When you sit down to practice guitar or just feel like jamming, you probably play all over the neck using a few different scales (depending on your scale knowledge). As a challenge, try to spend at least 10 minutes only jamming using these two notes:
Now the rules of the challenge are:
- You must play for a minimum of 10 minutes (set a countdown timer)
- You can only play the two notes only using the two positions shown (in other words you cannot play D or E anywhere else on the neck)
Simple isn’t it?
What this challenge does for your playing
This challenge helps you in several different ways.
The first way is to help you use your creativity to come up with fresh ideas. After about one minute of jamming between the two notes you will start to run out of ideas. Once you reach this point you really need to think about different variations you can use to keep the two notes sounding fresh. There’s no point playing the same things over and over and you won’t achieve anything that way. To improve your playing you really need to push yourself to try something new.
Another way this challenge helps your playing is by helping you learn to use less notes and really make each note speak. When you have unlimited notes to choose from they can become distractions. On the other hand when you limit the number of choices you have, it forces you to really focus on using those notes in the best way you can. If you learn the message behind this challenge today, you will learn to make each note count.
This becomes apparent when you compare an intermediate player against an advanced player. The intermediate player will shred like crazy and run up and down scales as fast as possible. The advanced player might shred and use scale runs as well, but they will combine that with phrasing and note choices that are really thought out and make everything sound more ‘musical’.
What to do after you try this challenge
If you struggle to reach the minimum 10 minute mark, then give yourself a break and try it again later. If you have trouble using two notes in fresh ways for two minutes, you need to learn how to do it.
If on the other hand you manage to reach the 10 minute mark, there’s a few things you can try.
- See how long you can play past the 10 minute mark
- Try two different notes that aren’t close together on the fretboard (eg: 4th and 9th fret)
- Add in a third note and try to come up with as many melodies and ideas as possible
- See how long you can make one note sound interesting. Yes one note. Now that’s a challenge
Give this challenge a go and share this post with other players. This challenge is a great way to test your creativity so give it a go and let me know how you went in the comment section below. Good luck