Category Archives for "Guitar Techniques"

5 Proven Ways to Improve Your Guitar Playing Speed
Sep 05

5 Proven Ways to Improve Your Guitar Playing Speed

By Monica | Guitar Techniques , News

In music, playing speed isn’t everything. However, your ability to play with speed can make you a better musician overall. For example, as you increase your picking speed, your whole playing style begins to loosen up and your fingers will feel more flexible. By having greater dexterity in your fingers, you will be able to do a lot more and have an easier time playing, not only in terms of picking but fretting as well.

Working on improving your playing speed can be made easier and more fun with the right guitar. There are many quality acoustic guitar models under $300 that are comfortable to play and make practice time more productive.

So how do you increase your guitar playing speed? Here are some tried-and-tested ways to do just that.

Do warm-ups and loosen up

When you practice playing faster, your hands may have a tendency to tense up, so before practice, do some back, shoulder, arm, hand and finger stretches to warm up and loosen up your muscles. Sit properly and try your best to stay relaxed. Breathe and mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead.

Build up your playing speed gradually

Start by practicing slowly but surely. Speed doesn’t come right away, so be patient. What’s important is that you develop accuracy when playing so that when start building up your playing speed, you’ll hit the right notes every time. Playing fast without paying attention to where your fingers are going can result in sloppy playing and make you prone to committing errors.

Practice alternate picking

You can also increase your speed by using alternate picking, where you hold the pick between your index finger and your thumb with the pointed end of the pick facing the strings. Alternate between downstrokes and upstrokes (downstroke first). When you use alternate picking, you can double the number of notes you play.'

Get your rhythm going by using a metronome

Keep time and practice accuracy by using a metronome. It can be a stand-alone device, a metronome app or software, a backing track or any other tool you can use to develop rhythm. Gradually increase the BPM, or beats per minute, of the metronome and challenge yourself to maintain accuracy as you begin to play faster.

Develop hand coordination

Your fretting and your picking hand should work in tandem, so focus on developing good coordination between the two. For you to play at a higher speed, both of your hands should be equally strong, flexible, dexterous and accurate. In addition, you need to train your hands to move in perfect sync for every note that you play.

If one hand is a bit “behind” in terms of fretting or picking, it would be a good idea to focus on that one first so it can perform as well as the other. Do exercises such as scales, chord transitions and fingerpicking exercises to teach your hands to move smoothly across the fretboard or pick the right strings at the right tempo.

Improving your guitar playing speed would depend on your mastery of guitar techniques. The more you know efficient techniques, the more you can apply them to your playing and make it easier. And the easier it is for you to play, the more you can play as fast as you want - so take your time mastering those techniques, keep practicing and speed will surely follow.

How to Play Jazz Songs
Mar 13

How to Play Jazz Songs with Just a Guitar: The Basics

By Marc Andre | Guitar Techniques , News

Playing jazz songs with just a guitar can seem like a bit of a daunting task, but it is actually a bit easier than you might think. In order to achieve this, you will need a good understanding of the fretboard, a couple of basic arranging concepts, and some chord vocabulary. In this article, we will discuss these ideas and how you can put them together to make simple jazz guitar arrangements. This lesson assumes you know the notes on the fretboard, or can at least locate them with relative ease. If that’s not something you feel very comfortable with, I would recommend improving your overall fretboard awareness before tackling solo jazz guitar arrangements. Anyway, with that said, let’s go ahead and get started!

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Most Important Strumming Techniques
Mar 01

3 Most Important Strumming Techniques That A Guitarist Should Learn

By Monica | Guitar , Guitar Techniques , News

Do you know that there exist 3 most important strumming techniques that a guitar player should know? I know that most of you are unaware of this. But that's okay. After all, none of these things are written directly on any guitar lesson that you can get today.

However, if I were you, you might want to discover these hacks to get the most of your efforts!

Strumming is one of the most basic skills that you have to learn when playing the guitar. In fact, it should be among the first things that you should master right from the start. And even if you have progressed long enough, you must never still forget the fundamentals of strumming. A flimsy foundation on strumming will cause long-term adverse effects on your journey with the six-stringed instrument.

For some, learning how to strum is quite easy. There are just those people that have been gifted with the dexterity to maneuver their hands. But for others, strumming is a struggle.

If you are among them, then it is the time that you should pay attention to this guide. Heads up because this time, I will be showing you some crucial aspects of strumming that many tend to forget or ignore. Check these out.

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strat vs tele
Jan 06

Strat vs Tele: A Bedlam of Fender Guitars

By Monica | Guitar , Guitar Techniques , News

If we want to be specific at things, we could say that the Telecaster and Stratocaster are close kins. They are both electric guitars that have been manufactured by Fender. Their individual production period is not that distant, too. Telecaster was released on the market around 1951 while the Stratocaster was on 1954.

These two have been among the opuses that Fender can take pride. They carried the brand flawlessly throughout the decades. But of course, these two electric guitars have their respective nuances, too. This is the reason why we can see a lot of people asking which would win in the Strat vs Tele battle.

I can always consider the collision of these two units as intimate rivalries. You will never grow tired dealing with them because each of these Fender guitars has their own loyal fellowships. They seemingly run the gamut when it comes to reputations and endorsements.

If you are planning to get either of these Fender guitars, I am pretty sure that right now, you are torn already. But don't worry. I made this guide just for you. I hope that after reading this primer, you will be enlightened to which of these two gears you should get.

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easy fingerpicking songs
Dec 15

40+ Easy Fingerpicking Songs Beginners Should Try!

By Monica | Guitar Techniques , News

Do you want to master fingerpicking? Then don't be ashamed of taking baby steps. There are a lot of easy fingerpicking songs out there that can guide you on your journey!

Also known as fingerstyle, fingerpicking is a complex playing technique that involves your favorite stringed instrument. Although it is a highly dynamic playstyle, fingerpicking is actually fun to study. Many iconic bands such as the Beatles, Queen, and Guns N Roses incorporated this style to most of their songs.

Usually, fingerpicking is integrated during the intro part of any song. A good fingerpicking pattern will allow a piece to be easily recognized. It could make a song catchy, memorable, and iconic. Sometimes, the style alone could make an artist immortal. The likes of Chet Atkins, Martin Carthy, and Tommy Emmanuel are some of the few legends who cemented their names through this playing style.

However, a couple of us are quite daunted to learn the exquisiteness of fingerpicking. If you watch young talents like Sungha Jung recreate different masterpieces with the use of fingerstyle, you can always feel intimidation. But hey, that guy is a musical prodigy. Moreover, this doesn't mean that you can't learn the art by yourself. All you need to get is a good start, and your journey would become relentless.

Lucky for you, there are a lot of fingerpicking songs that are meant to be practiced by beginners. All you need to do is to search a little, and you can stumble countless of pieces that any novices can learn. But if you are not confident of your research skills, let me do the dirty work for you. I have listed a few titles that you should try to practice to hone your affinity in fingerpicking. Check them out now!

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