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The Aristocrats are touring through October to early December, but outside of his work within the band, Govan has also collaborated with the likes of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and famed composer Hans Zimmer. So he knows a thing or two about putting in effective practise.
In the new Masterclass issue of Total Guitar, Govan explains why guitarists should often be pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones, and allowing themselves to sound bad.
“There is a trap when you get too good at a lick and it becomes a comfort,” he says. “Whenever you want to make yourself feel better, part of your subconscious will encourage you to play that thing you’ve played a million times before because you know it will sound well-executed.”
He continues, “The part about that that’s haunting is you realise deep down that you’re not really choosing to play that. It’s your hand choosing to play that. It’s not your soul. There’s an interesting thing about practising and how we choose to divide our time.
“If you sound really good when you’re practising, that means you’re practising things you can already do, which isn’t really benefiting you fully,” he argues. “Some of what you practise should sound shit, because then you know you are working on something that needs to be worked on. There’s a balance there.”
One nugget of advice he later says can help guitarists to break out of what’s comfortable to them is “copying everything you hear around you,” whether that be ringtones, movie themes, or what you hear on the radio.
Get tickets to see Govan play live with The Aristocrats via the band’s website.
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