3 HUGE Guitar Practice Cheats

Our hands with our mind will compensate for inefficiencies with our guitar playing. This causes us to in effect "Cheat" with our guitar technique. What do I mean by this? Well, instead of developing techniques in the most efficient ways, we cheat, and compensate the techniques performing them inefficiently, (because they feel easier to our body). A lot of guitar players end up having problems with their technique because of this...

Whether it is picking, strumming, or performing Legato - you name it. Regardless of the problem - when guitar players practice their skills, they can cheat on their practice - causing the "skills they want to develop," to take a lot longer to master than may be necessary.

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In this lesson, we're going to check out ways that will help you speed up the process of doing solid practice, for getting you up to speed with THREE popular techniques, much faster...


Our bodies; hands, wrists and arms will tend to want to move in ways that are efficient to the body, but inefficient for playing guitar. It's a little bit like, if you've ever been to the gym for a work-out, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes the best things for your workout are not how your body, "wants to move."

Translated to guitar playing, the specific types of movements that we're going to need for; picking, strumming or other guitar playing approaches, might not (exactly be) what's the most efficient to how our body feels like it wants to move. But, to get guitar techniques mastered in your playing, you're going to have to stop cheating.

To further develop your playing, you'll need to learn how to focus on what you're doing that is efficient, and also stop doing things that are inefficient. At that point you'll be able to start getting your technique working FOR YOU instead of AGAINST YOU so you can maximize your results.

Let's begin with picking... The highest levels of picking efficiency (for most players) will come together when a guitarist is picking from the wrist. Yet, a lot of guitar players will find that they're picking from the elbow, or more commonly, from the rotation of the forearm.

Pay particular attention to this. Especially if you develop pain in your hand, in your wrist or arm, you're quite likely doing something wrong with your picking technique. For making appropriate changes to better perfect your playing, set out to make picking practice a "routine of study" in your playing, (at least for a year or so) to have your technique really take root.

I have an example that you can try. It uses a group of notes turned into a repetitive sequenced drill. Study this by performing the drill all over the neck - taking it across several string sets and positions.

Picking Drill:

Strum technique is another area where players tend to have a lot of issues. Strumming technique must involve the wrist and the arm operating together so they operate as one to generate smooth relaxed guitar strumming. Accuracy (across the string sets) is paramount - in the long term, with the most important idea to master early being feel.

Like with all guitar techniques, remain as relaxed as possible. Tension is the worst thing for you, because it causes mistakes and it leads to poor performance long term. Focus on your strumming as being generated from your wrist, and grip your pick only with enough force to keep that pick in between your fingers. Too tight of a picjk-grip will cause issues with the attack and with your dynamics. Here's an "example strum" you can learn to perform for strumming practice.

Strumming Drill:

The next area that I want to cover is; Legato Technique, (most often referred to as) "Hammer-on and Pull-off" technique. In performing this technique on guitar there are two important things I'm always stressing with my own personal students.

The first is using the tips of the fingers for the hammer-on, (so that you can really connect with good down-ward force onto the string so the finger tip slams onto the fret with a good impact).

The other, is making sure that the pull-off is flicked downward at the floor off of the string from the fingerboard. Too often, I find that students do more of a "direct lift" of the finger in an upward movement, rather than make a movement that flicks the string so that it snaps the note creating good resonance off the string from the first note over to the second note.

Here's a Hammer-on and Pull-Off technique exercise that you can practice to develop the ability for applying these ideas.

Legato Drill:

I hope that these Guitar Practice ideas help you start moving away from cheating on your skills. Ya know, I guess in a way, it really isn't exactly cheating, because your body is just trying to have success, by guessing at how to do things like; "hold the pick," or "hit at the strings."

Your body doesn't naturally know how to play guitar. And, that's why we have guitar lessons, and very dedicated teachers, who are working hard to try their best to help you to better understand how some of these important guitar techniques can become better developed in your guitar playing.

Once you learn efficient methods for playing guitar, your entire body will become more relaxed and you'll be able to better tap into all of that incredible music you have the potential to play.

Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next 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 - if you liked this lesson, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube... keep practicing, and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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