Patient Lounge On Their Top Five Guitar Tips And Hacks

Brisbane prog-rock band, Patient Lounge, have released their third single, Places. The new single, engineered by Bernie Wedrat (Chris Lord-Alge, Tom Lord-Alge, Michael Brauer) at Lush Recording Studios (The 1975, The Butterfly Effect, Katy Perry) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Billy Joel, Green Day, Mastodon), features the accompanying music video, shot at the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse and directed by Adrian Goleby (Caligula’s Horse, Glass Ocean, Voyager).

Since forming in 2019, Patient Lounge have catapulted into the Australian prog-rock scene on the back of their first two singles, in what was a monumental year for the band. Alongside two interstate tours, they placed #41 in 4ZZZ’s Hot 100, performed at Dead of Winter Festival, and supported internationally acclaimed acts Haken (UK), Pop Evil (USA) and Wolfmother.

While the band’s previous singles are a little heavier in style, fan-favourite new release, Places, has a lighter touch; a catchier composition that maintains Patient Lounge’s distinct progressive sound and individual creativity. Centred around intertwining guitar riffs and strong, hooky melodies, the song is a reminder that, especially in the arts, we are all capable of great things with a bit of perseverance and self-belief.

Eric from Patient Lounge has put together his top five guitarist tips and hacks that he has picked up over the last nine years of playing and recording in bands that are a little bit different to the usual guitarist tips.

  1. Recording cover songs to practice playing to a metronome

I didn’t realise this was a hack until I started tracking a lot of original music in the studio and learning that I was pretty tight with the click. Everything comes from practice but just practicing with a click can get tedious and super boring, so I find that picking a song you love, getting the soloed drum track or programming the drums with midi, and tracking [both left and right] rhythm guitar parts to the drums and click (to the point that it’s noticeably tight) can be amazingly useful “practice” for recording and overall tight guitar playing.

  1. Don’t overthink your gear

There is so much gear out there these days but you have to ask yourself: what do I really NEED for this song/style/band. Getting a few pieces of core gear to create your sound is important but the rest is up to you and your playing style. The simpler the rig, the less that can do wrong with it when you’re playing live or spending money in the studio and need to get things done quickly/efficiently! The simpler the gear, the less stress you will have as a guitarist.

  1. Be aware of your hands and fingers!

This one may sound a bit silly, but this one just clicked for me one day and helped me massively for being a better/more accurate guitarist: I brought my awareness to my hands and fingers while playing guitar. It sounds a bit hippy but actually concentrating on where your fingers are ending up on your fretboard, where they need to go, and the relationship between your right and left hand will have a huge difference on your accuracy and ability to play faster passages etc. After being fully aware of your hands and fingers at home or during practice a few times, it will become second nature and you’ll find yourself playing a lot better.

  1. Stretching your strings while tuning

So it’s kind of obvious that stretching in your new guitar strings can help relieve some tension in them (especially the wound strings) which will help tuning stability etc, but a lot of people don’t stretch their strings whilst they’re tuning their guitar! This is especially useful for gibson style guitars with a 3-a-side headstock where the break angle of that pesky G string can get the string caught on the nut. If you’re tuning your string and the note is too sharp, give it a quick stretch first before tuning it down to pitch. This may be enough to move the string from being caught in the nut or stretch some winds on the lower strings and will get you in tune and keep you there for longer.

  1. Use free drum loops to help songwriting

Now and then you will run into writers block. It happens to everyone. If you’re writing songs in your bedroom and need some inspiration, try checking out the drum loops that come with software (like EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, etc). If you find a few grooves/beats that really stick (pun intended) then drag them into a session, loop them, and see if a riff comes out. This can then springboard off into a bunch of other ideas and before you know it, you have a full song.

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