Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti Advises Guitarists To Play For Their Grandma

Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti gave a tip to guitarists who want to improve their guitar-playing skills.

In a new interview with Guitar Player, the rocker gave a bunch of advice for guitar players wanting to get better at playing guitar. One of the techniques he uses for warming up is to play as if you are playing for your grandma. He explained:

“I find that improvising is the best way to get warmed up. When I’m playing without trying too hard, everything seems to fall into place — my bending, my vibrato, my feel. It’s just pure music. I almost think of it as if I were playing something for my grandma. I’m not trying to show off and impress a bunch of dudes by how fast I can shred; I’m just letting my mind go free while I play nice melodies.”

Other Advices: Go Weird And Find The Perfect Drummer

According to Tremonti’s words, playing guitar is not just about ‘playing’ and ‘warming up.’ More importantly, it’s about experimenting.

Getting his first guitar at the ripe age of 11 and starting to get into music at 13, the rocker took part in numerous bands, most of which were in the role of the lead guitarist.

One of the tips he used while he was improving on guitar was to ‘go weird’ with alternate tunings. The rocker has almost never used standard tuning during his career with Alter Bridge, and experimenting with different tunings helped him improve a lot:

“To me, one of the most inspiring aspects of playing the guitar is exploring alternate tunings. Once I started to use a Drop D, though, everything changed for me. I loved the sound I would get when I played rhythm. I’d play power chords and mute with my palm. What an incredible sound! That made me think, What if that G string was now part of that big power chord? What if the B string was now part of that chord? What if the E string… So now one of my favorite tunings is Open D5 [D A D A D D]. I’ve shown that tuning to a lot of people over the years, and it really opens their ears when they hear it.”

This is not the only tip that overall helped him to get a better grasp on what he plays. Working with the right drummer also seems to work out for Tremonti. The guitarist has been playing with Scott Phillips since the birth of Alter Bridge, and as he words it, he is ‘spoiled’ to have played with such a drummer:

“I’m pretty spoiled to have played with Scott Phillips for so many years. He’s got one of the best pockets I’ve ever heard. When I play with him, it’s like putting on a well-worn baseball glove — it just feels natural. We have a chemistry that I’ve never experienced with another drummer. I never really have to worry about what he’s going to do. He’s always carrying the weight of the music, which allows me to loosen up and perform at my best.”

The conclusion: Play for your grandma, go weird, and find the right drummer if you want to get better at guitar.