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Need advice on improving my technique


Hi all,

I have now been playing a little over a year and still loving it. One problem that I am noticing though is sometimes I am way to sloppy and would like to clean that up. This usually happens when I am just messing around and jamming by myself. I will miss chords bad, play to many strings, or hit two strings when only trying to play one from a scale. When I am practicing from a book or an actuall song, I usually practice at a speed that I can play it clean before speeding up, so it isn't much of a problem then.

I guess I am worried that I am teaching myself to play sloppy when I am just jamming by myself, and it isn't a habit I want to keep. Is this something I should worry about and change how I mess around with the guitar, or will my normal practice eventually clean up my sloppy play.

Thanks
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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/22/2004 2:50 PM

Ananth Narayanan (2180) wrote:

My two pence - Find your limit, and try to push yourself just a little over it. Don't go way over your limit or just keep playing slow and clean though you can go faster.
It is very important though to play it correctly and cleanly than to play fast. As someone said in this forum - speed is only a by-product of accuracy.

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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/22/2004 11:36 PM

Ryan Eckenrode (5114) wrote:

Mike,

One thing that I've managed to overlook for nearly 3
years until recently is a warm up routine. Basically, the
idea is to get all the muscles and tendons in the hands
loosened up before bringing in new things. The basic
goal is to instill muscle memory, and get everything
loosened up.

The warm up routine should be something tailored to
what you want to play... I play a decent amount of
fingerstyle stuff, so it's usually a good idea for me to
play the older right hand arpeggio studies lessons that
I've already learned before trying to play something
more complex like "moonlight sonata". Also, the warm
up should be something that you want to play... even if
it's a few scale/pentatonic exercises, or a simple chord
progression.

There are plenty of lessons here consisting of people's
warm up routines... but it's definitely a good idea to
develop your own.

my 2 cents.
later, Ryan



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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 1:03 AM

John Rich (3189) wrote:

Ryan,

I don't think he wants to do my warm-up rountines that's why I delected all 3 of them from here. Their not something I'm proud of putting up on here. Don't you think I should redo them? Yeah, I've been playing the guitar for 14 years.....you'd think I have a couple, but these exercises make myself sick....lol. Hey if I redo one of them will you try one out? And tell me what you think? Maybe if their hard and what not?

Thanks,


John Rich



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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 12:09 PM

Ryan Eckenrode (5114) wrote:

Honestly, I don't recall ever checking out the lessons
you mentioned. I might have browsed through one
once, but I wouldn't recall it...

I basically just think that having a warm up routine that
is tailored to what one does can be a great tool in the
long run. In doing lessons where you share warm up
routines, the best thing (I think) you can do is to give
others the tools and basic ideas to customize that
routine to one's own needs and style.

... Yeah, I'd check out those lessons if you redid them.

later, Ryan

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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 12:57 AM

John Rich (3189) wrote:

Mike,

Don't worry about speed that will come in time. You really need to be more concerned right now with playing the notes as cleanly and as accurately as you can. Playing with speed is great, but I didn't get to where I'm at today without practice, patience, and determination. It'a alot of hard work. Don't rush something. If you get in a rush then you'll miss the most important part of playing something with speed and that is playing it with it percision.

It's funny you mentioned this because I was listening to myself on tape from about 8 or 9 years ago and I must say even then I was trying really hard to play with speed and I just couldn't do it, so that's why I played things slow, so I could get to the point where if I need speed, then it's there when I need it. I'm a pretty restrained player. I don't unleash heavy barrages of notes as I used to. I'm just taking my time with playing lead now and that's what you have to do is take your time.

Take care,



John Rich

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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 1:05 AM

Jeannie Hill (822) wrote:

Mike,

Have you ever had to give the same speech 12 times? The first time you "read it". The 6th time you're comfortable and barely need the notes. The 12th time you've long ago thrown away your notes and you can go off on bunny trails a hundred times and still get done with the whole speech on time. And by this time you're really enjoying it.

As I hear it, its the same with learning to play a song smoothly at a nice clip. You play the song over and over again slowly and cleanly and before you know it, its coming right along. I can't wait til that happens with the song I'm currently working on.

Jeannie



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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 1:50 AM

John Rich (3189) wrote:

Jeannie,

Would you mind trying out a warm-up rountine of mine? I would really appreciate it. When you try it out could you tell me if it's hard or not? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks again,


John Rich



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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/24/2004 3:24 PM

Jeannie Hill (822) wrote:

John,

I didn't find your exercise difficut at all, and it sounds really good. I think its not difficult because the notes are close to each other. Of course, for me as a beginner its slow-going at first. I would have to learn (remember) which notes to pluck on each string, as one does with the scales, then repetition should make the exercise go faster. Thanks John!

Jeannie

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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 1:51 AM

John Rich (3189) wrote:

Mike,

Try out my warm-up exercises. You can get them by clicking on my name and going to my lessons page. Anyway, I'd really like to know if they are hard for people to play.

Take care,


John R.

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Re: Need advice on improving my technique

7/23/2004 10:03 PM

Andrew Smith (2792) wrote:

I've been overlooking some things that i'm finally getting straight...

Posture... Sit up straight, or if you're standing, don't have your guitar hanging too low. This can make your picking and strumming more accurate.

Pick control... You don't need too much of the pick sticking out of your fingers... maybe less than a centimeter. Keep it at a 90 degree angle to the strings for more accurate picking.

Andrew

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