DEXTERITY EXERCISES - Solution for Sloppy Guitar Players

Here's a lesson that does more than just show you a few dexterity exercises. This post is going to teach you the THREE elements that make a dexterity exercise function properly and produce results. 

With this lesson, you'll be able to master studies you already know and develop your own dexterity exercises to rid your guitar playing of sloppy technique once and for all...



Sloppy guitar playing is generally the result of a combination of many different technical problems. Some of these have to do with just simply going too fast, too soon and basically rushing past proper levels of hand coordination in the pursuit of being able to play a song, or a scale, or a guitar lick (whatever it is), up to its top speed as soon as possible.

The problem with rushing the skills is that when you rush things, you will often learn just as many bad habits as good ones. And, that kind of learning is something that we really need to avoid as much as possible.

Let’s begin by breaking down a collection of ways that you can design dexterity exercises so in the end your skills develop slowly and perfectly.

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STAGE ONE). 
Commit Every New Dexterity Drill to Memory
With the practice of any new guitar part, you'll need to develop playing the part up to a level for which we’ll refer to as the, “best as possible,” level of skill.

However, to get there, you’ll need to begin from a starting point of what we’ll call, “slow perfection.” This slowed down level of practice involves committing what you’re going to play to memory.

If it’s a lick, or an exercise, or a riff that you’re learning, memorize it first, before doing anything else. That initial commitment to memorize the part will go a very long way to helping you fully absorb the part and reach new performance heights with the idea.

Let’s try out a fairly basic fret-hand dexterity drill that involves some; stretching, some picking hand work, and some hammer-on, / pull-off technique…

Dexterity Exercise #1).





STAGE TWO). 
Perfect Practice = Perfect Playing
Once you’ve committed the guitar dexterity drill that you’re working on to memory, the next area that you'll need to focus on is how well you can perfectly play that guitar part.

Be critical of yourself when you do this. Ask a lot of yourself and demand the best from yourself. Make a decision that “Good enough,” isn’t going to be a part of things.

You want excellence. Really “perfect” guitar playing...

Pay attention to how your pick is attacking the string, how clean each note rings out, how connected your fretting hand is upon each fret. These may sound like you're setting yourself up for a lot of nit-picking, but that’s exactly what we want when we study dexterity.

I’ve got another exercise for you to try and develop. Remember, memorize the part first. Then work at playing it as perfectly as possible.

Dexterity Exercise #2).





STAGE THREE). 
Establish a Metronome “Rate and Pace” 
Playing to a click track, (the tick-tock of the metronome click), is one of the hardest things that a guitar player who is new to developing their skills up to much higher levels of achievement will often face.

The perfect click of the metronome requires solid timing and perfect meter. The fact of the matter is that doing this kind of practice takes a lot of patience, and discipline plus there has to be a drive there for the metronome to eventually become your friend.

Over time and with practice, the metronome will start to become a lot more manageable to deal with. You’ll just have to get used to it.

To help you start to become more acquainted with listening to that constant click of the metronome, I have a general picking study for you to try working on…

Dexterity Exercise #3).





CONCLUSION:
Before wrapping up, I do have a couple of bonus suggestions. Just a few more ideas that will really help you as you’re either moving through drills that you’ve studied here in this lesson.

The first idea is that once you’ve memorized (and built the exercise that you’re working on - to be able to perform it with a metronome), you’ll want to establish some kind of goal tempo.

The tempo you shoot for should be attainable and it should be at a realistic speed that will take time to reach. Something in the range of 2-3 weeks of practice. Also, make sure that once you know your idea on the neck, move it around. Play it all over the fret-board.

This is an excellent way to help develop a dexterity exercise up to a high level of skill…

Lastly, make sure that you’re creating your own studies as well... Someone else’s dexterity exercises can be great, but sometimes the best exercises are the ones that you make up on your own.



VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
Well, hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!

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The #1 Guitar Method for Learning 6th Licks

The 6th Interval (also known as the inverted third), is an amazing - must learn - guitar sound for all types of guitar soloing in all music styles. And, it's application is incredibly  versatile since it can be used in Major keys, Minor keys, as well as, with Blues harmony and modes...


