In Part one of this series on how to sit with a guitar properly, I explained why good, solid and consistent posture is critical for you as a guitarist – mainly because good posture can save a huge amount of time and frustration.
In this part, we are getting right into the meat and potatoes of the series where I’ll show you what I have found to be by far the most optimal playing position for guitarists.
Many people have no idea how to actually sit with their guitar for the most optimal playing comfort, efficiency and technique. Some sit in a downright terrible way. This places a huge strain on their wrists, leads to their backs being hunched over and their guitar being placed at a weird angle.
In this two-part post, I’ll explain why it is essential that you start sitting in the proper manner, why most teachers get it wrong, and what you can learn from the sport of golf. Most importantly I’ll show you what I have found to be by far the most optimal playing position for guitarists.
Below is an article I recently wrote on the topic of aural training for Guitar Tutor magazine, published and released by RGT – the Registry of Guitar Tutors. I’m a member of the RGT and love getting this magazine in the post every 3 months as it features some wonderful insights, tips and tricks for teaching and playing the guitar.
One of the worst habits a guitarist can have (and one I used to be very guilty of committing myself) is the habit of ‘bouncing’ their fingers off the fretboard. I talked about this briefly in my Ultimate Guide to Practicing Scales but want to expand upon this, as it is a very important subject.
In this post, you will learn why ‘bouncing’ your fingers can really hamper the way you play guitar, why fixing it will make a big difference to the accuracy of your playing and how to actually fix it.
I get asked a lot by students exactly how I work songs out for myself. That is, by not using any sort of tab, chord chart or YouTube video—nothing but my own hands and ears.
Often a student is really keen to learn this skill but they cannot believe it is something they can acquire. They see working songs out by ear as a mystical skill that only wizards such as Gandalf and Merlin could acquire (just imagine those two rocking the guitar!)
A lot of my students know how to play quite a few songs. Some of those who have played for a while know anything upwards of 10 songs.
A while back, I noticed that some students would neglect to practice some songs so I got to the bottom of it and asked them why hadn’t they practiced these songs.
Most guitarists who want to learn how to play guitar and sing often prioritise the guitar part over the vocal part but this is a common mistake that will hold you back.
The reason why? Because it takes much longer that way. Spending too long perfecting the guitar part before adding singing can work against you.
Singing and playing the guitar is tough and does take a little time, but you can shorten that time by doing things in the correct order which I’ll show you.