The majority of us right now are either totally self-isolating or at least spending many more hours at home than we have ever done before. For some of us, this isn’t a bad thing because we have guitars. But beyond playing or practicing more at home, what else can we do with our guitar fascinations while we have more time at home than we’d normally have?
I thought I’d put together a list. I’m happy to add to it if people think of something I miss. I hope this helps make each day at home that little more productive, enjoyable or perhaps positively distracting.
Restring your guitar
If you have spare strings at home, this is a good time to restring your guitar. Show your guitar some love and make your upcoming practice time that little bit more rewarding by improving the sound and playability of your favourite guitar.
Clean your guitar
If you’re restringing your guitar anyway, you may as well give your fretboard a clean at the same time. Clean those frets and the fretboard itself.
Don’t stop there though. Clean the guitar body. Polish that headstock. Clean the neck. Show your guitar that you love it and restore some pride in your favourite guitar.
Improve your guitar’s action
Perhaps you’re like me and you’ve never really invested the time in learning how to setup your own guitar. Now may be the time to invest in some YouTube education on guitar setup so you can improve your guitar’s action and overall playability.
Learning how to adjust your guitar’s truss rod is something many of us could benefit from.
Learn a new song on the guitar
While you have YouTube open, find a tutorial on how to play one of your favourite songs on the guitar. Most popular songs have been transcribed or uploaded as a play-through or tutorial these days. Who knows … you may find yourself clicking from one song to another on YouTube and then discovering some new music at the same time. win-win.
Play guitar through your iOS device of choice
If you already have the appropriate interface, you can play guitar on your favourite iOS device so you don’t disturb your neighbours by blasting through your stage-ready amplifier. There are plenty of awesome apps for guitar. Some of my favourites include AmpliTube, BIAS FX and GarageBand.
Experiment with different sounds/effects/tones
This one you can do in your iOS app/s or you can do it using your appropriately loud amplifier at home. Experiment with the range of clean and overdriven sounds at your disposal. Got effect pedals? Now is the time to experiment with their settings. Got an amplifier? Now is the time to learn how to adjust more than just the volume and/or gain 😉
Who knows? You may discover a hidden tone you’d previously not discovered through lack of time.
Collaborate with others online
Even if you are socially isolated in the real world, there’s possibly a world of collaborative opportunity waiting for you in the digital realm. Chances are you’ve already met people with similar musical interests online who are as stuck for things to do as you are right now. Why not reach out and see who wants to collaborate on a track or ten right now?
Practice, practice, practice
If nothing else, these long days at home could be broken up with some valuable guitar practice. Do you have guitar books that you’ve never had the time to sit down with until now? Have you favourited some YouTube tutorials that you’re yet to watch? Are there songs you know you could work out on the guitar if you gave yourself the time to learn by ear?
Now is the time. Learn. Practice. Enjoy.
No matter what you do in these early days of 2020, stay safe. If you have spare time at home that was unplanned and is out of your control, take control of what you can—what you do with this time.
There’s so much to do when you have a guitar. If you’ve now got the time, do it all.
Stay positive. Have fun. Play guitar.