If you’ve ever tried to make sense of the 6th interval, but perhaps met with failure. I have great news, this lesson, we’ll clear up all your confusion with the 6th interval and you’ll be applying it easily - in no time flat…

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Viewing the 6th Interval Reference Point (MAJOR):
To establish a reference point for linking the 6th intervals, (the diatonic 6th intervals that you want to use tied to a key center), you'll need a starting point for the reference. We will establish that starting point by way of a common chord pattern.

Major Key Reference Chord (5th String):
The 5th string root, Major key reference chord will be a, "Pattern #1 - Major Triad," (i.e., Intermediate Guitar Program). Within this Major chord, we have a "Minor 6th" interval.

Major Key Reference Chord (4th String):
The 4th string root, Major key reference chord will be a, "Pattern #4 (alt.) - Major Triad," (i.e., Intermediate Guitar Program). Within this Major chord, we have a "Minor 6th" interval.

Major Key - 6th Interval Harmonized Along the Neck:
Once you've established your starting point reference from the chord shapes shown above, learn the harmony associated off of the upper string's scale layout. An example of a "Major" key built between the 4th to 2nd string is shown below.

Complete Harmony for 6th Intervals on 4th to 2nd string (key of "C Major")...




Viewing the 6th Interval Reference Point (MINOR):
The same approach that we used with Major key references, can also be applied to Minor key 6th interval references. However, within the Minor chord we now have a "Major 6th" interval.

Minor Key Reference Chord (5th String):
The 5th string root, Minor key reference chord will be a, "Pattern #1 - Minor Triad," (i.e., Intermediate Guitar Program). Within this Minor chord, we have a "Major 6th" interval.


Minor Key Reference Chord (4th String):
The 4th string root, Minor key reference chord will be a, "Pattern #4 (alt.) - Minor Triad," (i.e., Intermediate Guitar Program). Within this Minor chord, we have a "Major 6th" interval.


Minor Key - 6th Interval Harmonized Along the Neck:
Once you've established a starting point reference from the minor chord shapes (shown above), learn the harmony associated off of the upper string's scale layout. An example of a "Minor" key (built between the 4th to 2nd string ) is shown below.

Complete Harmony for 6th Intervals between 4th to 2nd string (key of "C Minor")...





6th Interval Application:
These 6th interval shapes can operate in either Major or Minor tonality. So, in getting started with some application, let’s begin with an lick from a Major key. Here’s an example in the key of, “D Major.”

 click the image above to enlarge full-screen

Next, let’s work out a guitar lick for application within a minor tonality context. Here’s a 6th interval lick in the key of, “D Minor.”

click the image above to enlarge full-screen




Expanding the Use of 6ths:
Anything that you study on guitar, (especially scales, arpeggios and interval concepts), should be expanded into further directions for application into as many musical directions as possible.

I’d like to suggest that you use your basic knowledge of music theory and try expanding the application of these 6th interval concepts further along to areas like Modes and Blues based guitar riffs.

One of the best ideas to head into with these 6th intervals are Blues licks. In fact, Blues turnarounds will often use the 6th interval as a way to resolve a Blues melody statement.

Check out this Blues-based turnaround that applies 6th intervals in a key of “A” Blues.

Blues Turnaround with the 6th:



CONCLUSION:
As you can tell, these 6th intervals are fantastic when it comes to using them for licks found within any type of tonality, (or for use in almost any music style as well).

Learn the layout of the 6th and learn how the integration principles for applying 6th intervals work musically. It will probably take a little time to fully understand the basic theory behind their use, (in both Major and Minor tonality).

There will also be some time required to be able to nail down the physical technique of playing 6th intervals on the guitar. But, I think you’ll have fun practicing them, and you’ll definitely have fun when you start applying them in songs and especially in your guitar solo.




VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at creativeguitarstudio.com and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week, for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."

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RHYTHM GUITAR 007: Blues and Rock Rhythms

June 15, 2018:
RHYTHM GUITAR 007:
Blues and Rock Rhythms

 
 NEW  The seventh lesson of "Rhythm Guitar" studies the grooves of Blues and Rock.

Four examples practice feels like accented eighth's, 16th-note Shuffle (Rock), Slow solo Blues (in 6/8 time), and performing the 8th-note triplet Blues shuffle.

A bonus to BASIC and PREMIUM web-site members are the MP3 play-along tracks that will help with learning each rhythm example. 



