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8/18/07

Practice and Persistence Pay Off with Screaming Fingers

While it's true a good guitarist has to have a little inherent talent, almost anyone can condition themselves to have the screaming fingers of a pro. It takes knowledge, time and practice. Let's put some serious emphasis on that last one - practice!

Screaming fingers are made, they're not born. Even if you have an ear for music, a natural talent to pick out notes, there's no skimping on the need for practice to train fingers to go where they belong on a guitar - or any finger manipulated instrument for that matter.

To get started on the way to having screaming fingers, serious players recommend

* Learning the guitar well. Your fingers can't go where you need them to if you don't know where they really belong. This means you have to learn the guitar, its parts and its notes and chords before you can even begin to have screaming fingers. Sure, you might be able to play fast, but if it sounds awful, you haven't accomplished much!

* Take lessons. This goes along well with the first point, but it can't be stated enough. If you want to learn the instrument correctly and progress with a fair amount of speed, lessons are invaluable. Whether they're in person, from a book or online, get the basics down with some instruction and you'll be well on your way to playing better.

* Find some fingering exercises that work for you. This means practicing different chords to find the ones that challenge your fingers the most. The idea is to learn these buy route so making the right sounds comes almost as second nature. You should have to think or look to get the job done.

* Condition your fingers. Many guitarists perform simple finger exercises even away from the guitar to keep their fingers fast, nimble and accurate. Whether it's finger lifts, typing or something else, anything that keeps those fingers a flyin' is good!

* Repetition. In order to truly have screaming fingers, repetition is an absolute must. You need to learn to play well, not only fast. This means practicing over and over again until you can play a piece in your sleep. It might seem boring, but the result will be worth the monotony. Remember, the world's best guitarists didn't become so over night.

It might take some time, blood, sweat and tears, but if the desired outcome is screaming fingers, the results should be worth the effort. There are many things you can do to assist in meeting the goal, including taking lessons, practicing whenever possible and even just making a determination to stick with it.

Many people who seek to play the guitar well, give up because it's not the easiest instrument in the world to learn. But the truth is, almost anyone can play if they put their mind to the pursuit and put in the time to learn correctly and practice. Don't expect instant gratification, and do reward yourself when things click and you should find that screaming fingers are within grasp.

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