P.O. Box 4586
Palmerston North
New Zealand 4442
06 357 0057
GUITAR TUITION in Palmerston North, New Zealand

Guitar Tips

Is it best to practice standing up or sitting down?

This is a question that keeps coming up a lot.  Many players also complain of the problem that they can only play sitting, but can’t play standing or Vis versa.  So the way to practice all depends on how you play when you are performing.

If you tend to play guitar standing up like in most rock bands mostly, then you need to practice standing up.  If you tend to perform mostly sitting down like classical players do, and some folk and jazz players, then practice sitting down.

Now here is a tip for when you practice sitting – try positioning your guitar over your left leg (assuming you are right handed), which is called the classical position.  The main benefit of using the classical position when sitting down is that it’s the same as when you are standing so there is no need to get used to playing in two positions, which eliminates the above problem.  You will find many electric players these days are adopting the classical position when sitting because of this benefit.

If you are an advanced player, another benefit of the classical position is that you can stretch much wider than you can otherwise.

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Do you need any help or other information on any of these topics? Or maybe enquire about guitar lessons with master teacher Kevin Downing?  If so,click here or call (06) 357 0057

If you are really serious about your guitar skills then you need to read Kevin’s book The Secrets of Successful Practising for Guitarists

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Keeping Things Simple

Many music teachers out there tend to make the learning of music and guitar very complicated, but the legendary teachers are the ones who can make even very complicated concepts and practices simple.  Many music students tend to complicate things as well, and think that if it is not complicated it can’t be good.

It is a standing joke around our studio that “everything is easy”.  Yes, if it is not easy I believe we are doing something wrong as teachers.  Many people believe rocket science is beyond them, but if you know anything about it, then that is simple too.  The trick is in making complicated things easy for yourself.

Whenever we have had major name guitar players here for workshops like, Bruce Forman, Mike Stern, Robben Ford, etc., they all talk about how they tend to keep even the most complicated of things very simple and that they have the systems in place to achieve that.  They invent systems that work for them.  By keeping things simple means they can do things on the fly that many other players would not be able to do.

As guitarists we tend to make things more complicated for ourselves as we get more advanced, but that is the time we should be working on making things easier.  For example, you could easily write a model solo over that chord progression you find a bit tricky to navigate, and improvise over the model solo. Or slow something down to 40 beats per minute to work on some tricky passage or technique you are working on.  Just slowing things down can make a lot of things a lot simpler.

Just think for a minute and find something you are having trouble with.  Then, think how can I make that problem simpler than it is now?  Thinking like this will improve your practising and playing immensely.

 

Amateurs practice to get it right – Professionals practice so they never get it wrong.

You might have heard this saying before, but if you haven’t it is very true for most guitar players. You do not have to be a professional to play and think like one, and it doesn’t take much extra effort to play like a pro.  I have many students who can play at a pro level, but are still amateurs.

Generally, amateurs tend to practice something, say a lick, until they get it going great slowly, then quit it.  Others will practice it up to the maximum tempo once, and then quit it.  Then they start looking around for the next lick to learn.  They tend to forget the licks after a short while.

Professionals on the other hand tend to practice a lick up to tempo at least 100 times, memorise it, then look for ways to integrate it into the music they are playing.  Then they can use this lick at any time they want to.

How can you use this approach to improve your playing right now?

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Do you need any help or other information on any of these topics?  Or, maybe enquire about guitar lessons with master teacher Kevin Downing?  If so,click here or call (06) 357 0057

If you are really serious about your guitar skills then you need to read Kevin’s book The Secrets of Successful Practising for Guitarists