Paid Web-site members (BASIC and PREMIUM), can watch the associated video lessons and download the detailed PDF handout, along with the MP3 clap /strum play-along tracks...


Join the member's area to download the PDF handout and MP3's. Study all of the examples with full access to both video lessons. Be sure to spend some additional time on learning the "Rhythm Jam Challenge" piece that I performed at the start of the lesson in the "Part One" video...

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PART ONE:  In example one, modified straight eighth's rhythms highlight accented segments of the beat. These accents occur on different beats of the groove. Listen closely to the video demonstrations and the play along MP3 for how each beat is supposed to be felt in time.

PART TWO:  In example two, the exercise is based upon syncopated shuffle-rock accents of the sixteenth note groove, (a meter established through a dotted eighth and a sixteenth-note). This feel is very popular and can be found throughout songs performed in various styles. 




PART THREE:
In example three, a triple meter (6/8 time) groove is applied within the key center of an "A Blues" harmony. The feel is unique the clap and count play-a-long MP3, "example_03_clap," to learn how to properly punctuate the timing and feel in this triple meter feel of 6/8 time.
 

PART FOUR:  In example four, a traditional eighth-note triplet feel of the Blues Shuffle is the focus. The rhythmic meter consists of a two bar phrase that repeats in measures three and four. 

The example four groove, is based upon groups of eighth-notes (and some quarter notes) performed under the triplet sub-division.


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Paid members can download the handout along with the MP3 jamtracks in the members area at: CreativeGuitarStudio.com

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What They Don't Teach You at Music School

Music school may be a great place to learn a ton of theory based ideas and to help with learning the mechanics of how scales and arpeggios sit on the instrument, but there are things that we need to learn after that stuff which help build a career...


Music school can be a great environment for learning more about playing music with others, along with hearing the various ways that music can be arranged.

For those areas of study, Music School pushed my own musical ability up far beyond where I was when I started my classes. And, the different subjects at music school helped me attain a much higher level of understanding for music way beyond that of when I started my classes at music school.

What happened later on, was I realized that there were a few more areas that I needed to get good at when it came to being a musician. And, those areas weren’t ones that I had covered from studying in class during my days at music school…

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#1). Determine What Your Specialty Is
The serious study of the language of music is pretty intense and it takes a lot of years to develop the skills that you’d need to be able to play music up at a high level.

This means that since you only have a certain number of years available in your career life span as a musician, you’ll need to figure out (as quickly as possible), what your specialty is.

Very few players end up like Carl Verheyen who is one of those very unique guitarists who can (with near perfection) perform almost any guitar style (or music style) with almost flawless precision and skill, (making him one of the most sought after session musicians in Los Angeles). 

And so, since we can’t all be Carl Verheyen, we need to determine early on what our specialty will be and we need to work hard on that. Maybe it’s Rock, Country, Folk, or Blues, maybe it’s Jazz or Classical, but whatever your specialty is, there isn’t a music school out there that will push you to figure this out. You’ll have to make the effort to develop this – on your own – as fast as possible.



#2). Learn to Compose Music – Quickly
Music schools might teach you how to go about performing music for tests and recitals, and other areas like; how keys and musical tonalities fit together – stuff like that. But, the idea of learning to compose and do it quickly and effectively is one of those paramount skills of a musician. And, it just wasn't stressed enough.

It should probably be highlighted that composing is vital to solid musical development. In fact, I'd suggest that a player compose or transcribe something every single day. In fact, I think that musicians / guitar players should be both composing something and they should be notating it in some way. Notation is amazing, and isn't done enough by most musicians.

Whether notation is done within a program like; Guitar Pro, or Finale, or even if it is through writing ideas on paper, notating what you musically invent is critical. This type of work is amazing for your sense of rhythm and offers many more incredible benefits over time.

Learn to come up with riffs and fit a melody to them, do some recording with what you invent, and do some musical organizing with your parts so that you can layer harmony and come up with additional ideas. If you come up with a riff turn it into a verse and then add a chorus maybe even adding a bridge too.

Think about how song sections can blend together as well. Invent intro parts and learn how a piece can finish, (the outro). Because composing isn’t exactly stressed at music schools, you'll need to focus on it a lot after you're done school. The benefits are amazing and the pay-off is well worth the effort.



