Here’s another great lesson I learned while at Music College. It wasn’t in a classroom, but it was certainly a lesson.
It was late at night and I was in one of the practice rooms on the 4th floor in the music building. The building was about to close and I had been practicing hard with a metronome all day. I must have been on my 8th hour of practice. I was playing some really fast licks and scales when my friend walked in. I asked him to tell me if he thought my playing was sounding clean. Before I could play for him, he said “hold on…”. He walked over to my amp and turned off all of the distortion. I thought to myself “uh oh!” He turned to me and with a little sheepish grin said, “Ok, go ahead and play”. Luckily my playing was pretty clean, not as clean as I had thought, but pretty clean. Turning off the distortion and playing clean is a great indicator as to how strong your playing is.
Do yourself a favor. The next time you find yourself practicing with a metronome, do it with a clean tone, or better yet on an acoustic guitar. You will develop a great sound and a strong technique. From there, when you add in some gain or distortion, it will sound much more powerful. Go for it!