and Master Guitar, it beats the pants off anything out there. It's the most comprehensive and thorough instructional guitar course available today.

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