#3). Think About the Money You Earn
 One of the things that I really wish they spent a lot more time on in, (not just music school but also in grade school), is the money you earn over the years of your career, how to best save it, and learning about options for investing it over the years.

This is such an important area because you are generally an active musician for a time frame of maybe 35-40 or so years of your life. But, there will inevitably come a point in your life where you won’t be able to play gigs, or teach, or continue earning an income as a musician due to health concerns or due to just old age.

You need savings for those future years and you need your savings plan working for you. Plus, the longer you can have this in the works, the better. So, as you grow older, you need to save money, and you’ll need to continuously invest that money in a way that produces a return.

Whether you invest in; antiques, collectables, real estate, diamonds, dividend producing stocks, whatever it may be. You need something that will be valuable enough to see you into your retirement after you become too old to earn your living as a musician any longer.
And, this isn’t something that is taught at music school.


CONCLUSION:
Now, these concepts that I’ve discussed here are a few of the areas that I’ve felt were some of the main topics that have bothered me when it comes to Music School education. The ability to become a solid income earner as a musician in the first place is incredibly difficult. The career path of a musician isn’t for everyone and most people who enter into this field tend to only last about 10 to maybe 15 years.

It’s very demanding being a musician, and it can be incredibly stressful as well. But, the points that I’ve made here in this discussion are really valuable to having serious long term success.

Once you discover your specialty, and when you nail down the skills that you have to have for composing and creating music quickly and effectively in your own specific style, (the style that you’re most talented in), plus once you can earn decent money, save it and successfully invest it, you’ll be in a position where your long term career as a musician will be very solid and your success will help guide you to all kinds of new opportunities for long term success.

As long as you stay serious, and you can focus on the right things (as time goes along and your career unfolds) you should be able to remain pretty solid.


VISIT THE WEB-SITE:
Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!

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GUITAR TECHNIQUE 006: Accuracy Drills for Perfect Picking

June 10, 2018:
GUITAR TECHNIQUE 006:
Accuracy Drills for Perfect Picking

 
 NEW  This unique Creative Guitar Studio course  explores exercises for increasing dexterity and coordination between the hands. The goal of the course is to increase awareness, mobility and control.


Lesson six of Guitar Technique offers a group of studies to the student that can be memorized then pushed to faster and faster tempos using a metronome. If practiced diligently, the results to your overall playing skills will be fantastic. 

Part one and part two of the lesson offer drills for picking through parallel string groups, (two, three and four string groupings). Then in parts three and four of the lesson, the drills begin working across all six guitar strings laterally using Major 7 and Minor 7 arpeggios.
 

Paying members of the Creative Guitar website can watch both video lessons and download the PDF handouts, and the MP3 play along tracks...

Join the member's area to download the PDF handout and start study of these exercises. Study all of the examples with full access to both video lessons...

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:



PART ONE:  Example 1a, applies an in position two string parallel picking drill using sixteenth-notes. Learn the drill as written in the TAB from your handout. Then, speed up the drill to faster tempos until the goal tempo is either reached or exceeded.

The drill in exercise 1b, applies another type of two string parallel drill that crosses over the string sets. This study is in 2/4 time and employs the feel of eighth-note triplets.


PART TWO:  Example two expands the string group layout  to include three and four string patterns. 

The drill in exercise 2a, organizes a three string group of notes performed in 3/4 time using sixteenth-notes. The pattern is demonstrated from between the 6th to 4th string, but it should be re-located over to other three-string groups once the drill has become committed to memory.

The drill in example 2b, expands the string groups to include four strings from the 5th string to the 2nd. However, once this pattern is learned, it should be also transferred across the guitar strings to include other four-string groupings.




PART THREE:
Exercise three demonstrates how the arpeggio tones of a "Gmaj7" arpeggio can be covered along and across the guitar neck in a way that includes the use of all six guitar strings and no slurs, (no; slides, hammer-ons, or pull-offs).
PART FOUR:  Exercise four demonstrates how the arpeggio tones of an "Am7" arpeggio can be covered along and across the guitar neck in a way that includes the use of all six guitar strings as well as, slurs to connect the positions.

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Paid members can download the handout in the members area at: CreativeGuitarStudio.com

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