Here is your weekly 10-second tip to enjoy.
In fact, as this is the first one of the year, I want to give you 10 mini tips on playing with better technique. These are the things I’ve been talking about with students lately.
Here we go…
#1 – Don’t press too hard with the thumb of the fretting hand – this is a hidden issue for many, but if your thumb aches, pay close attention to this. Remember, you’re not trying to break a walnut with your fretting hand!
#2 – Don’t let the fingers of the fretting hand bunch up – separate the fingers with space in between them for both chords and melodies. If you don’t, you’ll likely lack true control of the fingers.
#3 – Choose the seat you sit on carefully – not many people are taught the importance of this, but to begin with, aim to sit upright on a comfortable chair, which is padded ideally and doesn’t have armrests.
#4 – Use a strap to secure the guitar even when sitting down – there’s nothing worse than the guitar bouncing around as you play. A secure guitar stops you from feeling like your fingers are dancing on quicksand when playing.
#5 – Try the classical position – if you’ve played for a while in a non-classical position, this can take some getting used to, but is well worth it. Also, in this position, it’s key to keep the headstock of the guitar at least shoulder-level high.
#6 – Pay attention to the non-playing fingers of the fretting hand – most people let these fingers fly out like a trapeze artist. Relax the non-playing fingers, keep them close to the fretboard, and you’ll be able to use them more easily when needed.
#7 – Fingerpick by moving the whole finger – don’t just move the tip of the finger. Moving the whole finger can help you get a stronger and brighter tone.
#8 – Don’t let the fretting hand fingers “flop” on the fretboard – by that I mean try to “curl” the fingers when fretting notes. This gives you more control and precision and therefore can help you avoid the “Death Grip” and pressing too hard.
#9 – Keep your picking hand close to the strings – don’t let it drift too far or you’ll find you need to keep looking at this hand to accurately pluck the strings. Close control is key.
#10 – Relax both your shoulders as you play – tense shoulders equal tense arms, fingers, and hands… and that usually means awkward playing.
I hope you found that useful.
Those are just some of the things I’ve been reminding students of lately.
Pick one tip to apply today and keep coming back to this list!
If you want more help, and you’re a beginner or you’re struggling with the basics, then you might want to check this out…
Have a great Friday and keep enjoying your playing!
P.S. One extra tip to remember…
Breathe deeply as you play – if you don’t, you will likely tense up your body. Deep breathing also helps relax the mind and this can help give you better control over the fingers. Enjoy!
P.P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.