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Guitar School Tips

By: Pat Lee

Practice Regularly
Try and form a template for practice. So for example start with half an hour of hand warm up and patterns across the neck. This can be just chromatic runs for example up four frets starting at fret 1 on the bottom E string so 1234 and down four 4321 then move up the same string to fret 2 and up four 1234 and down four 4321.
Repeat all the way up the neck then start the same pattern on next string A and continue. This may seem tedious however concentrate on precision of picking up down, up down and curb mistakes. Start slowly with no mistakes and increase speed but only when mistakes are avoided. Then try a set time on chords, strumming, licks, play a song etc so the practice time is constructive and disciplined.

Picking Techniques
Whilst using a plectrum try three basic methods. Down strokes are simply always having the pick in a downwards motion. This is obviously for picking out notes in a run, lick or scale but not strumming to chords as that is another technique.
With downstrokes the runs can sound sometimes better by deadening the strings or muting. This is achieved by placing the palm of your picking hand on the strings and resting it against the bridge which will stop the strings from vibrating so much and hence give a nice duded sound. Experiment with exactly where you are placing the palm and the tension on resting against the bridge.

Your Progression
When it comes to learning such new skills patience will be your guide. It is important to progress slowly one step at a time though we all want it now without the effort so it is very easy to get frustrated which will take away your concentration. Try first really slowly to master a clean picked run, pay attention to precession of the notes picked.
Even if it is very slow that is fine. It is simply one step at a time, but those steps should be dealt with properly.
When slowly you are sure then take the speed up just a notch and try the run again but the same rules will apply practice until it is right and only then move on to the next speed level. If you falter you will have to go back to the first speed and progress through the levels again.

Guitar School Tips

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