Practice Tip: Tone, Technique, and Timing

It's been awhile since I last posted a practice tip.  Here's something I mention in every group class, but have not put in writing.

Here are three things that all guitarist should keep in mind while practicing.

Tone.  This is the "color" of sound. Your guitar is capable of producing all sorts of tones.  Play by the bridge and you get a sharp, metallic sound.  Play near the fret board and you get a warmer, darker sound.  Play in-between and you get a, well, in-between sound.  The point here is that you are in control of your tone.  Generally speaking, you should find a tone that is pleasing to your ears (and to those that might be listening).  How you hold your pick, how your strike your strings, and where you play along the string will determine your tone.

Technique.  This is the "how to" part of playing the guitar.  You should always strive to play with good technique.  Good technique will serve you well as you progress to more difficult music.  It's worth taking you time on this.  First develop your skills, and then you will find you will be able to play many songs (well)!

Timing.  It doesn't count if you don't play it in time.  Every exercise and musical passage you play, be sure to work out the rhythm.  In fact, try working out the rhythm before you even approach playing the notes.  There is just no way of playing along with others, or singing along to your favorite song with out playing in time.  Of course, when you first practice a piece take it very slow.  As you get more comfortable with the music, try going a little faster (in small increments).  Using a metronome is helpful.  Search your app store for a free metronome, download it, and use it!

If you are having any trouble with any of these practice tips, be sure to bring it with your instructor.  Thanks for reading!

Rich

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